Hark Vineyards, Monticello (Virginia) “Spark” 2019

($48):  This Cabernet Franc-dominate Bordeaux blend confirms what Thomas Jefferson knew centuries ago: Virginia’s Monticello AVA, located in the middle of state, is good place to grow grapes and make wine.  Hark’s mid-weight Spark does actually light up the palate.  A “just right” amount of structure provides a backbone to this plummy red without being intrusive.  A 13 percent stated alcohol reminds us that you don’t need super ripe grapes to make a super wine.  Drink now with grilled meat or cellar without fear because it will develop more character with a few years of bottle age.  For those interested in the specifics of the blend: Cabernet Franc 46%, Merlot 30%, and Petit Verdot.
93 Michael Apstein May 7, 2024