2005 Late Harvest Vidal

Aromas:

Tropical fruits including mango and lychee. Dried apricots, honeysuckle, caramelized sugar, maple sugar and exotic spices.

Palate:

Sweet nectar and persimmons, dense and opulent, warming and lush.

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.

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. The Vidal vines are 21 years old.

Vintage:

Much of the growing season was cool, but a welcome hot August helped accelerate veraison and ripening, although we were still a few days behind normal as September approached. There was essentially no rain in September, but we were worried about drought stress. We were in that unusual situation where we were hoping for some rain during harvest to refresh the vines. We got more than we bargained for. Tammy dropped 4.5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period in early October. Picking stopped for 2 weeks as we waited for the soil, canopies and most importantly berries to dry out. Immediately after Tammy we had a very discouraging week of misty weather (NorEasterner) that did not add additional accumulation, but prevented things from drying out. The rest of October was mild and dry. Vidal harvest was on November 9, 2005.

Winemaking:

100% Vidal, 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 April 2006. 244 cases of half bottles produced.