2015 Division Cabernet Franc 'Granit'
2015 Division Cabernet Franc “Granit”
Mae’s Vineyard Applegate Valley AVA
We love the Mae’s Vineyard (part of the Quady North Vineyards) in the Applegate Valley AVA in southern Oregon, and have worked with the grapes as the sole component of our Loire clones, dominated by a base of Cabernet Franc. This was our third year working with Mae’s Loire clone Cabernet Franc. Grower/ Owner, Herb Quady has become one, if not, the best growers in the region who is doing all the right things with the fantastic granite based terroir. The Quady site in the Applegate Valley AVA in the hills above the Applegate river and while much warmer than the Willamette Valley, usually, the Quady site, at a high elevation, is cooler and wetter than the Rogue Valley AVA to the east. Herb grew up in the family of the famed Quady Winery in California’s Central Valley, later becoming the vineyard manager for Randall Graham’s Bonny Doon wine empire before first coming north to southern Oregon with his sights on applying organic farming techniques to a region with mostly undiscovered vineyard potential. His Mae’s Vineyard block slopes southeast into the Applegate Valley in what can only be said as one the prettiest spots we’ve seen in the state. Loamy/clay and marine sediment overlay a large granite slab (yes granite!), which makes this a truly distinctive site to work with.
We picked our Cab Franc at Quady over two periods, an early picking that mostly went to the Béton blend and the later pick which was mostly used for our varietal Cabernet Franc, featured here. This year, we had very low yields in the vineyard and were lucky enough to get a few “loaner” grapes from Herb himself and our good friend Brianne Day of Day Wines, which allowed us to make just three barrels.
As has become our modus operandi for fermentations, we utilized the pied de cuve (native yeast build ups) technique to harness as much of the native yeast flora from the site to best express the sense of place each of these wines came from. We had two very small Cabernet Franc ferments, one partial whole cluster in our cement tank, and another destemmed ferment in a small bin. Each of the ferments were fairly lengthy, notably the later pick portion, which was on the skins in one of our concrete fermenters for about a month.
Our third Cabernet Franc “Granit” release is as distinct as its vintage and once again, we are completely entrenched in the beauty of the site as expressed through the wine. This bottling is precise and a touch leaner than last year’s (less heat units though the growing season.) and greatly reminds of us of the Loire Cabernet Francs, where the vineyard’s clones hail from. The initial aromatics are tobacco, raspberry and straight up Cabernet Franc-esque jalapeño, followed by some pretty herbal notes and a nice amount of white pepper. The texture is medium to light bodied, with nice smooth tannins with a distinct palate that brings raspberry, dried tea and a good amount of earthiness. There’s only 75 or so cases this year of this wine, so be sure to grab a bottle quick if you’re a fan of the Loire style Cab Franc!
Alc - 12.3%, pH 3.72, 75 cases