Agraria 2015, Big Barn Red, Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard, 1.5L
Dry Creek Valley
Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
27 months in 33% new French oak barrel, 67% 2-year-old French oak barrel
December 18, 2018
Agraria is a wine of intriguing nuances, starting with complex yet subtle aromas of cherry and black currant swirled with notes of eucalyptus, cocoa, cigar box and a rich mineral essence. As the wine opens, the mouthfeel softens and the texture exposes a bright acidity held in place by the solid structure that remains tucked in the background. Refined flavors of Bing cherry and black raspberry merge with traces of tobacco, mocha, fine herbs and spicy cedar. Each sip exposes another layer of complexity and pleasure.
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.
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 27 months of barrel aging in new and 2-year-old French oak and eight years bottle aging allows this wine to integrate the barrel and grape tannins, forming complex, smooth flavors and seamless, silky texture.
Food Pairing Notes
With so many interesting flavor components, this Cab Franc will pair well with a variety of foods from duck confit to eggplant lasagna and more.