2010 Long-Bomb Edition Four
Edition Four of the Long Bomb is a brilliant ruby colored wine that is all about suppleness, elegance and complexity. It differs from some of the 2010 wines in that it’s elegance is more of the hallmark then the power. A great nose of red and blackberry fruit intertwined with slight herbal notes and creamy vanilla characters. The palate is soft, balanced, but still full. The tannins are pure silk letting all the fruit come forward on that palate balanced with sweet oak elements. This is a great wine to drink in it’s youth with all its lovely fruit.
If there ever was a great every day wine, this is it. This will pair beautifully with grilled local poultry, Oak Springs Cheddar or even with Tuesday nights pizza or Spaghetti and Meatballs. The wine won’t disappoint with some heartier Pork dishes or truffled Wild Mushroom Risotto with great company, but sometimes you do just need an awesome wine for those everyday moments. This is the wine to fit all of those places.
The fruit for the Long Bomb Edition 4 was harvest from Nevaeh (Pinot Noir – Last Vintage of these plantings), Tranquility (Cabernet Sauvignon), Honah Lee (Tannat and Petit Verdot) and Mountainview vineyards (Cabernet Franc and Merlot).
Mountainview Vineyard is a “Mountain Vineyard” on the where the fruit is at over 1300 feet elevation. This gives cooler nights and deep rockier soils allowing more minerality and deeper fruit.
Nevaeh is made up of three blocks, The Hill, The Road and the Pond. The Pinot Noir is only located on the Hill. The Hill vineyard is a south facing slope that creates most of Tarara’s best fruit. The soils are deeper and there is better air movement coming from the closer proximity to the Potomac River. This helps the fruit enjoy a longer potential hang time in Loudoun’s warmer fall evenings. The fruit from the Hill tends to be richer and more complex.
Tranquility Vineyard is a great south east facing slope just outside Purcellville. The grapes from this vineyard tend to be the last to come off the cine and show great ripe tannins and rich color. They also tend to show very robust dark berry fruit and a minty tone.
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.
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.
Long Bomb was created in the same manner as our single vineyard wines. All of the fruit was destemmed but was not crushed. This was to try to maximize the fruit characters of each variety and to create the best balance possible with the tannins. The must was then cold soaked for an average of six days prior to fermentation. After 12-18 hours, 5-15% of the juice was taken from each fermenter “Saignee Method” the help intensify the character of the remaining juice and enhance the color extraction and complexity. The fermentations lasted up to 14 days using both commercial and indigenous yeast. The wine was left on the skins for an average of 26 days (14 being the least and 35 the most. The wine was pressed to a maximum of 1 bar pressure to ensure a gentle pressing to not extract bitter characters from the seeds. The wine spent 10 months in American Oak. 85% of the oak was neutral and therefore is only used to allow small amounts of oxygen (micro-oxygenation) into the wine to help integrate t