2010 Vidal Riesling
Ripe papaya, strawberries & cream, pastry and autumn spices.
Enjoy paired with a winter squash soup, root vegetables, grains with lots of butter or Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings.
Hardscrabble (Estate) Fauquier Co., on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1,100 to 1,300 feet on an eastern slope. Deep, well drained, volcanic-origin greenstone and granite soils. Lyre training. Vines planted in 1997.
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.
Riesling harvest was August 30 and Vidal was September 15, 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. Drink now through 2013.
The goal is to retain the fresh fruit characteristics of each grape. Riesling contributes aroma, tropical fruit and acidity; Vidal gives spice, weight, and structure. The blend is cold fermented. Fermentation is stopped by chilling when the residual sweetness is in balance with the fruit and acidity. The wine is bottled in late winter and is immediately ready to drink. 81% Vidal, 19% Riesling. 695 cases produced.