A Tasting of “Nate’s Picks” for October 2013

September 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Nate’s Picks for October 2013:

2012 Petit Manseng

Blend: 100% Petit Manseng

Vineyards: Estate Vineyard #3, South River Vineyard, Amrhein Vineyard

The Wine:  We were fortunate to be able to work with two great growers for additional Petit Manseng fruit in 2012 – South River, in Green County, and Amrhein in Bent Mountain.  These vineyards brought length and expressive varietal characteristics to the blend, while our Estate Vineyard #3 brought ripe fruit, great sugars, and phenomenal acid.  The 2012 vintage is a movement toward less obtrusive oak, as we find ourselves wanting to show the inimitable varietal characteristics of Petit Manseng.  Slightly off-dry, a la the 2010 (if anybody can remember back that far), our Petit Manseng was fermented entirely in French oak, with a winter lees stirring program.

2012 Reserve Chardonnay

Blend: 100% Chardonnay

Vineyards: Estate Vineyard #3, Shenandoah Springs Vineyard

The Wine:  With the 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, we were able to explore blending the barrel ferment piece of both the Estate Vineyard and Shenandoah Springs Vineyard, allowing us to utilize the length and texture of Shenandoah Springs with the ripeness and power of Estate Vineyard #1.  The result is what will probably settle into being the most complex and intriguing Chardonnay from the 2012 vintage.  This wine was held back until the October shipment in hopes that it will be drunk with fall and winter meals, as the wine has more weight than many of our other white wines.

Vendange 2013 Approacheth

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

September 4th, 2013

Although it’s felt like harvest for the past two weeks – walking to work in the morning with dew on the grass and temperatures in the upper 50s always gives me visceral harvest nostalgia – we have not yet started picking.  August has been a refreshing antidote to a relatively wet and vigorous summer, and the surprisingly cool evenings have allowed for some nice, slow ripening, as well as the retention of acids in our whites.  While the main story in our area thus far has been issues with downy mildew due to wetness through the summer, we’ve been fortunate to avoid any significant problems, and are poised to enter this final stage of ripening in good form.

Juice samples patiently awaiting TA analysis.

Juice samples patiently awaiting TA analysis.

Our late bud break, coupled with the cool august, has pushed harvest to the late end of the spectrum.  For example, our ripeness levels suggest that on average we’re about 10-14 days behind last year.  This isn’t a bad thing, though, especially for our early and mid-season ripeners.  Time will tell with grapes like Cab Sauv, which require the most growing degree days of anything we grow, and therefore might not benefit well from the delayed season.  But there’s still a lot of time (and weather) – so we’ll just have to wait and see.

As it stands, we’re looking at bringing in some early blocks next week.  But we’ll wait and see how things ripen through this coming weekend before making any solid decisions.  That press is getting impatient!

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