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2019 Cabernet Franc

$40
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Tasting Notes

Dark aromas of cassis, sweet plum, black cherry with a hint of a freshly opened cigar box lead to a well-structured palate. Refined tannins with flavors of smoked fig, bramble berries, spice, and oak linger on the palate.

Vineyard Designation

100% Estate Grown

Vintage Notes

The 2019 vintage started off with a very mild winter, then out of nowhere, we saw record snow accumulations in late February that lasted until early March. Thankfully, this did not affect buds on the dormant grapes, but it did delay bud break by approximately 2 weeks, which had some residual affects on the overall ripening process. We did see a decent amount of heat accumulation, but the 2019 vintage will go down as a cooler vintage for Washington State. Our typically amazing Octobers was very trying for us with not just one but two freezing periods that made our winemaking decisions ever more challenging. The first frost we saw we were happy with the results thinking we have escaped a terrible outcome in the vineyards, and then 9 days later we were hit very hard and we saw considerable frost damage to all our grapes. As we are seasoned winemakers, we took this challenge head on and decided to purchase brand new state-of-the-art equipment including an optical sorter that would eject bad and damaged grapes before any of these grapes went into a fermenter or press. The new equipment worked as amazing for us and the results in the wines are more than pleasing for us as well. Challenging vintages like 2019 really let you know as a winemaker what you are made of, and we at Airfield Estates not only took this challenge head on, but we excelled and the wines we produced from this vintage are going to be more consumer-friendly with higher acidity and lower alcohols but the fruit aspect is exceptional.

Winemaking Notes

Our Cabernet Franc was sourced from carefully selected reserve tier blocks that were cropped to smaller yields to obtain more ripeness and concentrated flavors. Harvested towards the end of October at optimal maturity, the grapes were destemmed sent directly to small fermenters and cold soaked for 48 hours before inoculating with a specific yeast strain for alcoholic fermentation. Our extraction protocol was balanced between aerated pump-overs and gentle punch downs to extract the complex flavors from our Cabernet Franc while maintaining tannin extraction. Fermented dry on the skins for 12 days, then the wine was drained, and the skins sent to the press to gently extract any remaining wine. The wine was then sent to exclusive French oak barrels for aging and inoculated for malolactic fermentation. During the first two month of aging, the wines lees were stirred twice a month. This process helps achieve roundness, structure, and finesse for the wine. Overall, the wine was aged for 20 months in 65% new French oak, 15% 2-3yr old French oak, and 20% neutral French oak.

Food Pairing

Flat Iron Steak with Sauce Choron
Greek Lamb Meatballs Stuffed with Feta and Kalamata Olives
Peppercorn-Crusted Salmon
Brie or Swiss

  • Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Aging / Barrel Program: 20 months in French Oak (30% new, 45% 2-year-old, and 25% neutral)
  • Cases Produced: 153
  • Alcohol: 14.1%
  • pH: 3.81
  • Acidity: 5.6 g/L
  • Ageability: Enjoy now through 2032 (optimal maturity around 2028)

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