The 2017 Rosé is back to the classical style with fresh acidity and some underlying tannins. Red fruit and fresh herbs garnish both the aromas and palate. This is more of a food wine because of its structure.
A good wine for picnics or al fresco dining. Cold meats, salmon, smoked fish and tabouleh all work well.
Hardscrabble (80%): the estate vineyard on the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well drained granite soils give cherry character and good structure. Vine ages from 3 to 31 years.
Boisseau (15%): Western facing with loamy soils, it is in the Shenandoah Valley in the town of Front Royal, about 6 miles from Linden.
Avenius Vineyard (5%) is located on the Blue Ridge one half mile north of Linden Vineyards at an elevation of 1,300 feet on a steep east facing slope. Soils are well drained, rocky, greenstone and granite.
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 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. However fears of their potential impact did influence picking decisions. Harvest began about ten days early on August 28.
After a week of hand wringing and watching hurricane tracks, we started to pick young vine Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. They were ripe enough and menacing Harvey and Irma were set to track up the Blue Ridge. The rains never happened. Soils dried out and cool temperatures prevailed for several weeks.
The rest of September was warm and dry setting the stage for one of the best red grape harvests in the 30 years of Linden’s history. 2017 Rosé shows classic verve and acidity with a lean, focused texture and lots of fruit.
The blend is 50% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. This vintage’s Rosé came principally from red grapes dedicated for Rosé. The red grapes were crushed and pressed immediately. Aged sur lie in older 225 liter oak barrels. 233 cases were bottled in March 2018. The alcohol is 13.0%.