Library Wines

 

 

Crumbling Rock

 

2006 Crumbling Rock 

Blend:  38% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
Yield per Acre: 2.5 tons
Dates of Harvest:  October 3 – October 26
Élévage:  16 months in French oak barrels; 75% new
Quantity Produced: 525 cases
Alcohol: 13.5% 

NOTES

February 2014 - Ed Boyce
Showing bright color around the edges of the glass, still holding on to the intensity in the nose, with even more complexity on the palate than years past.  The freshness (acidic backbone) points to long aging, and this wine is still improving 8 years later.  A great food wine.

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: bright red fruits, lively and fresh for 11 years old. Palate: firm tannins, fresh bright red cassis and cherry, zesty finish.

September 2018- Ed Boyce
Wow! This wine is continuing to impress us. The flavors are still fresh, and there is no signs of age in its color. While drinking beautifully, this wine has not yet reached its peak! There is still plenty of life in this classic vintage! 

 


 

2007 Crumbling Rock 

Blend:  34% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 3% Syrah
Yield/Acre:  2.4 Tons
Dates of Harvest:  September 22nd – October 15th
Élévage:  18 months in French oak, 100% new
Quantity Produced:  348 cases
Alcohol:  15.1%  

NOTES

March 2014 - Ed Boyce
Just plain lovely.  I keep expecting this wine to hit it's peak as it has higher than normal alcohol for a long-lived wine, but each time we taste it it improves.  It is drinking beautifully now, but still improving a bit.

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: hints of black fruits, but more backward than the open, forward 2006 with black and white pepper hints. Palate: rich, smooth, ripe black fruits, ripe tannins, fresh clean finish. High alcohol (14.9%) but well-integrated. Still young, a big West Coast style in a warm vintage, but fruit-driven.

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
The 2007 is dark, rich, and full; balanced, and so full of flavor. It is everything people thought Maryland wine could not be, yet here it is. The ‘07 “Rock” as we like to call it, is aging beautifully and is likely just reaching its peak after 11 years.

 


 

2008 Crumbling Rock 

Blend: 57% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Syrah
Yield/Acre: 2.4 Tons Dates of Harvest: September
22nd – October 15th
Élévage: 18 months in French oak, 100% new
Quantity Produced: 662 cases
Alcohol: 15.1%

NOTES

March 2014 - Ed Boyce
Of all the Crumbling Rocks this one has improved the most with bottle age.  The mid-palate has filled in beautifully and the flavor profile has become more complex.  It is drinking very well right now, but showing no signs of aging.

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Very characteristic of the vintage in Maryland and Virginia, a subtle minor key compared to 2007. Nose: mature, well-integrated dried cherries and currants, some clean earth and truffles. Palate: lively, fresh, fruit-driven, very claret-like in finesse and style. Fruit and earth elements in fine balance.

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
Like its predecessors, the 2008 is largely Cabernet Franc dominant, and pulls together notes of dark fruit and earth in a smooth and subtle way, mixing old and new world profiles. This wine still has lively and vibrant fruit, as if it were five years younger than it is.

 


 

2009 Crumbling Rock 

Blend:  30% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot
Yield/Acre:  1.8 Tons
Dates of Harvest:  October 5th – 25th 
Élévage:  16 months in French oak barrels, 100% New
Quantity Produced: 240 Cases
Alcohol:  13.0%

NOTES

February 2014 - Ed Boyce
Somewhat muted on the nose, the palate is still juicy with excellent freshness, but the wine seems closed down at this point.  I'd recommend waiting a year or so to open it, or decant it for an hour or so before drinking. 

May 2014 - Ed Boyce
Compared to the last bottle, this one is starting to come out of its brooding stage.  Bright, fresh flavors with bracing acidity, it feels like it will peak in the next 2-3 years.

