2013 Unrefined White
(46% Chardonnay, 33% Rkatsiteli, 11% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Petit Manseng)
(46% Carter Mountain, 33% Gordonsville, 21% Front Royal)
$18.00 per bottle
Super fun. The fairly pale straw colored wine is one of intense and exciting aromatics. Each sniff bringing in a new layer showing pineapple, granny smith, lemon drop, fresh grass and a creamy quality. The palate is medium to full bodied and bone dry with lovely fruit showing its exotic nature. The wine is held together beautifully with a streak of acidity reminiscent of most 2013’s.
The Rkatsiteli for this wine comes from a vineyard in Gordonsville, the Chardonnay from a vineyard on Carter Mountain both in the Monticello AVA and the Petit Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc from a vineyard in Front Royal.
The Chardonnay that comes from Carter Mountain is a higher elevation site that gets cooler nights preserving acidity and is planted to clones that are about holding acidity and maintaining slightly lower and balanced sugars for better alcohol balance.
The Rkatsiteli comes from a site that is at the base of the many surrounding hillsides of the area. It is fairly hard red clay soils and is really showing well with this interesting variety originating from the Republic of Georgia. The fruit tends to be very Sauvignon Blanc like from this site but with somewhat lower alcohol levels only being in the 10-11% range with vibrant acidity and a great balance of herbal and citrus like elements.
The Sauvignon Blanc comes from a west facing steep slope in the mountains just outside Front Royal. The stony and steep soils allow for some minerality to come into the fruit while the cooler mountainside creates Sauvignon Blanc with some fresh herbal notes and the afternoon sun ads some great pineapple components from abundant sunlight. The Petit Manseng on this site has the ability to hang extremely long getting ripe exotic character while still maintaining its telltale vibrant acidity and massive mouthfeel.
The 2013 vintage will often be remembered as the year that took 5 off the end of every winemaker’s life span. In the end, it all came together with a brilliant harvest time, but leading up was constantly scary. The wines show great vibrancy and finesse with the early ripeners shining like Chardonnay and Merlot. There was some struggle with the later ripeners getting them fully mature.
The season started very late with a very cold and wet spring. We did not see bud break until the start of May which is unheard of. Everyone thought it was a blessing in disguise and that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about frost. We were wrong. We had the latest frost I remember on May 14th and while it did not do tons of damage, it did weaken the vines going into the season. The rest of the summer season we unseasonally wet and cool so we knew we would have trouble ripening the late riperners and had to get all the canopies wide open and drop fruit. In the end dropping fruit came back to bite us as the frost and cold weather forced the vines to start aborting some fruit as well. It also forced the worse animal damage (birds, raccoons, etc.) that we have seen because their nature food sources in the forests were wiped out from the tough year.
The sun came out close to the end of August and stayed through the picking season which was great. It allowed us to be patient and harvest some superb fruit with incredible balance. I the end we quite like what we have from 2013, but the downfall is it is the smallest harvest on record, by far.
As always the Boneyard white is about throwing out the rule book and working with a blank slate to make something awesome. Portions of the Chardonnay, the Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Manseng were fermented in barrel to round out the mouthfeel. The Chardonnay was all allowed to go through malo-lactic fermentation while the aromatic varieties were stopped. The barrel portions had weekly batonage for 3 months to uplift the mid palate weight. In the end we just looked at all the wine we had in the cellar and started getting to work with different options. In the end this blend was created because it showed weigh, great acidity, fabulous complexity and it was unlike any other wine we have. It was simply delicious and one of our favorites to build. All the layers built separately, but coming together as one great wine. The wine will be bottled after filtration at the end of February 2014.
This calls from bringing some island flair to a local treasure. This wine would be marvelous with some Crispy skin Rockfish topped with a mango and jalapeno relish served over a blue crab hash. Man, that sounds yummy.