Barrel fermenting the Chardonnay allows the small amount of new oak to integrate seamlessly into the wine. This contributes freshness and subtle oak notes, along with yellow apple and ripe quince. The “batonnage” stirring of the lees as the wine ages adds a creaminess that balances out the bright acidity the wine contains as a result of not going through a full Malo-lactic fermentation.
Petit Manseng has really started to make a name for itself here in Virginia. This variety’s thick skin and loose-clustered nature make it well suited to the environmental elements that are typical in an east coast growing season. Petit Manseng is often made into a late harvest dessert wine, however our version is a dry style with ripe pineapple and citrus peel notes. It is a fuller- bodied white with lots of tropical flavors and a gracious amount of acidity that the variety is known for. This contributes to the bright finish of this wine and long ageability.
Petit Manseng is one of the higher acid varieties that we produce in Virginia making it a natural fit to age in an egg-shaped concrete tank. Concrete is porous like oak which allows small amounts of oxygen in to help soften the acidity in the wine. Concrete differs from oak in its oxygen transfer because it imparts no wood flavor on the wine, keeping it fresh and fruity. This wine is fuller bodied than our regular Petit Manseng that is aged in stainless steel, but it still bursts with tropical flavors and a gracious amount of weight from the lees stirring that happens due to the egg shape.
The aromatics are reminiscent of a Riesling with petroleum notes that quickly change to tree fruits. A citrus spiciness comes through first on the palate led by the wine’s good acidity, while the residual sugar brings about a lychee and melon note that add a long lingering finish to the wine.