This classic Linden Claret is medium bodied, restrained, sinuous, harmonious and quaffable. The nose is very complex with foraged red and black raspberries, fresh summertime herbs and Earl Grey tea leaves. It is more reminiscent of Burgundy than Bordeaux due to its subtle femininity, refreshing acidity, and subtle tannin structure.
Braised meats, roast chicken, sun dried tomato or mushroom pasta dishes.
Hardscrabble Vineyard (70%), 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. Vine age from 3 to 30 years. Mainly VSP with some French Lyre training systems.
Boisseau Vineyard (25%), 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, loam soils. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.
Avenius Vineyard (5%), Warren Co. is just 1 mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet contributes good acidity and verve. Vines planted in 1998 on Lyre training system.
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 22 through October 3, 2016.
Double sorting, moderate fermentation temperatures and extraction by pump overs and punch downs. Total cuvaison about 21 days. Aged in older French oak for 14 months. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot. Bottled January 2018. 9,736 bottles produced. Drink now through 2024. Alcohol 13.0%.