Avenius Chardonnay | 2016 | $38
A bit of an outlier due to very warm, dry harvest conditions, the 2016 Avenius Chardonnay has more breadth and weight than is typical. However there is the classic core of concentrated mineral acidity that is the tradmark of this terroir.
Roasted chicken, salmon, wild mushrooms.
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 slate. One acre of Chardonnay vines (Dijon clones) were planted in 1996 and are trained on the French lyre trellising system.
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 high nighttime temperatures. Acids dropped faster than normal. Harvest was September 7 and 9, 2016.
The chilled grapes were sorted, pressed, juice settled and then barrel fermented in older French oak barrels and 500 liter puncheons . No malolactic fermentation. Aged sur lie in barrel for 10 months. Bottled August 2017. This wine should plateau from 2019 to 2024. 117 cases produced. Alcohol 13.5%