Cabernet Sauvignon in the Finger Lakes

October 7, 2011–Cabernet Sauvignon is often called king of the red varieties.  Its deep color, intense tannin and longevity make it a favorite of wine collectors and steakhouse sommeliers.  We have two and a half coveted rows of Cabernet Sauvignon at Silver Thread Vineyard, which have always been blended to create Blackbird, a Bordeaux-style blend.  These two rows lie close to Seneca Lake and overlook its deepest (and therefore warmest) area.  This year’s grapes got amazingly ripe (22 Brix for those of you wine cognoscenti out there) despite the rainy fall weather.

My father, who was visiting at the time of the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest, begged Paul to bottle a Cabernet Sauvignon varietal instead of blending it into Blackbird.  The flavors, he though, were too intense to sacrifice to a blend.  At this point, we just don’t have enough Cabernet Sauvignon to keep separate—those 2.5 rows of vines only yielded one barrel of wine.  One barrel makes about 20 cases of finished wine.  But we’re certain it’s going to add something very special to the Blackbird blend.