Despite the cabernet in its name, Cabernet Franc grown in Northern Michigan is not a heavyweight red. Here, much like the Loire Valley region in France, the grape exhibits a red berry fruitiness and light tannic quality. Cabernet Franc from cooler climates like Michigan can often show noticeable bell pepper or jalapeño notes. While recognizing that this is an integral part of the variety, we do our best through meticulous vineyard work and traditional cellar techniques to accentuate the grape’s red fruit character. Strategic leaf removal in the vineyards and cool whole berry fermentation in the cellar bring the wine into focus.
The 2022 Cabernet Franc is fresh and fruit forward. A toasted marshmallow nose leads into beautiful red berry flavors—like fresh strawberry jam on buttered toast. Mouthwatering acid creates a classic cool climate complexity against silky tannins.
2022 featured an unseasonably cool October, but despite the weather we were gifted with surprisingly beautiful flavors. The grapes were picked November 2nd, 2022 from the Jamieson hillside, allowing them to ripen for as long as possible. Merlot was picked from Grishaw on November 9th. Both varieties were destemmed and transferred whole berry into stainless pump over tanks with a five day cold soak to encourage partial carbonic maceration, an intra cellular reaction that emphasizes brilliant fruit aromas. After this, we warmed the tanks and began daily pump overs for three weeks before pressing the Cabernet Franc on December 5th and the Merlot on the 7th. The Cabernet Franc aged in a variety of lightly toasted hogshead barrels—half in new oak, while the Merlot aged in demi muids. Both went through malolactic fermentation and were blended on the following April 25th in a stainless tank after four months and three weeks. The wine settled, was filtered mid-May, and bottled June 5th 2023.
This wine’s bright red fruit and acid provides the perfect companion to roasted duck, goat cheese, BBQ pork ribs, and grilled bratwurst.
This wine will open up with new flavors if decanted or enjoyed over several days. We expect it to taste best through 2028.