Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rockbridge DeChiel Reserve 2007 Cab Franc (VA)

Shepherd Rouse, along with his wife Jane Millott-Rouse, are the owners of Rockbridge Vineyard. Shep’s Virginia heritage dates back to the 17th century and Jane is from Carmel, California. Shep is a graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, with a degree in Geology/Biology and holds a Master’s Degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis.

Bitten by the allure of wine while in Germany in the 1970’s, Shep fell in love with wine and the wine lifestyle. In 1988, Shep and Jane found the perfect site in northern Rockbridge County at 2,000 foot elevation and near two busy interstate highways.

The vineyard has now grown to 17 acres and is complemented with grapes from other top-quality growers from neighboring Virginia counties. Shep grows a mix of vinifera, hybrid, and native grapes. The goal? To make well-crafted, affordable wines.

Rockbridge wines have won numerous medals over the years including Best in Show in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Best in Show in Town Point Competition and twice winner of the coveted Virginia Governor’s Cup.

I had my first Rockbridge wine while at the Eastern Wineries Expo 2012. It was an eye-opener.

This is a substantial wine. Shep and company do intensive leaf pulling and cluster thinning during the growing year to insure quality and flavor. The color was a dark garnet colored wine. This Cabernet Franc Reserve was aged 27 months prior to bottling. Big dark cherry nose, with hints of plum and other bramble fruit, with a hint of spice to it. A touch of cedar possibly? And a nice whiff of vanilla. The wine finishes bone dry, with nice acidity, and great mouthfeel. Tannins are nice, but not overwhelming, and the fruit stays on the palate a long time.

But don't just take my word for it that this wine is a winner....look at these results!

2010 Virginia State Fair | Silver
2011 Finger Lakes Competition | Gold
2010 Atlantic Seaboard | Silver
2010 Virginia Governor's Cup | Silver
2011 Virginia Governor's Cup | Silver
2012 Virginia Governor's Cup | Silver

Indeed, it is in fact a real winner! Congrats Shep and Jane!