 


 

2010 Crumbling Rock 

Blend: 63% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot
Dates of Harvest:  September 14 – October 9
Élévage: 18 months in French oak barrels, 70% new 
Quantity Produced: 465 cases
Alcohol:  14.3%

NOTES

February 2014 - Ed Boyce
Big, bold flavors, even bigger and bolder than at release.  Yum.

April 2014 - Ed Boyce
Still great boldness, but this bottle seemed more closed.  Probably heading into the some what closed, brooding stage that many of our wines seem to enter a year or two after release, so I would wait a year or so for the wine to re-emerge even better than before.

April 2018 - Karen Cool
The aromas are lovely, showing leather, tobacco, and black fruit, with hints of vanilla and mocha. There is a moderately long finish, showcasing the spice on the end notes. There is a nice balance of acidity and tannins, and it is drinking very smooth. It is likely that this wine will continue to taste well for another several years or more.

September 2018 - Ed Boyce
This is still a very big wine -- it is so lush! Long and layered, with concentrated and intense flavors. It showcases a dark fruit profile. There is still so much life left in this bottle! You can definitely hold onto it a few more years :-)

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
For the first time this wine is largely Merlot dominant, pulling out a roundness in the palate that emphasizes the wine's lush and well-integrated mouthfeel and flavor profile. This wine’s ageability is striking, and we think it has years left in it. It still tastes ripe and full, with its strong tannic backbone softened, but still there.

June 2019 – Ed Boyce
Over time, this Crumbling Rock has become so much more complex! A very interesting wine. Everything is very well integrated. Even with its high alcohol, it matches up extremely well with food! I am super happy with this guy. You can continue to age if you have some at home! 

 


 

2012 Crumbling Rock

Blend: 42% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Franc, 16% Petit Verdot
Dates of Harvest:  September 14 – October 9
Quantity Produced: 465 cases
Alcohol:  13.5%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
There are nice aromas of plum, dark cherry, currant, and bell pepper, with hints of  tobacco and licorice. There is great acidity and grippy tannins. The finish is very long, with white pepper notes. We recommend decanting for an hour or so if you wish to enjoy this bottle, but there is still plenty of life left if you wish to continue aging! 

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
The 2012 is so elegant. If you still have any in your cellar, it may be worth hanging on to for a while longer. Its blend is equally Merlot and Cabernet Franc (42%), with 16% Petit Verdot. It is earthy and rich, with dark cranberry and raspberry flavors.

 


 

2013 Crumbling Rock 

Blend: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, 17% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot
Dates of Harvest:  September 14 – October 9
Quantity Produced: 465 cases
Alcohol:  13.4%

NOTES

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: fresh red fruits, mostly cassis, elegant and subtle. Palate: firm acid, ripe tannins, solid cassis, will age but enjoyable now, would go up against a classified Bordeaux growth.

April 2018 - Karen Cool
The color is a deep ruby, with a wonderful viscosity. Notes of dark fruits, green pepper, cedar, and dark cherry hit the palate. There is a long finish, with lots of spice! It is elegant, complex, and easy drinking. You will notice a great interplay of tannins and acidity. are nice aromas of plum, dark cherry, currant, and bell pepper, with hints of  tobacco and licorice. There is great acidity and grippy tannins. The finish is very long, with white pepper notes. We recommend decanting for an hour or so if you wish to enjoy this bottle, but there is still plenty of life left if you wish to continue aging! This wine is lively, but can definitely still be laid down for many more years!

August 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
I can’t tell you how many times Ed and I have discussed this vintage of Crumbling Rock. It is the quintessential “Black Ankle Vintage”… Elegant, structured, not over the top, and smooth smooth smooth. We love this wine and the way it represents what we do, who we are, and what we make. We strive to make food wine; wine with subtle nuances that make it complete from the nose to the finish. Attention to detail in the vineyard, winery, and presentation are so important, and the 2013 “Rock” in our opinion, demonstrates what can come from that attention. With five years of age, this wine is still ripe, lively, and full. It’s tannins have softened but are still sturdy. We think it will continue to be elegant and beautiful for the next decade.

