Accolades: Gold Medal, 2020 Governor’s Cup Competition; 94 pts, James Suckling (2018 v.)
Blend: 98% Petit Manseng, 1% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Chardonnay
Winemaker Note: More than any other wine, dry Petit Manseng represents our philosophy ofwinegrowing in Virginia: keep progressing, next year will be different, next year we apply what we’velearned. It is also probably the wine most likely to elicit the comment, “Dang, this wine changes everyyear.” It sure does, and we love that about it. Petit Manseng’s acidity seems crazy high, and it is prettydarn high. We’ve learned to embrace it and to not push the wine to 17% alcohol just to drop the acid abit. We’re also learning that you can temper it with lees aging, skin contact, and malolacticfermentation. And that richness that comes with the inherent ripeness of the grape? That helps tamethe acidity as well. Every year we take a step further in embracing what this grape wants to be: awine that has energy and strength rippling through it. Somehow it has power and concentration whilealso being laser focused. We love Petit Manseng, because it does not need to imitate a more famouswine; all it has to do is be itself, and it is distinct and compelling. There’s wildness in this journey thatis Petit Manseng, and we’re excited to bring you along. This bottling was fermented warm in acombination of oak puncheon and foudre, concrete, and large Acacia.
Wine Description: This is a wine of texture, structure and intensity. Especially in this vintage, itperforms well in the winter months with the richness and density to pair with the foods our bodiescrave to keep us warm. The aromas and flavors complement this personality with buoyant tropicalnotes and rich creaminess, anchored by a stony, saline core, leading to precision in the finish. With2019, we return to the raw power of the grape, a notable increase in body from the 2018. With almostfull malolactic, there is creaminess enrobing the acidity and bringing flavors of pastry and bakedbread to play with the mango and peach fruits. This is probably our most singular Petit Manseng todate, and the winemaking team has already committed to helping deplete the supply!
In the Vineyards: 2019 was an excellent vintage with balanced whites and reds with ripe intensity andrichness. The season began early, with picking for sparkling at the very beginning of August, resultingfrom a moderately early budbreak. While this notably early start to the vintage was psychologicallychallenging, the fruit was well-balanced and we’re excited to see how it develops in the cellar.It is understandable to compare 2019 to 2017, however yields were more typical and balanced in 2019,compared to high yielding 2017. We were able to apply the learnings from the very ripe 2017 vintage toour farming and picking decisions in 2019, which often led us to pick blocks earlier; and rather thansimply pursuing sugar ripeness, we have been able to farm and pick based on phenological ripenessand aromatic complexity.Vineyard Block: EMV Block 11 and 78, Red Barn, Chiles Batesville