As the temperatures continue to fall, and sweater weather turns to jacket weather, Long Island red wines become something to truly look forward to. One such red is the 2015 McCall Cabernet Franc from North Ridge Vineyard. On the nose this wine has a little earth and cherry. On the palate, there is ripe cherry, anise, and floral. This medium-bodied wine is elegantly crafted and reminiscent of Cabernet Franc from the Bordeaux region.
Vineyard owner Rus McCall shares his thoughts on what makes the Cabernet Franc from his North Ridge Vineyard special, saying, “These are some of the oldest vines on Long Island.”
He adds, “The 38-year-old vines have extremely deep roots,” going on to explain why older vines are special. As vines age they produce lower yields of fruit, but the fruit produced is more concentrated.
The vineyard, he explains, is dry farmed. That means they do not irrigate the vineyard. During times of drought, this causes the vines to grow deep and struggle to find water. That struggle rewards the vines with water rich in minerality.
Deep roots on their own are a plus too because the struggle creates higher-quality fruit. Another factor, McCall says, that helps to make his vineyard’s Cabernet Franc unique is how high North Ridge Vineyard is located. He explains that this elevation causes the fruit to be exposed to large amounts of wind, drying the fruit on the vine. This drying also causes the juice of the grape to become more concentrated. Some may be familiar with a more extreme form of drying grapes off the vine that produces the fine Italian wine known as Amarone.
To confirm just how special this vineyard is, according to McCall, his 2014 Reserve Cabernet Franc from North Ridge Vineyard was just given a Robert Parker Wine Advocate rating of 92 points. The 2015 has not yet been reviewed.
The very sophisticated 2015 McCall Cabernet Franc North Ridge Vineyard retails for $26.
To learn more about McCall wines, visit mccallwines.com.