September 2018 - Ed Boyce
The nose on this wine just POPS! It has a great mouthfeel, and is continuing to age beautifully! There is a lot of concentration, without heaviness! You can definitely hold on to this bottle for many more years.

 


 

2015 Crumbling Rock

Blend: 28% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petit Verdot, 22% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol:  13%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
Earthy notes lead into black plum, sweet wood, black cherry, vanilla, and cranberry, with a hint of dried herbs.The viscosity and finish is all very good! Living up to our earlier Crumbling Rocks it has a long, warm, velvety smooth finish. If you can stand the wait, you can probably lay this bottle down for at least another 8 years!

 


 

Leaf-Stone Syrah

 

2007 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend:  91% Syrah, 4% Pinot Noir, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot
Yield/Acre:  1.9 Tons
Dates of Harvest:  September 28-29th
Elevage:  18 months in French Oak, 100% new
Quantity Produced:  324 cases
Alcohol:  14.6% 

NOTES

December 2013 - Ed Boyce
This wine has been rock solid ever since release, and continues to get better.  Lovely fruit and great balance mean great drinking now and lots of potential left.

 


 

2008 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend:  81% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Viognier, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Merlot
Yield/Acre:  3.4 Tons
Dates of Harvest:  October 2nd
Elevage:  18 months in French Oak, 70% new
Quantity Produced:  392 cases
Alcohol:  13.5% 

NOTES

April-May 2014 - Ed Boyce
This wine has finally blossomed after being very tight at bottling. Reminiscent of a Northern Rhone, the 2008 is drinking really well right now, but seems to have peaked in its development, and one bottle we opened recently had started it's decline. I'd recommend drinking this wine over the next year or so.

September 2018 
If you have not already opened your bottle of the 2008 Syrah, we recommend endulging upon it! :-)

 


 

2010 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend: 100% Syrah
Dates of Harvest:  September 1-8
Élévage:  18 months in French oak barrels, 65% new
Quantity Produced: 340 cases
Alcohol: 14.6% 

NOTES

April 2013 - Ed Boyce
Juicy, complex flavors.  Still improving, but it is also drinking great right now.  I resolve next time to open a 2007 along side this, and just sit back and enjoy them both.

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: spicy plum and cherry, clean and fresh. Palate: zesty spice with white pepper which has large volume, with spice bigger than the fruit. Won’t age much longer, drink soon but special and distinctive.

September 2018 - Karen Cool
When Ed tasted it in 2013, he said the wine was still improving. If you have more than one bottle, I'd recommend trying it and letting us know what you think!  I seem to remember 2010 as being a great year for growing -- our wines were big and full bodied. And, I know our 2010 Crumbling Rock is aging well, so this one should be, too. :-)

June 2019 - Ed Boyce
Wow! I am really happy with this Leaf-Stone! It has developed some beautiful fruits, and is extremely well balanced! It paired very well with our dinner :-) Hold onto this guy awhile longer if you have any at home! 

 



2011 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend: 100% Syrah
Alcohol: 13.1% 

NOTES

April 2014 
The aromas are earthy and smoky, with dark fruits, baking spice, mocha, and peppers. There is a long, complex finish with medium acidity and wonderful tannins to balance. Perhaps age this bottle for a few more years! 

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: lively with spicy red cherry. Palate: high acid, firm tannins, solid black cherry. Outstanding quality for the vintage.

September 2018 - Ed Boyce
This bottle really wow-ed us! With age, the mouthfeel is even more robust! It is still meaty and lengthy, with more earthy tones of mushroom peeking out. Since this wine is aging so well, we say hold on to this bottle just a little longer! 

 



2012 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend: 100% Syrah
Dates of Harvest:  September 1-8
Quantity Produced: 340 cases
Alcohol: 13.1% 

NOTES

April 2018 - Melissa Schulte
There is still so much elegance and finesse to our 2012 Syrah. It is smooth, with an Old World feel. We do feel that this wine is reaching its peak, so it should be opened sooner rather than later! It would make for the perfect dinner table wine.

