2011 Petit Verdot
December 2018: Tasting Notes
The nose is very complex and welcoming. Red cherry compote with lots of fresh herbs (thyme and oregano). The palate is lean, sinewy, and dense with an explosion of tannin and acidity at the finish.
Drink now or wait a bit longer for the finish to calm down.
Medium bodied, acid framed with chewy tannins.
Dried herbs, Indian spices, smoke.
Braised meats, chili, barbecued ribs, or pasta.
Hardscrabble (70%): the estate vineyard on the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well drained granite soils give cherry character and good structure. Vine ages from 3 to 27 years.
Boisseau (20%): Western facing with loamy soils, it is in the Shenandoah Valley in the town of Front Royal, about 6 miles from Linden.
Avenius Vineyard (10%) is located on the Blue Ridge one-half mile north of Linden Vineyards at an elevation of 1,300 feet on a steep east facing slope. Soils are well drained, rocky, greenstone and granite.
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 Sauvignon Blanc 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. Berry degradation and botrytis rot dictated picking schedules. Many a cluster was left in the vineyard. Sorting tables were running slowly. Winemaking was cautious and erring on the safe side: no cold soak, no native fermentations, short cuvaisons, and little new oak. Declassification was the mantra. No single vineyard reds were bottled. Claret and Petit Verdot comprised of the best lots.In sum, 2011 vintage produced vibrant, early drinking, fresh reds.
We hand sorted before destemming and then again afterwards to remove compromised berries and stem pieces. Fermentation began by adding cultured yeast. Extraction techniques for Petit Verdot were very gentle. Temperatures were cooler, pump overs less frequent and time on skins were reduced. The wine was aged in older oak barrels, puncheons (French and Hungarian) and a concrete egg for 20 months. 90% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.3% alc.142 cases produced. Drink through 2018.