2016 Petit Manseng demi-sec $24.00
Aromas: Apricots and almonds, exotic fruits.
Flavors: Full bodied with some sweetness (18 grams of sugar/liter) to balance acidity.
Food pairings: spicy Asian cuisine. Sausages and pork.
Vineyard: Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), 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 cherry character and good structure. Vine ages from 3 to 15 years.
Vintage: A somewhat uneventful winter gave way to a warm, dry March that stimulated an early bud swell. Late April through most of May was very wet and cloudy. The vines did not look healthy with pale green leaves, slow shoot development and a fair amount of phomopsis scars.
The wet weather pattern broke in late May and flowering was very successful under ideal conditions. The rest of June and early July was typical with occasional thunderstorms. By late July we saw browning grass and cessation of new growth, always a welcome sign. Heavy thundershowers in early August stimulated some vines in more clay-based soils, but vineyard blocks in low water holding capacity soils remained in balance.
The rest of August through most of September was very dry. September was uncommonly warm, including nighttime temperatures. Acids droped faster than normal resulting in decisions not to make a Late Harvest Ptit Manseng and focusing our efforts on a demi-sec style. Harvest was October 6, 2016.
Winemaking: Cool fermentation in stainless steel was stopped by chilling to preserve some sweetness. Bottled March 2017. 175 cases produced. Drink through 2020. Alcohol 14.7%. Residual Sugar 1.8%.