April 2018 - Karen Cool
This Syrah is tasting very smoky and earthy, with notes of dark chocolate and fruit. It is drinking very smooth, with a nice acidity and integrated tannins. The finish is long and easy, with pepper and dark berry notes. The taste is fresh, with a great structure and body. It leaves an elegant whole mouth feel. This wine is aging very nicely, and will continue to do so for years ahead.

September 2018 - Karen Cool
One Thursday, Ed and Sarah were in the tasting room sampling a bottle of the 2012, and testing out their Corvin! After sharing their thoughts, we opened the bottle and decided to pour for folks coming out to the tasting room that day!  It was very nice. I did a review a few months back, and said that I thought the wine was aging nicely and should continue doing so for a while!

 



2013 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend: 100% Syrah
Dates of Harvest:  September 1-8
Quantity Produced: 340 cases
Alcohol: 13%

NOTES

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Nose: wow! Wonderful balance of red fruits and spice. Palate: red cherry, spice but lovely smooth tannins.

April 2018 - Karen Cool
Yum!! A smoky/cured bacon aroma that is earthy, with hints of vanilla, green pepper, and mushroom. As the bottle opens up, it seems to become more fruit forward. Imagine a dark berry compote!The tannins are still mouth-drying, and there is wonderful acidity. This bottle still has plenty of life left!

August 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
I know I sound like a broken record, but 2013 was just beautiful; we had to make it a flight for members. Due to a tough winter and on-again, off-again spring in 2013, we did not produce a large amount of Syrah, but we were quite happy with everything we were able to eek out. It was so good that we were not able to make any “non-premium” wine from it. The fruit was beautiful and picked at the right time (between September 25th and October 5th specifically). During blending we noticed that we had two distinctly different premium Syrahs emerging. The Leaf-Stone’s flavor profile is slightly more “new-world” than it’s Phyllite brother. It is a deep garnet color with aromas of black olive, tobacco leaf and freshly-sharpened pencils on the nose. It has deep dark fruit flavors, a robust palate weight and structured tannins. It easily has another decade of life on it.

 



2015 Leaf-Stone Syrah

Blend: 100% Syrah
Dates of Harvest:  September 1-8
Quantity Produced: 300 cases
Alcohol: 13%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
This Syrah is absolutely wonderful! It exhibits dark fruits with a hint of earthiness in its aroma. Blackberries, sweet tobacco, and subtle notes of cured meats hit your nose. The finish is long, warm, and peppery! As the bottle warms up, the aromas become even earthier, with hints of leather and minerality. This wine will continue to develop in the bottle for quite some time. You can still definitely keep this guy tucked away for awhile :-)

 


 

Slate

 

Slate

Blend:  : 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Syrah, 22% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Yield per Acre: 3.0 Tons
Élévage:  28-40 months in French oak barrels, 100% New
Quantity Produced: 600 Cases
Alcohol: 13.9% 

NOTES

February 2014 - Ed Boyce
While our other reserve wines have retained their youthfulness much longer than we anticipated, the Slate seems to be aging more like a traditional Bordeaux. A slight lightening of color around the edges of the glass hints at the complex aromas developing in the glass, along with the silky, soft tannins that develop in Great Bordeaux as they age. If you like wines young and fruity, drink now. If you like wines soft and complex, this wine has lots of aging potential left.  

December 2014 - Ed Boyce
Color shows edges starting to lose some vibrancy as the wines age.  Nose is bright and focused.  On the palate the tannins are even smoother and silkier than on release, and there are no wobbles to the lengthy finish.  Primary fruit aromas of the young wine are beginning to fade and give way to the more evolved cigar box, leather, and tobacco.  Slate is the first of our wines to enter into middle age, which makes sense given that much of it was aged for 3 - 4 years in barrel before bottling, and barrel aging is much quicker than bottle aging.  I am struck by how much it is developing like a great Bordeaux, while still retaining the characteristics that make it a true Black Ankle Vineyards wine.  It is drinking wonderfully now, and will likely last another 10 years before it begins to fade.  But since I like young wines, I don't think my last few bottles will last that long.

