||September 8, 2010
||5 months - Stainless Steel
||M69 Yeast - Stainless Steel
||March 17, 2011
A wine of abundant aromatics. This brilliant straw colored wine has a nose that is intense and exotic with loads of stone fruit, green fig, and passion fruit balanced by a great floral quality. The palette shows true 2010 richness and mouth coating viscosity with richer tropical and stone fruit leading to a long rich and creamy finish. Best enjoyed in its youth.
This is the first year that we have used Williams Gap Vineyard and we are thrilled with the results. The vineyard has a steep south facing exposure giving an abundance of sunlight. The soils are mostly defined as Penn Silt Loam (hard red clay) which can be poorly drained, however in 2010 there was very little soil moisture to be worried about. It is a somewhat cooler site generally, regardless of the abundant sunlight, because of its relatively good elevation of about 950 feet. There is also a generally good breeze that covers that vineyard leaving fewer worries for moisture sticking with the fruit and canopy and therefore helping to maintain a clean vineyard. The vines in this vineyard are still young (6th Leaf) meaning that they still have yet to really show their true potential and showcase the true terroir so it is bottled as a varietal wine instead of vineyard designate. While we believe the fruit is superb, it has yet to show us the definition of the site. The fruit shows great varietal character with ripe stone fruit, exotic aromatics and a “fatness” associated with Viognier at this point.
The 2010 vintage simply put was hot and dry. With Loudoun County 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 2010 Viognier was a new style for us at Tarara. With Viognier going in our Single Vineyard wines we tend to go toward tradition and allow fermentation and some length of elevage in barrels of varying age to help the wine “grow up”. With the 2010 Viognier we aimed at making a more accessible and fresher style for the market that will appeal to more people. In doing that we fermented 50% of the juice with commercial yeast which is generally not done at Tarara. For terroir driven wines we use exclusively indigenous yeast fermentations. With the commercial yeast and cooler temperatures from being fermented in stainless steel we were able to accentuate the exotic fruit of the variety and vintage. Since we knew the wine was going to have elevated alcohol we wanted to maintain a balance with palette density and more complexity so we allowed the must to have a 10 day cold soak prior to pressing and fermentation. This added a little structure and richness to create balance. The wine was fined with bentonite and filtered. It was bottled on March 17, 2010.
This wine screams for fresh spring and summer aromatic fruit and vegetables. Simple salads like Wegmeyer Farms Strawberries, Endless Summer Arugula, Firefly Farms Goat Cheese and Avocado in a simple olive oil and Foggy Ridge Sweet Staymen Cider dressing.