This is the second bottling of our Quaker Run rosé. While we jokingly refer to this wine as our “fancy” rosé, the wine began as a reaction to 2020. The 2020 vintage saw some challenges (but didn’t we all in 2020!), like late season frosts and a somewhat rainy start to the vintage, so we chose to decrease our crop in the old vine Quaker Run Merlot, often used to make Rise, Eluvium and Novum, to assist with ripening and leaving lots of room for air flow. The fruit removed was at the perfect chemistry for rosé and we decided to make a more extractive rosé to showcase these old vines. We discovered the unique depth and complexity of Quaker Run Merlot when made into rosé and it has quickly become one of our favorite projects! Because of this, there was no question that in 2021 we needed to make this wine again.
In 2021 we farmed a portion of Quaker Run Merlot specifically for this rosé, in addition to utilizing fruit in sections of the old vines where we thought the vine would benefit from keeping fewer clusters. The result is a wine that allows for more skin contact, deeper color, more tannin and power. The structure and concentration standout, while not compromising freshness.
In the lively spirit of Virginia, 2021 was an exciting vintage for Early Mountain. It very much reflects the impact of site, with regions throughout the state experiencing highly varying climatic events, greatly influencing the dynamic range in fruit attributes.
Early spring, we gratefully saw few frost events, escaping significant fruit damage. Despite some early season rains, bloom-time in the vineyard was quite dry, allowing for a good fruit set. With warm daytime temperatures throughout most of the growing season, we saw high and even ripening throughout both Quaker Run and Early Mountain vineyards. The late season rains, leading to harvest were also accompanied by notable drying (this was doubly obvious when tending to our new plantings, which need water!). Overall, despite harvest-time rainfall, we could not have asked for a better result.