Boxwood Winery Ames IA
Fort Madison, IA
Boxwood Winery: New Releases
Boxwood is one of Virginia’s growing number of new wineries producing world class wines. Established some six years ago in historic Middleburg, by John Kent Cooke, son of the late Jack Kent Cooke, (entrepreneur, philanthropist and professional sports owner) Boxwood is now in its third vintage and is currently managed by Rachel Martin, John Kent Cooke’s daughter. The International Wine Review visited Boxwood in early May, 2010 and tasted its new 2008-2009 releases. Tasting notes and rating are provided below. First some background information on the winery.
The Boxwood Estate consists of 160 acres of which 16 acres are currently planted. The vineyard site was planned with the assistance of the talented viticulturist, Lucy Morton, and is tightly spaced with 2010 vines per acre on rocky granite and clay soils. A variety of clones and rootstocks of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Malbec suitable for local conditions were carefully selected. The vineyard has good exposure to breezes which helps deal with Virginia’s hot and humid weather. Like Bordeaux, Virginia’s climate is unpredictable and vintage variation is the norm.
Wine making at Boxwood is in the capable hands of Canadian, Adam Mc Taggart, formerly with Malivoire Wine Company in Ontario. He has been assisted since 2006 by the renowned Bourdalaise wine consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt. Derenencourt has been introducing several changes in the vineyard and winery during bi-monthly visits to Virginia. These include the use of gravity, more gentle destermming, pigeage (punching downs of the cap, and delestage during fermentation. (Delestage introduces oxygen into the fermentation process to stabilize fruit and color and soften tannins).
Boxwood produces two Bordeaux blends, Topiary, which consists of Cabernet Franc Merlot, and Malbec and Boxwood, which contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petite Verdot. It also produces a rosé from Cabernet Franc. Total annual production is about 2,000 cases. 2008 saw a very wet and early spring, a cool and wet summer, dry and warm weather during harvest.
Boxwood is a young winery with great potential. They have passion, a commitment to quality, and the resources to produce great wine. What a welcome addition to the Virginia wine scene! We plan to follow their progress and encourage all of our readers to taste Boxwood wines and make an appointment to visit the winery the next time they plan to be in Middleburg.
Here are our tasting notes and ratings of Boxwood’s new releases and the current vintage.
Boxwood 2009 Rose’ Virginia ($12) 88
This salmon pink Cabernet Franc rosé is fresh, crisp and delicious for summer drinking. It has crushed red fruit flavors with mineral notes on the palate, good acidity and a long dry finish. This is a pleasant easy-drinking wine offered at a good price. Fermented in stainless steel with lees conta...