Disgorged – The Blog: 19 November 2015



Well, I suppose it had to happen. Cygnus has reached another significant milestone in its history, as this marks the twentieth vintage that I have produced commercial wine under the Cygnus label. Even though I did not start Cygnus Wine Cellars until 1996, I correctly anticipated the greatness of the 1995 vintage and had arranged to buy grapes from a couple Maryland and Pennsylvania vineyards, and produced my first wines from that outstanding vintage at another Maryland winery who generously gave me the space to do so. Those early wines included the first vintage of Julian, a Late Harvest Vidal Blanc, and a Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine using Chardonnay.

The Manchester Hall has always been my most popular wine with customers, as well as also scoring well in the Maryland Governor’s Cup judging, and several vintages in a row have seen the Manchester Hall awarded no less than Silver and many Gold medals. The 2014 vintage Manchester Hall was bottled the end of April this year and was recognized this past August at the Maryland Governor’s Cup judging with a Silver medal. Only 95 cases were made. Over the years, Manchester Hall has always walked that fine line balancing the residual sugar with the acidity, so that it is both a great food wine and also easy to quaff on its own, and this wine is no exception. It shows a bit more citrus and mineral character on the finish than recent vintages, but that up-front green melon and peach character is right there, pleasantly reminding everyone why they come back to Manchester Hall year after year.

Sunlight through a Vidal Blanc cluster @ Quail Vyd

On Saturday, 14 November 2015, the last grapes of the year for Cygnus Wine Cellars were picked at Quail Vineyards; a Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. These luscious and deeply flavored grapes were brought in at over 30 Brix. Deer and some spoilage reduced the crop below expectations, but the marvelous results fermenting in the tank will give Cygnus customers a small amount of a tremendous wine. Save your money and be patient. I will keep you informed.