 


 

Slate 2

Blend:  : 50% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
Quantity Produced: 600 Cases
Alcohol: 14.2% 

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
Complex aromas showcase as the wine begins to open up. There are notes of dark berries, pepper spice, prunes, anise, and tobacco. The finish is long, fruity and spicy. While also showing an elusive floral undertone. It is smooth, and nicely balanced. This wine is drinking very nicely, with many years left of aging.

 



Slate 3

Blend:  : 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot
Alcohol: 13.2% 

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
There are so many different complex things going on in this blend-- Wow! The first smells are earthy, woodsy, tobacco and cherry notes. As the wine opens up a bit,dark fruit flavors start coming forward. There is a tiny floral note that elusively whispers between layers of aromas. It is dry and smooth, with a great balance of viscosity and tannins. The finish is long carrying peppered notes. You can definitely keep aging this bottle for many more years.

 



 

M

 

2011 M

Blend:  : 57% Merlot, 43% Malbec
Quantity Produced: 250 Cases
Alcohol: 13% 

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
While the 2011 M had mellowed out and softened a bit, it was still carrying lots of fruit, tobacco, cedar, and pepper notes to name a few. It is likely to last a few more years.

 


 

2015 M

Blend:  : 89% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Quantity Produced: 100 Cases
Alcohol: 13.7% 

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
This Malbec based blend exhibits notes of blueberries, black cherries, vanilla, and sweet wood. It has beautiful floraly undertones. The wine is full bodied, and juicy, allowing it to just dance across your tongue. It is very multifaceted, as there is a great interplay between its acidity and firm tannins. The finish lingers, and is smooth and mildy peppery.  This wine will continue to age nicely for a long while.

April 2018 – Ed Boyce
Usually exuberant, fruity, and enjoyable young, the Malbec block (at the very top of the hill) produced something really special in 2015: beautiful concentration, a solid mid-palate, silky tannins and a finish that keeps going and going. In addition to all of that serious stuff, it still has that exuberant fruit which Malbec is known for. We are trying to figure what happened (so we can do it again!), but in the meantime enjoy this very special wine.

 


 

Feldspar

 

Feldspar (Non-Vintage)

Blend:  : 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. Made with grapes from 2011-2013 vintages.
Quantity Produced: 250 Cases
Alcohol: 13.5% 

NOTES

August 2015 - Ed and Sarah
This is a blend of wines from 2011, 2012, and 2013, with the older wines adding the richness and depth that comes from long barrel aging. The 2013 grapes add some rich fruit to give the wine a little zip. A soft beautiful wine, with years and years of aging potential ahead of it.

April 2018 - Karen Cool
The aromas are lovely. Herbs and minerals, with dark fruits laced by vanilla notes. It almost tastes jammy on the palate, with a nice pepper spice. Considering the time spent in barrel, this wine continues to taste fresh. It is smooth and easy drinking, and has wonderful balance. There are still many years left for this bottle!
 

January 2019 – Karen Cool
Smooth and easy drinking, this mouth-filling red still feels fresh. Lovely aromas of leather with hints of cola and anise lead the way before showing plum and other lovely dark and red fruit flavors before finishing with hints of vanilla and light pepper spice.
 



Feldspar II (Non-Vintage)

Blend:  : 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Alcohol: 13.5% 

NOTES

February 2017- Ed and Sarah
This is a soft, beautiful wine with strong tannins and a full mouth feel. This is all supported by flavors of red fruit, black cherry, and light spice. This wine is drinking beautifully right now, but we expect it to have a good long aging life.
 



