2013 Riesling Vidal
Fresh sweet fruit entry evolves seamlessly to mineral acidity.
Orange rind, mint, and underripe peach.
Asian cuisine, spicy sausages, and any dish that goes well with beer.
Hardscrabble (Estate) Fauquier Co., on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1,100 to 1,300 feet on the eastern slope. Deep, well-drained, volcanic-origin greenstone and granite soils. Lyre training. Vines planted in 1997.
2013 was a difficult growing season that metamorphosed into a fabulous fall harvest. Bud break was very late. Most of the summer was wet, resulting in unruly vegetative growth and extra vineyard work. August continued this pattern until the last week when the weather broke. Every vintage has its personality. Much like raising children, some vintages require more intervention and guidance as vines, through no fault of their own, take on a bit of a wild streak. Ample water availability during the growing season makes vines unruly, like kids fed too much sugary junk food. This was the case for the growing season of 2013—until September.
September defines the quality and stye of the wine. The bad behavior of the previous six months can be forgiven and forgotten if September is bright and sunny. September 2013 rewarded us for all our diligence during the growing season. The wild child of summer finally found a niche and thrived into adulthood. With the exception of one brief rain shower, we had no rain in September. This was quite remarkable in the mid Atlantic. In Autumn, dusty gravel roads and brown grass gladden the winemaker’s heart. Days were warm and sunny; nights were very cool. Ripening was slow, preserving very fresh acidity and aromatics in the Riesling. 2013 grapes stylistically were exactly what we wanted: moderate sugars, high acids and loads of minerality. Harvest was September 18 (Riesling) and October 2 (Vidal).
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 cool fermented. The wine was bottled in May 2014. It was ready to drink after one or two years of bottle age.58% Riesling and 42% Vidal. 2.6% alcohol. 24 grams of residual sugar. 7.9 grams/liter tritratable acidity. 127 cases produced. Drink through 2019.