Classic Village Chardonnay with a generous ripeness and weight with medium acidity and a dry finish. Nutmeg, ripe pear, rising bread dough, melon rind and hay.
Lightly seasoned poultry or pork.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (60%), 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 acidity and good structure. Vines planted in 1985, 1988, 1994 and 2010. VSP and French Lyre training systems.
Boisseau Vineyard (30%), 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. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.
Avenius Vineyard (10%), Warren Co. just 1 mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet, contributes good acidity and verve. Vines planted in 1998.
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 nighttime temperatures. Acids dropped faster than normal. Harvest was September 7 through 14, 2016.
Chilled grapes were sorted, pressed, juice settled and then barrel fermented warm (70’s F) in old, neutral French oak. No malolactic fermentation. Aged sur lie in barrel for 10 months. The 2016 Village Chardonnay is a blend of some declassified Hardscrabble and Boisseau barrels along with press juice from all three vineyard sites. 242 cases produced. This wine will improve in the bottle for several years past vintage. Alcohol 13.4%.