Feldspar III (Non-Vintage)

Blend:  : 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc -- 55% aged 30 months, 45% aged 18 months -- French oak barrels, 35% new
Alcohol: 14% 

NOTES

June 2018 - Karen Cool
For having just been bottled, this wine is very complex, and nicely integrated. It is both savory and fruity, serving as a full mouth experience -- every aspect flows without any type of harshness. Dark berry notes prevail before leading into flavors like fig, cola, and tobacco leaf. There is a slight hint of bell peppers. This wine highlights what Black Ankle is all about, and will continue to develop if you choose to age, for many years ahead.
 


 

Phyllite

 

2013 Phyllite

Blend:  : 100% Syrah
Quantity Produced: 250 Cases
Alcohol: 13%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
This is an easy drinking Syrah, with everything that you might expect. The aromas are earthy and floral, with hints of dark fruit. There is a long, smooth finish on the palate, It is complimented by spice pepper notes. There is still great acidity and tannins. This bottle still has many years left ahead of it!

August 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
Like it’s Leaf-Stone sibling, the Phyllite is elegant, vibrant, delicious, and sold out in less than a month! This wine is 100% Syrah, and is a mix of both our older and younger plantings. Certain barrels just blended better with each other than others, and through that process the Phyllite was born!

 


 

2015 Phyllite

Blend:  : 100% Syrah
Quantity Produced: 250 Cases
Alcohol: 13%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
This Syrah is very earthy, with hints of leather, anise, dark fruits, and woody notes. On the palate you experience a nice juicy plum, with cherry and vanilla spices. The finish is smooth and long, with a peppery spice note that just seems to last and last. This is a very elegant bottle. It has a great body, with a nice complexity. The acidity and tannins are very well-balanced. This bottle would pair well with various rich foods. But, should you wish to let this bottle relax for awhile, you can certainly do so! It will age nicely for quite some time yet.

 


 

Pinot Noir

 

2015 Pinot Noir

Blend:  : 100% Pinot Noir
Quantity Produced: 100 Cases
Alcohol: 13.6%

NOTES

April 2018 - Karen Cool
What a wine this Pinot is!! It exhibits beautiful earthy and herbal notes, with hints of red fruits (raspberry, cherry, and strawberry). There is a great balance of acidity and minerality, with a white pepper finish. We would still recommend more time in the bottle for this one, as it will just continue to develop into a bigger and bolder Pinot! :-)

 


 

Chardonnay

 

2007 Chardonnay

NOTES

January 2019 – Sarah O’Herron
At bottling this wine was both fresh and bulky on the palate. 2007 was dry and warm, with much lower rainfall than normal. The wines produced from this year were ripe and concentrated, with nice freshness to balance the higher than normal alcohol levels. It is a classically built barrel-fermented chardonnay with hints of orange peel, honeysuckle, and lavender on the nose. A full body reveals a smooth wine with excellent richness on the palate and a long minerally finish. None of the chardonnays in this flight were put through malolactic fermentation; any oak you taste is from the fermentation and ageing process. 2007, being our second vintage, was before we started listing the blends on the back on the white wine bottles!

 


 

2008 Chardonnay

NOTES

January 2019 – Sarah O’Herron
The 2008 season was as “normal” a season can get in Maryland until September. Budbreak in mid-April, a rainy (but not unusual) May, with a relatively warm and dry summer. The chardonnay was harvested before the rains hit in late September. An interesting fact most don’t realize is that Ed and Sarah planted Champagne chardonnay clones (and Pinot Noir for that matter), with the hope of producing a sparkling wine. Champagne grapes are typically picked earlier than other varieties, and therefore our chardonnay is generally picked earlier than other wines on the farm. This early picking helped us dodge the rain to come in fall of 2008. At bottling and release this wine was a light and airy blend of 88% chardonnay, 6% muscat, and 6% viognier. The muscat and chardonnay make this wine very aromatic, with hints of lemon and pear on the nose supported by a full body and finish.

