Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Month: September 2009 (page 2 of 2)

Narmada Winery Opens

During a Labor Day weekend trip to Amissville, we paid a visit to Narmada Winery on its opening weekend.  We also got to briefly chat with winemaker Rob Cox about the winery, its vineyards, and the future.

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We were struck by the expanse of the property that includes Narmada Winery.  This includes the home of owners, Sudhas and Pandit Patil, the vineyards, barrel room, and future tasting room.  A man made pond adds a bucolic touch, too.  On opening day, though, the tasting room was still under construction, and tasting were conducted beneath tents that overlooked the property and its amenities.  Of course, we all about the wine, and winemaker Rob Cox guided us through the list of current releases.  The first wine was also the only white wine offered, and it was affectionately called Mom to recall the hard work and dedication associated with being a Mom.  It’s made from Chardonel , a French-American hybrid, grown on the estate and spends  some time spent in both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.  It presents pleasant pear aromas and flavors with a subtle almond at the end. Boasting 1.5% residual sugar, Mom is a refreshing wine but not cloyingly sweet.  In fact, it was the perfect pour for the warm afternoon and would make for an easy sipper or picnic partner.  (I also imagine that many Moms would love to relax with a glass of this one after a hard day!)

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Of the four reds available for tasting, three were Chambourcin products; Chambourcin, too is a hybrid grape and grows well in Virginia.  Our favorite here was the dry Chambourcin known as Reflection.  Treated seven months in oak, Reflection is a light-bodied wine with bright cherry and raspberry notes.  I think this would be a nice red wine to enjoy during summer time with grilled or spicy fare.  An interesting port-style wine was Primita which comes in at 9% residual sugar; it’s also blended with a bit of Grenache.  Destined to be great with dark chocolate, I’d also enjoy Primita with a strong cheese.

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As we swirled and sipped, we also got to chat with Rob Cox. He recognized us from the blog even though we were trying to be anonymous. Rob’s credentials include work at Pearmund Cellars, and he has worked with Sudha and Pandit Patil to produce upcoming releases that will include Chardonnay, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc.  The Patils are of Indian heritage; therefore, they favor varietals and a winemaking style that can compliment spicy cuisine such as Indian food.  Their vineyard adventures began six years after they purchased the Amissville property in 1999.  Fourteen acres of property are now in vines.  The tasting room will open in November.

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So with our tasting done, we shared a glass of the Mom Chardonel and enjoyed the blue grass rhythms of a local trio.  We do plan to return to Narmada especially once the tasting room is open for business, and we are eager to try the upcoming releases.  Be sure to stop by Narmada Winery, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Breaux Vineyards

Labor Day weekend affords us the time to visit more wineries. We decided to visit a few in Loudoun County. There are several we haven’t visited in awhile. On this trip we visited Breaux, Notaviva, and Hiddencroft.

Our first stop was Breaux Vineyards. As we walked into the tasting room we were greeted by Cooper, the vineyard dog. He was very excited to see us. As we were giving Cooper some attention, Jennifer Blosser, Hospitality & Events Manager, recognized us from the blog and gave us a warm welcome. She set us up at the bar for a tasting with Richard, our hospitality associate.

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Richard began our tasting with the whites. Of these I put my gold star next to the 2007 Madeleines Chardonnay. I enjoy steel fermented chardonnays and this one is well balanced. It’s got tropical notes and honey on the nose. Warren put his gold star next to the 2007 Viognier. His notes included words like floral nose and honey suckle. He also mentioned it was crisp.

Next up were the reds and we had plenty to taste. My gold star was placed next to the 2002 Merlot Reserve. Warren placed his star here as well. This was a wonderful merlot with smooth tannins and extracted fruit flavors. Another wine of note was the Equation. This is 95% merlot and 5% petit verdot. The interesting “equation” here it’s a blend of 2005 barrel aged and 2007 steel aged. We thought it was quite interesting.

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We were also able to taste a few wines from the Cellar Club library. We were able to taste a 2002 Free Run Merlot and a 2005 Syrah. The merlot was a light bodied sipper that we both enjoyed. Warren described the syrah as having some spice and chewy tannins.

