Avenius Sauvignon Blanc | 2017 | $36
This vintage expresses the coolness of the Avenius vineyard site. This wine is medium bodied, but extremely dense, focused and concentrated. There is a saline quality that makes one crave shellfish. Racy, edgy, crystalline acidity gives a very long persistent finish. Aromas are pungent and include: gun powder, lime zest, and chalk dust.
Simple fresh shellfish, smoked fish, cold shrimp, fresh goat cheese.
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 the winery at an elevation of 1,300 feet on a steep northeast facing slope. Soils are well-drained rocky greenstone and shale. The vines were planted in 1996 and are trained on the French lyre trellising system. Clone is unknown. Yields in 2017 were a vine balanced 3 tons per acre or 45 hl/H. Over the last four years much effort has been made to get these older vines back in balance. Changes in pruning, cropping, manuring, and tilling have given us encouraging results.
June and all of July was very dry. Shoot growth was less than normal with very little hedging needed. Young vines and less water retentive soils showed some drought stress. We needed rain, but not the 3.5 inches that fell over a few hours on August 11. The rest of August was uneventful allowing clusters to lose some compactness.
A forecast can sometimes become confused with reality. The beginning of harvest is best remembered by the threats of Harvey, Irma, Maria and Jose. They were no shows, with little affect on quality. September turn out to be fabulous weather! Harvest began about ten days early. The Sauvignon Blanc was picked on September 7 and 9, 2017.
The focus of making Avenius Sauvignon Blanc is to showcase textural density and complexity that comes from the cool Avenius site. Retaining varietal character is not a goal. Terroir trumps variety. The chilled grapes are sorted, destemmed, lightly crushed and pressed and then the juice is allowed to settle overnight. VL3 yeast starts fermentation immediately. The wine fermented for about 30 days at 64F in tank. The wine was aged on lees for 10 months. Bottled in August 2018. Alcohol is 13.9%. 252 cases produced.