2010 Late Harvest Vidal
Honey, rich, unctuous, decadent.
Orange marmalade, preserved lemon, Christmas spices.
Triple cream cheeses, pate.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier Co., on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1,300 feet on the northeastern slope. Deep, ell-drained granitic soils. Vines were rooted and planted in 1985. Wine yield was 15 hl/H.
Very hot, dry conditions that were to be the hallmark of the entire growing season beginning in April. Bud break was to weeks early. Flowering was almost three weeks early with hot, dry conditions continuing. 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 young vines struggled to fill the canopy and started to yellow their basal leaves. Vidal sugars were high acids low, flavors good. Grapes were vey clean and healthy. The concern was that there was a lack of freshness and verve in the juice due to ripening under hot conditions.
100% Vidal, the grapes are frozen and pressed while frozen. Only the first thawed juice is used (AKA ice wine). The wine fermented slowly (18 months) in old French oak. This wine becomes more honeyed an spicier with age. Bottled in February 2013. 9.1% alcohol and 251 grams of residual sugars. 8.1 g/l TA. 44 cases (375 ml) produced.