2004 Late Harvest Petit Manseng

Aromas:

Asian spices (nutmeg and cinnamon), orange zest, pungent honeysuckle, poached apricots.

Palate:

Summer thistle honey, crème brûlée, and fresh figs, with a long bracing finish.

Food Pairings:

Rich, decadent main courses such as foie gras or desserts that feature fruits — especially apricots, peaches, pears or dried fruits. Very ripe triple cream cheeses and sheep cheeses from the Pyrenees.

Vineyard:

Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier County, on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1300 feet on a northeastern slope. Deep, well-drained granitic soils. This small Petit Manseng block was planted in 2002. This vintage was the first harvest.

Vintage:

2004 can best be categorized as a roller coaster vintage. The growing season was quite good, with a very early flowering due to a hot May, below normal summer temperatures, and slightly higher than normal rainfall. The harvest was quite good for regular harvest with the exception of heavy rains that fell in mid-September. October brought good sun and dry weather giving good concentration to the late harvest (November 8, 2004) of Petit Manseng.

Winemaking:

100% Petit Manseng, the grapes are frozen and pressed while frozen. Only the first thawed juice is used (AKA icewine). The wine fermented slowly in French oak barrels and was stopped by chilling to retain fruit and sweetness. This wine should become more honeyed and spicier with age. Bottled in August 2005. 50 cases (375 ml).