Agraria 2013, Big Barn Red, Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
Dry Creek Valley
Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
26 months in 50% new French oak barrels, 50% 2-year-old French oak barrels
Subtle forest floor aromas mingle with black fruit and hints of toasty oak and freshly ground pepper. A velvety entry introduces the spice-laden texture that frames delicious dark-toned flavors. Boysenberry, cherry, black currant, dark plum and cedar merge with hints of savory herbs, loam and minerality. As the wine expands in the lingering finish, traces of French roast coffee, violets, fig and dark chocolate appear, adding to its depth and complexity. Even with plenty of barrel and bottle aging, the wine retains a well-toned, muscular essence.
We are fond of calling this our “have your cake and eat it too” wine, meaning that it’s an incredibly rich and big wine that is ready to enjoy when released. The combination of 26 months of barrel aging in new and 2-year-old French oak and seven years bottle aging allows this wine to integrate the barrel and grape tannins, forming complex, smooth flavors and seamless, silky texture.
Our first vintage of Agraria was in 1996 when our Bradford Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes were ready to harvest at the same time. Normally these two varieties ripen 7 to 10 days apart. When we harvested them on the same day, we found ourselves short of fermentation tanks, so we decided to co-ferment the Cabernet Franc and Merlot. When we tasted the wine from barrel that winter, we were floored by the richness and suppleness of this mountain grown Cabernet Franc/ Merlot blend. We decided to bottle some of this blend on its own, rather than just using it as part of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends; hence the birth of Agraria. With the 1997 vintage we realized it was the Cabernet Franc from Bradford Mountain Vineyard that made our Agraria blend unique. Since 1997, our Agraria is predominantly Cabernet Franc with Merlot, and sometimes a little Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It is always 100% Bradford Mountain Vineyard fruit.
Food Pairing Notes
Elegant yet robust, this is a wine to pair with heartier fare like filet mignon topped with crumbled bleu cheese, or pan-seared duck breast with blueberry sauce served with rosemary and thyme roasted potatoes.