Lemon thyme, orange zest and pear.
Stone fruits, such as plum & peach, some citrus but more weight and creaminess than past vintages.
Enjoy with shellfish, smoked salmon or lemon chicken.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (2.0 acres of Seyval) on the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1200 feet keeps temperatures as cool as possible and preserves crisp, clean fruit aromas. Well drained shale and silt clay loam. Vineyard trained to both Lyre and VSP. Yields were 4 tons per acre. Vine ages 21 and 26 years.
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.
Seyval harvest was August 16, a record early harvest. 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.
Grapes are hand sorted before crushing and pressing. Cold fermentation preserves the freshness of the grape. No oak is used. Seyval is bottled in the winter and is ready to drink by summer. A bit of residual CO2 from fermentation gives the wine a bit of spritz. It is best when consumed within two to three years of bottling when it is fresh and lively. 492 cases produced. Drink now through 2013.