“The 2016 Le Petit Caporal is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc and 27% Merlot, all aged for 16 months in an 80/20 mixture of French and American oak (in well-used oak for nine months, and then in neutral oak for seven more—giving a somewhat different slant to that 200% oak trope we sometimes hear). It comes in at 13.2% alcohol. This is meant as a tribute to grower Sam Argetsinger. It is from the Hoffman Vineyard, a steep slope and a terraced vineyard.
Wow. This might be the best red I've had from Ravines. It's certainly a contender. This is only the second vintage here, and it fortuitously comes in the warmer 2016 vintage, which seems to be a nice choice for reds in particular. This is beautifully focused, tightly wound, intense and sporting a real backbone. The depth is more than reasonable for a cool climate—not that it will remind anyone of Napa, but that's not the point. Take this on its terms. It has finesse yet density, power yet elegance. It tastes great and should age brilliantly. Nowhere near ready, this could use a few years in the cellar. It might age for 20 years.” 92 points, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate; Mark Squires, 6/28/19
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.
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.