Aromas of bramble fruit, herbs, flowers and spice. Medium-bodied with firm tannins, dark fruit and cherry flavors.
|Wine maker notes
|The season got off to an inauspicious start with a late frost on May 1. However, the summer proved to be mild though not hot, with challenging but manageable levels of high humidity. Cooler conditions prevailed closer to harvest. An intensive regimen of leaf removal (to better expose the fruit to the sun and air) and fruit-thinning, or "green-harvesting", was performed to lower yields and remove unripe fruit. These viticultural practices were key in allowing the Cabernet Franc grapes to achieve ripeness in a more challenging vintage.
The vineyard yielded about 2 tons per acre. The grapes were sent through the crusher-destemmer with the rollers set wide apart to retain a larger number of whole berries. Next, the grapes were sorted to remove MOG (matter other than grape) and any unripe or undesirable fruit. The must was inoculated immediately with both yeast and malolactic bacteria. This practice, called co-inoculation, marks an innovation in the red wine program at Paumanok. It resulted in the completion of malolactic fermentation prior to the completion of alcoholic fermentation. This has the major advantage of allowing the winemaker to rapidly protect the wine with sulfites (as opposed to waiting weeks or months after alcoholic fermentation for malolactic fermentation to complete). Delestage (complete drainage of free run and then irrigating over the cap, also called "rack and return") was done to achieve thorough, gentle extraction while minimizing the extraction of harsher tannins by the elimination of seeds as the cap settles during delestage. This method ensures that only the softest tannins are extracted. After the fermentation was complete, the free run was drained into oak barrels. The must was pressed and, after clarification, was also moved to oak barrels. After 14 months in French oak barrels the Cabernet Franc was bottled.