Michael Shaps Petit Manseng, Monticello 2019
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Both the petit manseng and roussanne grapes were grown at Honah Lee Vineyard, located in Gordonsville, VA in the Monticello AVA. This vineyard site is located on a hill at approximately 1000 feet elevation with a southeastern exposure. The soil is Davidson Clay with excellent drainage. The 2019 vintage was an amazing growing season with very little rainfall, hot temperatures, and an above average yield.
All of the petit manseng is hand harvested and transferred to the winery for cooling prior to de-stemming and crushing. A 12-hour cold soak prior to pressing helps increase aromatics and build mouth feel. After pressing and settling, the wine is transferred to French oak barrels of which 75% is new oak. The barrel fermentation is a combination of non-inoculated barrels along with some commercial strains of yeast. This wine does not go through malolactic fermentation, but does remain on gross lees with continual battonage (stirring of the lees) until racking and bottling the following summer.
In most years we blend in a small amount of roussanne that grows directly next to our petit manseng. In 2019, only a small amount of roussanne was added to help round out and soften the acidity in the petit manseng, resulting in a more balanced and expansive wine.
This is a “big white” that expresses a beautiful aromatic complexity of grilled pineapple notes, apricots and peaches. The barrel notes are well integrated and add good balance to the bright acidity. This wine is built to age and will continue to express itself for 5-7 years after bottling.