2010 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc
Classic warmer climate, ripe Sauvignon with emphasis on herb fruit notes.
A weightier wine than past vintages with moderate acidity and some alcohol (14.4%) warmth.
Rich seafood including scallops and crabs.
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 shale. The vines were planted in 1996 and are trained on the French lyre trellising system. Yields in 2010 were 3 tons per acre or 45 hl/H.
The winter of 2010 was the snowiest since the mid-1990s with as much as 3 feet of snow on the ground. For many weeks it was not possible to get into the vineyards to prune. Even though we were behind schedule, we were planning on a very late start to spring with the ground so cold and wet. This was not to be the case.
Very hot dry conditions that were to be the hallmark of the entire growing season began in April. Bud break was two weeks early. Flowering was almost three weeks early with hot dry conditions continuing. Fruit set was good. Dry conditions reduced shoot growth, so only one light hedging was needed. Leaf pulling was kept to a minimum to avoid excess sun and heat on the clusters. Weed control and mowing was more meticulous than usual in order to reduce water competition with the vines. Fungicide sprays were minimal and terminated in July. A few critical rains in August prevented the vines from serious drought stress, but some of the young vines struggled to fill the canopy and started to yellow their basal leaves.
Sauvignon Blanc harvest was August 30 and September 1, about 2 weeks earlier than normal. As with most of the white wine grapes, the sugars were high, acids low, flavors good. Grapes were very clean and healthy. The concern was that there was a lack of freshness and verve in the juice due to ripening under hot conditions.
The goal of winemaking with Sauvignon Blanc is to retain the fresh, wild, pungent character of the grape, but also showcasing textural weight and complexity that comes from the Avenius site. The chilled grapes are sorted, destemmed, lightly crushed and pressed and then the juice is allowed to settle overnight. VIN13 yeast starts fermentation immediately. The wine ferments for about 30 days at 60F in a stainless steel tank. The wine is aged on its lees with occasional stirring. Bottled in February 2010. 186 cases produced. The 2010 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc is very fruit forward, but will not be a candidate for aging because of lower acidity.