Thursday, March 5, 2009

Boordy's Cab Franc figures to be excellent stew

What I didn’t ask Rob Deford of Boordy Vineyards in Hydes, Md., was how long it takes to invent the names for some of their monthly events. One example is this month’s, a Stew in Our Juices promotion that features stews made with Boordy wine. This comes on the heels of its February promotion, called Fond of You Fondue.

“We just got the highest compliment,” Deford said by phone yesterday afternoon. “We just saw another winery has picked that name up in Virginia.”

Deford said business through this dark stretch since the holiday, both literally and economically, has been good. “People seem to recognize that coming here is an antidote to spending a lot of money on a cruise ship,” he deadpanned. “We seem to be in good shape.”

Waiting on the horizon are the annual events at the winery and festivals around Maryland. Also sitting around is Boordy’s ’07 Cab Franc, which Deford said has turned him into an overanxious parent.

“It looks to be just wonderful,” he said. “That was the vintage that was really quite perfect in every way. The franc has lots of wonderful qualities to it.”

There’s not a whole lot, only in the vicinity of 1,200 gallons that Deford said is out of a total production of 90,000. That small amount translates to about 500 cases. There are a couple of reasons for the limited supply.

“It s limited to basically what the acreage in our 1 acre vineyard produces, in Burkittsville, that’s out near Frederick, and there’s a guy over the hill, a very capable producer, who produces a little bit for us as well,” Deford said. “That’s what limits it. We’re doing extreme crop management levels with the consequence that it’s just not a lot of wine.”

Expect the release sometime in April and May. Deford said the lot will sell out, as it typically does, and not necessarily overnight. “We don’t put a big push on it just because it’s going to run out, it does every year,” he said. “We don’t take it around to a lot of places.”

Deford said a bottle of the Cab Franc typically sells for $14. “We’re trying to just hold the line,” he said. “I am constantly humbled by the wines that are out there at reasonable prices, and I guess you can play that game many ways. But I always feel like I’m building for the next hundred years, and I really want Maryland wines to be viewed, and regional, forget the political boundaries, to be viewed as real contenders in the value sector.”

This one, he said, should be one of those contenders. “So many things can happen to a wine that can either surprise you on the upside or downside,” he said. “But right now it’s looking like it will be a very nice bottle of wine.”

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