2003 Bittersweet


Notes of mint, eucalyptus, sage, and blackberries; focused and structured with bright acidity & good grip at the finish.


Roasted herbs, black currant, blueberries & toast.

Food Pairings

Robust meat dishes, stews or potatoes roasted with rosemary.


Hardscrabble Vineyard (50%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well-drained mineral soils give cherry character and good structure. Vine ages from 8 to 13 years. Vines are trained to both Lyre and Geneva Double Curtain.

Avenius Vineyard (50%), Warren Co. is just 1 mile north of Hardscrabble Vineyard at 1,300 feet contributes good acidity and verve. Vine age is 7 years. Vines are trained to Geneva Double Curtain.


2003 was a difficult vintage both in terms of yields and concentration for most of our harvest. The exception was Petit Verdot. As the growing season unfolded, it became evident that in order to ripen our red grapes we would have to greatly reduce yields. This is because of a cool, cloudy summer that slowed vine and fruit development. Severe cluster thinning began in July and continued into September. It was not until October that we experienced some good warm sunny weather. The Petit Verdot started to dry and shrivel on the vine. Their flavors and intensity reminded us of Italian Amarones. Harvest of the dried berries was from late October through early November 2003.


100% Petit Verdot. The grapes were double sorted (before and then after destemming). Native yeast and daily punch downs. Aged in 50% American oak and 50% French oak for 20 months.140 cases produced. This wine is made for long term bottle aging.