Le Petit Caporal is an homage to the spirit of adventures and leaders; people of strength and integrity who are born to change the world. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc from the stellar Argetsinger and Glen Eldridge vienyeards bordering Tug Hollow Creek, which carves its way through a deep ravines to the Eastside of Seneca Lake.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (68%), Cabernet Franc (28%), and Merlot (4%) from the Argetsinger and Glen Eldridge Vineyard, located on the South-East side of Seneca Lake.
The Argetsinger Vineyard is located on the Southeast side of Seneca Lake below the village of Burdett. The Cabernet Franc block is on the lowest portion of the vineyard with a higher clay content, which favors this variety. The vines utilize the Verticle Shoot Positioning trellis system.
The Glen Eldridge Vineyard is located below the Argetsinger Vineyard. It is a very steep, terraced vineyard located on what is perhaps the best protected vineyard site in the entire Finger Lakes region.
2015 was a fairly warm and sunny growing season. While the early part of the growing season was fairly wet, from fruit set forward the conditions were very favorable with warm and dry weather. This allowed us to reach full ripeness by the time our growing season came to an end on October 18. The grapes were all hand harvested within a 48 hour period.
The grapes were fully destemmed and crushed on their way to the open-top fermenters. After gradually warming for 5-6 days, the fermentation started. The grapes were punched down several times daily with multiple pump-overs primarily during the early and middle parts of the fermentation. After three weeks of skin contact, the fermenters were drained and the skins bucketed out by hand to the press. The free run and gentle press fractions were combined in stainless steel tanks for several days prior to transfer to barrels. The components were aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak with a five year rotation (20% new oak) until early September. At this time, the components were blended and transferred to neutral oak barrels for an additional six months of barrel aging. The wine saw very loose filtration on its way to the bottling line.