2021 Cabernet Franc - Walla Walla Valley OREGON
classic, varietally pure aromas...subtle garden herbs and peppers—ripe cherry kirsch fruit, bright & refreshing—balanced, refined structure with a long resonant finish—will develop beautifully over many years
ava: the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater & Walla Walla Valley
vineyards: RockBar, Seven Hills & McClellan Estate
elevation: approximately 950 ft
soil series: Freewater (cobblestone and gravel intermixed with loess)
Ellisforde (windblown loess over lucustrine sediments)
planted: planted 2016 (RockBar), 1998 (Seven Hills), 2003 (McClellan Estate)
harvest: Sept. 9, 2021
whole cluster: 30%
elevage: 14 months sur lie (6 months without sulfur) Avg. barrel age 8-10 years
bottled: Dec. 16, 2022, without fining,13.6% Alc.
tightly demarcated by virtue of a single soil series (Freewater Series) and a single land form (alluvial fan), the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater exists entirely on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. RockBar is situated in the middle of this highly distinctive terroir, where large cobblestones have collected over a hundred feet deep. Seven Hills Vineyard is a historic vineyard planted only steps outside of the Rocks District. The original vines were planted in 1982 by the McClellan family, who also planted (in 2003) another vineyard immediately adjacent to Seven Hills, called McClellan Estate. The vines at all three vineyards are self-rooted, ungrafted, with deep root systems. Careful management leads to balanced canopy growth and moderate yields, with Cabernet Franc clusters having good spacing, airflow and sun exposure. The inland continental climate provides alternating cold nights and long, warm Summer days with ample sunlight due to the high northern latitude (46 degrees N). This diurnal shift gives grapes with a wonderful balance of fruit, acidity, structure and highly expressive aromatics.
the Growing Season
A classic shift to cooler temps and occasional moisture of moderate intensity in late-September and early October brought the 2021 growing season to a beautiful conclusion. Despite some significant heats spikes in mid-Summer, the vines supported a good crop of clean fruit (medium-small berries with thick skins) with balanced flavors and phenolic maturity. We were immediately pleased in the winery with what we thought promised exceptional quality...which has proven true. The vintage has always shown a precocious resolution of structure that makes the wines delightful in youth, while also certainly possessing long cellaring potential.
notes on Winemaking
picked Sept. 9, 2021. 30% whole clusters sandwiched in small open top 1.5 ton fermenters. 27 days total on skins. Once daily punchdowns started at Day 10. Peak temps, 80F-82F. Aged 14 months on lees (6 months without sulfur) in 228L barrels, average age ten to twelve years old. Racked carefully and bottled Dec. 16, 2022 without fining. Diam 10 corks,13.6% Alc., TA 5.8, pH 3.88, rs 0.0 g/L
about Martin Woods
Martin Woods is hidden in the oak-forested foothills of Oregon's Coast Range, within the cool-climate McMinnville AVA, Willamette Valley. Martin Woods is both the home and winery for winemaker/vigneron Evan Martin, who has been driven by a passion since 2009 for discovering the most compelling terroir in Oregon. Elegant Pinot noir and Chardonnay are the focus of the portfolio, but Riesling, Gruner, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are more than proving extremely exciting for exploration. Evan’s small team farms according to sustainable, wholistic principles and the growers he partner's with are of the same mindset. The winemaking methods are delicate and natural, but of greatest importance is that a Martin Woods wine promotes the classic qualities of purity, balance, complexity and fine structure that can only result from great terroir combined with wholehearted dedication to art and craft. Above all, it is the hope that the wines evoke a consistent and inspiring sense-of-place, an authentic Oregon voice.