2009 Late Harvest Vidal $23.00

Aromas:

white flowers, sweet cream, straw, candle wax and nutmeg

Palate:

focused and elegant, a bit honeyed with a long, bright ginger-like finish.

Food Pairings:

rich, decadent main courses such as foie gras or desserts that feature fruits — especially apricots, peaches, pears or dried fruits. Very ripe triple cream cheeses and sheep cheeses from the Pyrenees and Virginia.

Vineyard:

Hardscrabble Vineyard (100%), Fauquier County, on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1300 feet on a northeastern slope. Deep, well-drained granitic soils. The block dedicated to Late Harvest is on a rocky slope and was planted in 1985. Wine yield was 20hl/H .

 

Vintage:

I can best categorize the 2009 growing season at Linden as “uncommonly lucky”. It was a vintage that started as alarmingly awful and ended spectacularly sweet; again reinforcing the adage “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”. Bud break was on April 20, which is the historical average date. There were no freeze or frost issues, but May and early June were dreary, cool and damp. We were hearing the dreaded 2003 date come up in grower conversations. Flowering was from early to mid-June. Weather conditions had improved slightly and concerns of poor fruit set were largely unfounded, with the exception of vines on more vigorous soils. However, flowering was prolonged due to cooler temperatures. As the summer progressed, weather conditions improved. The remainder of June was manageable, July was typical with only the occasional thunderstorm and August was dry, but cooler than normal. It was obvious at veraison that it would be a late season. “Uncommonly lucky” refers to an amazingly dry stretch during harvest. Northern Virginia was spared from the significant rains that soaked areas to the north, east, south and west. It was a great vintage for Late Harvest Vidal with mineral acidity, good textural balance and ripe flavor profiles. Harvest was November 16, 2009

Winemaking:

100% Vidal, the grapes are frozen and pressed while frozen. Only the first thawed juice is used (AKA icewine). The wine fermented slowly in old French oak and was stopped by chilling (putting the barrels outside in February) to retain fruit and sweetness. This wine will become more honeyed and spicier with age. Bottled in August 2011. 107 cases (375 ml) produced. Alcohol 13.3%. Resdiual sugar 80 grams/liter.