2011 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc
Re-soundly on the mineral spectrum of Sauvignon Blanc with wet stones, some sea shell and some mown hay.
Very refreshing Sauvignon with grapefruit and under-ripe pear mid-palate fruit, then a long bracing acidity.
Cold ocean oysters, goat cheese, smoked fish, fresh peas.
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 2011 were 3.5 tons per acre or 50 hl/H.
The majority of the growing season of 2011 was close to perfect with dry, warm conditions all summer. Vines were in good balance with a little water stress by late August. Sauvignon Blanc was showing concentrated and expressive flavor profiles. We were ready for our 7th good harvest in a row.
Not so fast. The rains started in late August with the, albeit brief, appearance of the residual rains of Irene. This one event was not a problem. The vines needed some refreshment and the clusters were unaffected. Unfortunately Irene was just the beginning of a series of rain events that lasted through the entire month of September.
Sauvignon Blanc was mature enough to harvest before any significant negative impact of the rains. We were forced to pick a bit early, so the acidity is very bracing when the wine is young. In sum, 2011 vintage produced vibrant, mineral driven Sauvignon Blanc.
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 2012. 328 cases produced. Drink now through 2013.