Snapshot Series #05: 2017 "Directrix" Red Blend

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2017 "Directrix" Red Blend
Snapshot Series #05
Dry Creek Valley
Sonoma County—California

  • 60% Cabernet Franc
  • 40% Syrah

14.8% Alcohol by volume
117 cases produced
Released 2022

In geometry, a directrix is a fixed line that describes a curve or surface. The Latin root, dirigere, means "to guide". A parabola, for example, is a set of all points in a plane that are equidistant between a focus and the directrix. In an ellipse, the directrix prefectly splits the two focii. Directrix is also an archaic spelling of "directress", or the feminine equivalent of 'director'. This wine is a practical exploration of the perfect split between two focii, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Obliquely, it's a wine about relationships – an homage to the women who shape our wines.

The Snapshot series of wines is about moments or ideas that we want to explore and reflect with a wine. Sometimes the wines are about a few ideas at once, and Directrix is a good example of that. This wine started with the goal of spotlighting Cabernet Franc and Syrah. What it became, however, is an exploration of relationships, balance, the nature of influences in winemaking, and about challenging expectations. 

As the blending evolved, we found that both Syrah and Cabernet Franc ere jostling to feel in charge, but we wanted to find the point where the push and the pull felt in balance. Where is the balance point between these two grapes? Can we make the most awesome, grayest area? Can we make the word "neutral" feel like a party? Is balnce a  literal concept or is it more about feel? What would if feel like if Syrah and Cabernet Franc were both the lead singer in Def Leopard? Can we teach ourselves not to make assumptions about the forces that play into a wines character? Can we ask better questions?

We bottled our attempt at answering these questions. Neither Cab Francy nor Syrah-ish. this wine is the best kind of weird; it revels in its vagueness. A lush core of blueberry cobbler and dried figs are wrapped in a briney, savory balnket like dry-cured black olives. The palte is lush and full edge to edge, with a leathery softness and a rolling structure that builds gently and then recedes slowly. Drink now orlay down for 10-15 years.