2010 Honah Lee White
This brilliant gold wine exudes the power the best defines the 2010 vintage. The nose is abundant and exotic with honeydew melon, papaya, honey, macadamia and green tea aromas. The palate is rich and full but has great acidity holding it together from the Petit Manseng. Gobs of fruit show up fruit on the palate before some subtle hints of spice and cedar come through on the long finish.
The 2010 Honah Lee White is screaming for some fleshier white fish like Halibut or Seabass, but also has the sweet fruit to stand up to heavily aromatic seasonings like curry or saffron. It would also work wonderfully with Pan Roasted Fields of Athenry Chicken Quarters marinated in Cilantro and Lime over Couscous with Oranges and Toasted Pine Nuts and sliced Farmer Johns Heirloom Tomatoes.
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 Honah Lee White was fermented on indigenous yeast in barrel with a max temperature around 68 degrees F. The wine was racked off the lees post fermentation and returned to barrel very clean with no lees stirring. The wine spent 10 months in barrel before being blended and filtered. The wine did not go through any malo-lactic fermentation.
User ReviewsWrite a review
Ratings for all vintages of this wine