Michael Shaps Cabernet Franc 2019

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The fruit for the 2019 Cabernet Franc was sourced from a few of the best vineyard sites Michael could find that year. White Horse and Highland dominate the blend and provided fruit that achieved perfect ripeness to display some of the traditional characteristics of a Virginia Cab Franc like dark cherry and plum. Honah Lee added a significant portion as well which has consistently delivered excellent fruit from its Davidson clay soil at an altitude of 1000 ft above sea level.
All of our cabernet franc is hand harvested and transferred to the winery for cooling prior to de-stemming without crushing. 20% whole berry return is added to the tank to help bring out a brighter fruit component. A 48-hour cold maceration prior to fermentation helps build mouth feel and color without extracting too much tannin. No commercial yeast strains are used, as we prefer to create a starter from its own juice during the cold maceration process. We conduct pump-overs twice daily throughout fermentation; after it’s complete we continue to extend the maceration for several weeks with daily pump-overs.
After pressing and settling, the wine is transferred to French oak barrels, of which 12.5 are new oak. Malolactic fermentation occurs during barrel aging. After the malolactic is complete the wine is racked and aged for a total of 18 months before being bottled unfiltered.
Cabernet franc has been one of Michael’s favorite varieties to make because of its unique expression and style that represents the variety and Virginia well. Cabernet franc is resistant to Virginia’s humid conditions and ripens well on the deep clay soils. It is a variety that is quite malleable and depending on the growing season can be a more medium-bodied wine, or can show more structure and weight in warm vintages. The 2019 is an example of a medium-bodied style that has nice red fruit notes, gentle tannins, and a substantial finish.

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