[tasted Dec. 2016: nose of sweet melon and hazelnut. Lush, ripe and integrated. Lowish acid for Avenius. Drink now (JL)]

2009 Avenius Chardonnay

Aromas:

White flowers, wet stone, pear and white peach.

Palate:

Lean and racy with a snappy density and persistent mineral acidity.

Food Pairing

Traditional French cream based seafood dishes. Oysters on the half shell, or smoked trout.

Vineyard

Avenius Vineyard is owned and operated by Shari Avenius, who is also Linden Vineyard’s director. It is located on the Blue Ridge one half mile north of Linden Vineyards at an elevation of 1,300 feet on a steep northeast facing slope. Soils are well-drained rocky greenstone and slate. The Chardonnay vines were planted in 1996 and are trained on the French lyre trellising system.

Vintage

The 2009 growing season at Linden was “uncommonly lucky.” It was a vintage that started as alarmingly awful and ended spectacularly sweet. May and early June were dreary, cool and damp. As the summer progressed, weather conditions improved. The remainder of June was manageable, July was typical with only the occasional thunderstorm and August was dry, but cooler than normal.

“Uncommonly lucky” refers to an amazingly dry stretch during harvest. Northern Virginia was spared from the significant rains that soaked areas to the north, east, south and west. It was a great vintage for Chardonnay with bracing mineral acidity, good textural weight and ripe flavor profiles. Harvest was September 15 and 21, 2009

Winemaking:

The chilled grapes were sorted, pressed, juice settled and then barrel fermented in older French oak barrels and 500 liter puncheons. No malolactic fermentations. Aged sur lie in barrel for 10 months. Bottled August 2010. This wine should plateau from 2013 to 2017. 150 cases produced.