Localization: Virginia, USA
Tasting Notes: Dense and complex with good acidity and some lingering tannins in the finish. A wine to age.
Notes: The 2017 Hardscrabble Chardonnay is a brand new release for Fall 2021.
The 2017 growing season gave us ideal ripening conditions and Hardscrabble's vines had enough size to them to begin to produce significant yields. Therefor Hardscrabble's terroir markers contribute to the overall impression of this wine. The 2017 vintage shows "classic verve and a lean focused texture."
June and July were very dry. Shoot growth was less than normal with very little hedging needed. Less water retentive soils showed some drought stress. We needed rain, but perhaps 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. In spite of dire warnings of doom and gloom, September turned out to be a glorious month to ripen grapes. Chardonnay harvest began early on September 4 with the youngest vines and continued until September 21.
Chilled grapes were sorted, pressed, juice settled and then fermented in stainless and then aged on the lees in some new oak but mostly used and neutral barrels unto 10 years old.
Food Pairing: Dishes with restrained flavors, but rich textures. Classic old-school European dishes come to mind such as cream based fish or poultry or anything "en croute". Lemon roasted chicken or grilled salmon would work equally as well.
The Domain: Hardscrabble Vineyard, 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, 2014 and 2016. VSP and French Lyre training systems.