2005 Hardscrabble Chardonnay
[tasting notes November 2016: golden color; sweet golden delicious apple and very ripe melon on nose. Rich and weighty with lots of volume. Enough acidity to keep it fresh. Drink now with pleasure (JL)]
Ripe Golden Delicious apple, hazelnuts and wet straw.
Full bodied, yeasty, sappy concentration with moderate acidity and a slightly toasty finish.
Rich fish (salmon or swordfish), roasted chicken with lemon thyme, Mushroom dishes.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well drained rocky, mineral soils give depth, structure and length. Chardonnay vines age from 12 to 21 years. Yields average 3 tons per acre (45 hl/H).
The vintage started very slowly with a very cool spring, delaying bud break several weeks past normal. Early summer was slightly dry and cool, but became progressively warmer. A welcomed hot August helped accelerate veraison and ripening. We were still a few days behind normal ripening as September gave us perfect warm days and cool nights. The Chardonnay grapes had wonderful concentration and aromatics. Acids were lower than normal. Little or no sorting was required. There was essentially no rain in September, which gave great concentration and sap to the wines. Harvest was October 3, 2005.
Grapes were sorted and lightly crushed into the press. Only free run juice from two distinct vineyard blocks were used. All native yeast and spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Barrel fermented in one to four year old French oak barrels. Aged on lees for 10 months with minimal stirring. Bottled in August 2006. 378 cases produced.