2008 Late Harvest Vidal
Dense, focused and elegant, a bit honeyed with a long, bright ginger-like finish.
White flowers, sweet cream, straw, candle wax and nutmeg.
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 and Virginia.
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 block dedicated to Late Harvest is on a rocky slope and was planted in 1985. Wine yield was 20hl/H .
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. Natural acidities were quite high. Harvest was November 11 and 18, 2008.
100% Vidal, the grapes are frozen and pressed while frozen. Only the first thawed juice is used (AKA icewine). The wine fermented slowly in old French oak and was stopped by chilling (putting the barrels outside in February) to retain fruit and sweetness. This wine will become more honeyed and spicier with age. Bottled in February 2010. 154 cases (375 ml) produced.