2009 Hardscrabble Chardonnay
Crystallized ginger, kiwi, stone dust, lime zest and honeysuckle.
Focused and persistent with an apricot richness and a sappy green apple finish.
Roasted chicken or cornish hens. Sauteed mushrooms. Poached salmon.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well drained rocky, mineral soils give depth, structure and length. Chardonnay vines age from 15 to 25 years. Yields average 3 tons per acre (45 hl/H).
I can best categorize the 2009 growing season at Linden as "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 21 and 22, and October 5, 2009
Grapes were sorted and lightly crushed into the press. Only free run juice from two distinct vineyard blocks were used. Both cultured and native yeast. Some barrels were allowed to go through spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Barrel fermented in new to four year old French oak barrels. Aged on lees for 10 months with stirring. Bottled in August 2010. 332 cases produced. This vintage will improve over several years and plateau around 2014 to 2017.