Richard finished our tasting with the sweet wines. Of these we enjoyed the Nebbiolo Ice. It’s an interesting dessert wine made from nebbiolo. It has 10% residual sugar and wasn’t too sweet for our palates. We enjoyed this one.

With our tasting complete, we selected the 2007 Madeleines Chardonnay to have with our lunch of grilled chicken, almonds, cheeses and crackers. It was a warm day outside so this was a nice cooling sipper enjoyed with our lunch.

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Before leaving we purchased a few bottles of wine and thanked Jennifer and Richard for their wonderful hospitality. When you find yourself in Loudoun County be sure to visit Breaux Vineyards and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

The Commonwealth Polo & Wine Event

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The Plains, VA Bring out the big hats and sundresses ….The Wine Festival at The Plains and the 24th annual Commonwealth Cup of Polo happens September 12 and 13 at everyone’s favorite location – Great Meadow Equestrian Center just west of the Washington DC metropolitan area in The Plains.

What a difference an exit makes – just one exit past the sprawling city at exit 31 off of I-66, is where Virginia becomes gorgeous rolling farmland. This year, the Great Meadow Equestrian Center, located here, will be the site of two favorite events combined on one ticket.

The Wine Festival at The Plains and The 24th annual Commonwealth Cup of Polo come together at Great Meadow for a weekend of great wine, great food, great art and great international polo – USA versus Great Britain.

The Wine Festival at The Plains brings Virginia’s Tasting Rooms together in one location for a grand celebration of the vintage harvest. Guests of this event will discover a selection of locally-grown artisan wines being produced in the boutique wineries of Virginia, including many that are rarely brought out of the tasting room.

The Commonwealth Cup is the oldest and one of the most highly attended polo matches of its kind in the country. In this rousing and spirited annual challenge, the best players in the US square off against an elite team of Brits from the British Forces Foundation for a key benefit match.

The combined event features gourmet cuisine prepared by the region’s best chefs, a select group of fine art and fancy food vendors, and polo’s traditional half time divot stomp with a Virginia Wine twist. Sunday will also include a bagpipe concert and horse-drawn carriage parade. A Viking Appliance culinary stage will feature wine pairing and tasting demonstrations, including wine tasting 101 classes, the author of the popular book, Gourmet Getaways, the Executive Chef of the famed Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville, and winemaker pairings throughout the weekend.

This delightful Autumn afternoon of good fun support a very good cause. The event is a fund raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, a 501c3 organization that implements initiatives that honor and empower our national heroes.

The Commonwealth Polo & Wine Event at The Plains is sponsored by Farm Wineries Council, Inc., Great Meadow Polo Club, The Washington Post, Moore Cadillac and Viking Appliance.

For information about the event and to purchase discount tickets online, please visit the event website at www.winefestivalattheplains.com.

Thanks to Donna and Carl from the Farm Wineries Council for all the information in this post.

New Reds at Piedmont

Recently Gerhard von Fincke e-mailed us inviting us to visit Piedmont Vineyards to taste his recently released wines. Last Sunday we decided to do just that.

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It’s always nice to chat with Gerhard and enjoy some wine at the same time. He conducted our tasting and we were able to taste many of our favorites. But we were there to taste the new 2006 Merlot and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of these wines were released in late July.

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The 2006 Merlot spent 30 months in oak. Even though it spent a long time on oak, it retained much of the fruit characters you expect in a merlot. I enjoyed this one. Gerhard suggests letting mellow in the bottle for three or four months. This one got my gold star for the day.

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon also spent 30 months in oak. This one has a dark garnet color. In the mouth it has hints of dark fruit; plums and cherries. It has some chewy tannins. As with the Merlot, this one needs a few months to settle down in the bottle. With time this will turn into an amazing cab. Warren awarded this cab his gold star for the day.

After our regular tasting, Gerhard let us taste a few older cabs. We were able to taste the 2000 cab and the 1997 cab. The 1997 is holding up beautifully. We liked this one so much, Gerhard let us have a glass with our lunch!

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While enjoying our lunch and the 1997 cab, we also enjoyed some live music. Piedmont now has live open mic entertainment on Sunday afternoons. We got to hear several songs by Expanding Waistlines. We think this is a great addition to the atmosphere at Piedmont.

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The next time you visit Piedmont, be sure to tell them Virginia WIne Time sent you!

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