In my most recent class in the Piedmont Virginia Community College program, wine bottling, we visited Stone Mountain Vineyards. Located in Dyke, Virginia this winery sits 1,700 feet above sea level literally on the top of a mountain. With an amazing view and a road that is a little rough and narrow, Stone Mountain Vineyards is truly a hidden gem. Come for the view or the wine because it is a trek worth taking. The class was good and the facilities are great at this winery even below the tasting room. With the right equipment, you would be surprised how easy it is to bottle wine.
This brings us to my first bottle that I bought there the 2008 Stone Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve. If you do not know, Cabernet Franc grows well in Virginia. Some Virginia wineries put it in a blend but almost all of them have a single varietal of this wine. According to Stone Mountain’s website:
Virginia’s premier Vitis Vinifera red wine grape. Grown on one of the higher vineyards on the property, the grapes enjoy sunny mornings creating a wine with a rich fruit-filled nose with plum, hints of blackberry and pipe tobacco. Clean subdued fruit is integrated with oak, leading to a smooth and well-structured memorable finish. The mid-palate spiciness adds character when paired with beef and lamb.
Well, how was it?
Color – Translucent red. Visually could be mistaken for some Pinot Noirs.
Nose – I get the tobacco, but I also got leather and herbs on the nose.
Taste – Black pepper, cranberries, and I even got a hint of citrus on the very back end.
Finish – Medium-bodied finish with light acid and medium tannins.
Overall, it was a very good light Cabernet Franc. It was very complex even though it was super light. If you like the bolder Cabernet Francs you might be a little disappointed. According to the 2008 Virginia survey of commercial growers, it didn’t seem like it was a bad year for grapes in Virginia but maybe it was. The flavor profile is great just a little too light. Just a little bolder and it would have gotten an A+.