Off-dry balanced by acidity, with intense flavor and weight.
Located on a plateau of the west slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, at 1,270 feet above sea level and growing in deep and well drained rocky soils, this planting, (2008) consists of 1.5 acres at a density of 1361 vines per acre. The vines are cane pruned and trained to the Double Guyot system.
In 2013, we experienced a rather troublesome and wet spring and summer but thankfully, during the critical ripening months of August, September, and October it was very dry and sunny. Bud break occurred around mid-April, flowering, the first week of June and veraison, the first week in August. Harvested in early October, 3.1 tons to the acre or 42 hL/H.
A careful selection harvest of the ripest golden grape clusters was performed on October 3, leaving on the vines the lesser ripe clusters to continue ripening for another month for our Late Harvest Petit Manseng, Raepheus wine. The grape clusters were chilled for 24 hours in our walk-in cooler to help retain fresh acidity and delicate aromatics. To extract the juice, whole clusters were gently pressed, with the first light press fraction or free run juice being separated from the later moderate press fraction or press juice. This press juice was later sold on the bulk market. The free run juice was cold settled for 48 hours and then racked and inoculated with yeast for fermentation in stainless steel tank at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Fermentation stopped after about 30 days, leaving 1.5% residual sugars in the wine. To increase flavor and aromatic complexity and to balance the residual sugars with this wine’s intense acidity profile, a small amount of Late Harvest Petit Manseng Raepheus juice was introduced in late November. The wine was aged on light yeast lees without going through malolactic fermentation and bottled in February 2014, producing 225 cases.
Drink now but will improve greatly with 10 years bottle aging.