2005 Petit Verdot
Wild strawberries, new leather, bouquet garni. dusty Tuscan road.
Rich, ripe and gnarly. Ripe, dried fruit (prune Danish) middle with big gripping tannins.
Grilled lamb or beef.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (62%), 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 and berry character and good structure. Vine ages from 9 to 21 years. Avenius Vineyard (38%), Warren Co. is just 1 mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet contributes good acidity and verve. Vine age is 9 years.
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 in the later ripening reds. 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 Octber was mild and dry. Harvest was from October 21 to 30, 2007.
We hand sort before destemming and then again afterwards to remove pink berries and stem pieces. Fermentation begins naturally in small one ton fermentors. We punch down by hand once or twice per day. Pressing takes place after about 7 to 10 days, usually well before fermentations are complete. The wine was aged in new and old (neutral) oak barrels and puncheons (French and Hungarian) for 18 months. Unfined and unfiltered. 82% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. 308 cases produced. Drink now through 2015.