 


 

2009 Chardonnay

NOTES

January 2019 – Sarah O’Herron
2009 was a cooler than average vintage, with wines showing elegance and length rather than concentration. This chardonnay is ripe with elegance and nuance. It is light on the palate but makes up for the lighter body with refined and complex flavors. Like the previous vintage, the 2009 is blended with muscat, 16% for that matter! When released you could certainly smell and taste the golden and honey flavors associated with the muscat grape. Careful winemaking was important in 2009 because the fruit was fragile. We had to get the most out of the fruit without breaking up the skins in the press (which can lead to bitterness or astringency. We think we did well with this wine! It is pretty and smooth.

 


 

2010 Chardonnay

NOTES

January 2019 – Sarah O’Herron
Ah… the year California came to Maryland. A warm and very very dry season resulted in a nice fruit set, healthy grapes and concentrated wines. The 2010 Chardonnay is lower in acid than our typical Chardonnay, but we think it is well balanced on the palate. This wine is ripe and fresh with wonderful mouthfeel. This is also the last chardonnay where muscat makes an appearance (it is now typically blended in the Bedlam). We decided to make this change because we thought muscat flavor profile was overwhelming the flavors produced by the chardonnay, and we wanted the grape to shine! Chardonnay does very well at Black Ankle and we wanted to showcase the fruit. This wine is 80% chardonnay, 13% muscat and 7% viognier. We made a tiny 48 cases!

 


 

Rolling Hills

 

2008 Rolling Hills

NOTES

December 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
Primarily Merlot, the 2008 RH is a generous, approachable wine with good structure and great fruit. It has the highest % of Merlot we have ever used in a RH blend along with an unusually high 5% Syrah, and the 80% new oak barrels used to age the wine is more typical of Crumbling Rock.

 


 

2011 Rolling Hills

NOTES

October 2018 - Denise Gardner
The wine is holding up beautifully, still had some really nice red fruit and is aging well. Very soft tannins with roasted coffee and cocoa flavors.

June 2019 - Ed Boyce
The fruit in this wine is still very nice! 2011 was a very interesting vintage for us. This wine has surpassed expectations -- it is still extremely nice! :-) Other 2011's I might suggest drinking sooner rather than later, but I think this one still has a few years left if you wish to continue aging! 


 

11/12/13 Rolling Hills

NOTES

December 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
This wine is the first and only non-vintage RH we have blended at BAV, although it is almost 80% from 2012 (it would need to be 85% to be labeled as 2012). A fruit forward wine with a little extra juiciness added from a few barrels of 2013 and a little extra structure from a few barrels of 30 month aged 2011, the 11/12/13 should have many years of fine drinking ahead of it.

 


 

Albariño

 

2015 Albariño

NOTES

June 2017 -- Richard Leahy (Wine Blog)
Slightly spritzy, pale color. Nose: racy lime/mineral, white pepper and grapefruit zest. Palate: dry and racy but full-bodied, both racy and round; stylish.

 


 

Syrah

 

2008 Syrah

NOTES

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
It is a deep garnet color with aromas of black olive, roasted meat, tobacco leaf and freshly-sharpened pencils on the nose. It has dark fruit flavors, a robust palate weight, and structured tannins.

 


 

2009 Syrah

NOTES

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
The 2009 Syrah is a bit of a blend. We added Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec to round out the palate weight and add some robust mouth feel. This is characteristically a Black Ankle Syrah with depth, complexity, and balance. I would recommend trying it with sour raspberry jam on brie, grilled beef with black pepper or sautéed mushrooms.

 


 

2011 Syrah

NOTES

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
Our 2011 Syrah is showing beautifully. It has a lovely aromatic nose and lively fruit and palate weight. We can’t get enough of this wine right now. It is 100% Syrah and spent 18 months in French Oak, 60% new.

 


 

2012 Syrah

NOTES

November 2018 – Sarah O’Herron
We made both the Syrah and its big brother the Leaf-Stone in 2012. The 2012 is 100% Syrah, and spent 18 months in French oak barrels, 87% new. This wine has silky tannins and bright fruit notes followed by hints of smoke, leather and mushrooms. It will be a nice complement to winter stews, roasted meats and vegetables.