Petit Verdot | 2015 | $32
Indian spices, wild blackberries, espresso finish.
Balsam, smoky, Bing cherry.
Pesto, white pizza, marinated Portobello mushrooms, charcuterie.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (85%), 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 tannin structure. Vine ages from 15 to 25 years.
Boisseau Vineyard (10%), Warren Co. is located on a bluff above Front Royal in the Shenandoah Valley at an elevation of 600 feet. The vineyard is west facing on light, deep, well-drained loam soils. Boisseau contributes ‘fat’ to the blend. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.
Avenius Vineyard (5%), Warren Co. just one mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet, contributes good acidity and verve. Petit Verdot planted in 1998.
The winter of 2014/15 was colder than average, but unlike the winter of 2013/14, there was no vine or bud damage. Bud break was slightly late. May was unusually dry and consequentially accelerated growth and flowering. Right around flowering June turned very wet, however pollination and berry set was successful, as temperatures remained warm. Wet spells continued into July and we were bracing ourselves for a possible negative impact on wine quality. The rains stopped in mid-July, but shoot growth continued into early August, which is later than ideal. With a very dry August, vine growth stopped and vines were in good balance going into harvest. September gave us ideal conditions for ripening. Threats of rain never came to fruition. Harvest was compressed with never a day off. Rains in late September forced an early picking of Petit Verdot. This gave us the opportunity to employ new (to us) winemaking techniques that brought out the best of vintage circumstances.
We hand sorted before destemming and then again afterwards to remove compromised berries and stem pieces. Extraction techniques for Petit Verdot were much gentler than in previous years. Fermentation temperatures are cooler, pump overs less frequent and time on skins was short (one week). Carmenere was co-fermented with Petit Verdot. The wine was aged primarily in tank along with a few older oak barrels. Bottled August 2016. 97% Petit Verdot, and 3% Carmenere. 13.4% alcohol by volume. 331 cases produced. Drink through 2020.