30% Petit Manseng, 30% Riesling, 20% Viognier, 15% Chardonnay, 5% Vidal Blanc
Vineyard Notes: Zephyr is First Colony’s only blended white, and is comprised every year of the most open, expressive, fruit-forward lots of white wine from that harvest. Meant to be consumed young, Zephyr is always a bright and summery white blend, whose tropical aromatics and zesty acidity make it the perfect accompaniment to warm weather and spicy food.
Cellar Notes: As diverse a blend as Zephyr has ever been, fruit sources in 2016 included Honah Lee Vineyards (Petit Manseng), Kilaurwen Vineyards (Riesling), Amazing Grace Vineyards (Viognier), and First Colony Estate (Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc). Harvested between September 6th and September 21st, all varietals were processed and fermented separately. The aromatic whites (Petit Manseng, Riesling, and Viognier) were destemmed and allowed between one and four hours of skin contact prior to pressing, whereas the Chardonnay and Vidal blanc were whole-cluster pressed. All varietals were cold-settled and then fermented at low temperature (<13 degrees Celsius) for between two and four weeks, and aged separately in stainless steel after being racked off both heavy and fine lees for four months until blending and bottling in the spring of 2017.
Tasting Notes: Freshness and tropicality are always the defining characteristics of the Zephyr blend, especially in years like this where it is dominated by Petit Manseng. Intense, terpene-driven aromatics recall pineapple, lemon verbena, and a hint of piney resin. On the palate the wine is wonderfully focused, with a keen line of acidity lending structure and definition to mouthwatering flavors of mango, pineapple, and key lime. The 2016 Zephyr’s zippy profile, low alcohol, and punchy fruit make it a perfect pair served ice cold with Southeast Asian or Indian cuisine.