The small Bozzo Family Vineyards on Rt. 9 in northern Loudoun County made an impressive debut on the Virginia wine scene when their 2016 “Second Act” (Meritage-style blend) won a gold medal with their first release. Since then, I’ve kept my eye on them. Small, passionate, and locally-focused (with a “Loudoun County” appellation), this is a craft winery worth going only a little bit off the beaten path to find.
The 2019 vintage was a great one for red wines in Virginia, but the long hot summer could mean lower acidity in some locations for white wines. Not in this case.
I bought this wine a year and a half ago expecting to drink it sometime soon. Here in February 2022, we have an absurdly warm few days, so (uncharacteristically) I decided to open this wine to enjoy with sea scallops.
Despite being a nice ripe 13% alcohol, this wine is subtle with fresh, vibrant acidity and a touch of minerality. I had thought it might be getting mature by now, from a warm vintage, but Steve Bozzo sources his fruit locally and it shows definite Loudoun County character; firm acidity and impressive length.
On the nose, it’s both subtle and Burgundian; hints of lemon and ripe apple. On the palate, it is fresh, lively, pure and acid-driven, with impressive length. It reminds me of a Macon or even Petit Chablis from Burgundy, all the more impressive for the heat of the vintage and lower acids in warmer sites in Virginia.
Proprietor and winemaker Steve Bozzo explains that they haven’t released Eileen but will soon; think about stocking up for more 70 degree days in February (!). Before bottling in 2020, the pH was 3.3, the TA was 6.8. The wine was aged on lees with stirring. The wine went thru ML and was barreled in 50/50 new/neutral French oak for about 5.5 months. He expects the wine to continue to develop, likely the acids will round out a bit more allowing more fruit expression. Far from mature, this wine can continue to age for at least 3-5 more years. Ideal for pairing with shellfish or as an appetizer wine with delicate foods in a hot, humid summer.