||September 17-26, 2010
||26.1 avg brix
||19 months Virginia Oak
||New Virginia Oak
||Indigenous Yeast - Stainless Steel
||August 15, 2012
Kaboom!!! This wine is massive in every aspect. While this deep crimson colored wine is still incredibly youthful it still has huge aromas of plum, roses, licorise, espresso and dark chocolate. The palate is almost an assault on the palate with loads of fruit, sweet cocoa and cedar notes and mouthfilling, but velvety tannins and bright acidity. This all leads to a long crisp finish leaving only the impression of a balanced but big wine. While it is fun to drink right now, it is one that is destined to spend some time in the cellar to integrate and shed some baby fat. Hold for at least 6-7 years, but Jordan can also let you know then what he thinks. He believes that structure and fruit should last well over a decade but without history to prove so will only sacrifice his own. - Tasted, January 2013
The Honah Lee Vineyard is a steep South East facing slope sitting at about 1300 feet elevation in the mountains just outside Orange, VA. The soils consist of hard red clay leading to more fruit driven wines. The wines tend to get very exotic characters to them while maintaining a balance of acidity due to their great sunlight exposure, as well as the cooler nights from the elevation. The vines are all trained on cordon pruned vertical shoot positioning to best collect sunlight exposure and minimize pressures. We have worked with Honah Lee since 2007 when we first made D9 from their Touriga Nacional. Now we source Viognier, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Pinotage from Honah Lee.
The 2010 vintage simply put was hot and dry. With Loudoun County and Monticello receiving really no recordable precipitation from May until October we knew that berry weights were going to be down significantly. This is the result of less water in the fruit and therefore creates more intense concentration. That coupled with the record breaking heat that we received (many 100+ days) the fruit in 2010 is exotic, rich, fruit driven and powerful. The sugars far outpaced the ripening of flavors, phenolic ripeness and acidity ripeness so one should expect higher alcohols then in any other vintage in Virginia, which should be well balanced still by the intensity of fruit and pure power of the wines.
Even though the season was uncharacteristically hot and dry, there was also very low humidity which was a nice change for us in Loudoun and most of Virginia. This caused some of the healthiest vines we have seen and the least hands on work that was needed. The Winter leading up to the growing season saw record snow falls which left the soil with the moisture needed to help maintain health without the need of any irrigation, while still not being abundant and causing any dilution issues. The crop was incredibly small with even less yield from the fruit meaning that the 2010’s will not be in large supply, although they are expected to be in large demand.
While the 2010’s might not be the best expression of our terroir in general, the wines are of a different style that many will find very enjoyable. These wines are about extraction, richness, exuberant fruit, and exotic character, as apposed to our normal elegant yet powerful styles that most of our vineyards offer.
The grapes were cold soaked for 7-8 days for good color, tannin and flavor extraction from the skins prior to the presence of alcohol. The fermentation was fairly quick and warm having it’s peak temperature range from 89-92 degrees Fahrenheit. The total time the wine spent on the skins was between 23 (Pinotage) and 31 (Petit Verdot and Tannat) days. The wine was in barrel for 19 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Bring on the beef!!! This wine will simply rock the palate with some Dominion Root Beer and Rosemary Braised Millcreek Farms Short Ribs over Grilled Cheddar (ideally Chapel Country Talbot Reserve) Polenta and sliced Heirloom Tomatoes.