Orange zest, fresh straw, mineral water, sea salt and vanilla cream.
Dances in the mouth, enters creamy with some fat then goes lean with an acid zing and a pithy finish.
Pairs with anything that comes from the water!
Hardscrabble Vineyard (65%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well-drained mineral soils give acidity and good structure. Vines planted in 1985, 1988 and 1994. VSP and French Lyre training systems.
Avenius Vineyard (20%), Warren Co. is just 1 mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet contributes good acidity and verve. Vines planted in 1998.
Boisseau Vineyard (15%), Warren Co. is located on a bluff above Front Royal in the Shenandoah Valley at an elevation of 600 feet. The vineyard is west facing on light, deep, well drained loam soils. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.
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. Early ripening grape varieties such as Chardonnay were showing concentrated and expressive flavor profiles. We were ready for our 7th good harvest in a row.
It was not to be. 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.
Fortunately the Boisseau chardonnay grapes were harvested before the rains, and Avenius just as the rains started. The Hardscrabble took the brunt of the rain. This resulted in copious botrytis which was allowed to develop. This gave the wine a richer, more exotic flavor profile.
Drink now through 2015.
Chilled grapes were sorted, pressed, juice settled and then barrel fermented in both new and older French oak. No malolactic fermentation. Aged sur lie in barrel for 10 months. This 2011 Linden Chardonnay is comprised of declassified Hardscrabble Chardonnay barrels along with press wine or Boisseau and Avenius. 142 cases produced. This wine will improve in the bottle for several years.