2008 Vidal Riesling
Clementine zest, honeydew melon, nutmeg, florist’s shop.
Off dry. Granny Smith apples and mangoes, stony slate, mineral finish with a bright, refreshing spritz.
Chinese take-out, charcuterie, or spicy shrimp.
Hardscrabble (Estate) Fauquier Co., on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1,100 to 1,300 feet on an eastern slope. Deep, well drained, volcanic-origin greenstone and granite soils. Double Guyot, Lyre and Geneva Double Curtain training. Vine age is 4 to 24 years.
Summer was wetter than normal, but each month progressively became hotter and drier. Most of August was a drought, putting a much needed halt to vine vegetative growth. Very late August through most of September alternated between 2 or 3 days of rain and 4 or 5 days of sunny, warm conditions. October was gloriously dry, sunny and warm. In the vineyard, because of the wetter than normal conditions, canopy and cover crop management required much precision and labor. Leaf pulling severity was much more extreme than 2007. The rains of September caused some Botrytis rot in the riesling. Fortunately the rot was mostly of ‘good quality’ (very little sour rot), but sorting was a major task in 2008. Natural acidities were quite high. The 2008 Vidal-Riesling is very mineral driven (similar to 2006) with bright acidity, low to moderate alcohols, and slightly botrytis influenced exotic aromas. Harvest was September 19 through October 8, 2008.
The goal is to retain the fresh fruit characteristics of each grape. Riesling contributes aroma, tropical fruit and acidity; Vidal gives spice, weight, and structure. The blend is cold fermented. Fermentation is stopped by chilling when the residual sweetness is in balance with the fruit and acidity. The wine is bottled in late winter and is immediately ready to drink. 71% Vidal, 29% Riesling. 991 cases produced.