Early Mountain Winery
Early Mountain Petit Manseng
This should be Virginia's white wine grape!
Blend: 95% Petit Manseng, 3% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Chardonnay
Winemaker Note: This is our fourth installment of a dry Petit Manseng. We continue to work to understand the best approach with this grape variety and its place in Virginia. Petit Manseng’s acidity seems crazy high, and it is pretty darn high. But we’ve decided not to curb it, instead ensuring that the wine has a foil for the inevitable acidic structure, especially as we pick earlier to bring the alcohol in balance and explore a more diverse range of flavors. In this case, the foil becomes texture from 15 months of lees aging and extract from a short period of skin contact. We are embracing what this grape wants to be and making a wine that has energy and strength rippling through it. Somehow it has power and concentration while also being laser focused. We love Petit Manseng, because it does not need to imitate a more famous wine, it is distinctly the result of this grape grown in this place. This bottling was fermented warm in a combination of concrete, large Acacia, and oak puncheon and foudre.
Wine Description: This is a wine of texture and intensity. It performs well into the winter months with the richness and density bringing more warmth and body to the palate than the average white wine. The aromas and flavors complement this personality with buoyant tropical notes anchored by a stony, saline core, all brought into precise focus in the finish. With 2018, we have the most moderate alcohol and acid balance that we have seen. Though it was a challenging vintage for most wine grapes, Petit Manseng seemed to revel in the storms, (like a hippie dancing barefoot in the rain) and this is the closest thing to a “normal” white wine structure we will find. But don’t worry, the Manseng holds its ground conveying tropical flavors, a round and persistent palate, and a firm backbone of acidity.
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