Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Month: June 2010 (page 2 of 3)

Notaviva Vineyards

A few weeks ago we met some fellow wine bloggers Suzie, and Josh) at Notaviva Vineyards for a tasting and to celebrate my birthday. We were anxious to see what was new on the tasting menu. Notaviva was a very busy place but we found a spot at the tasting bar and checked out the new wines.

Of course we started with the whites. Notaviva has two viogniers-one that is fermented in stainless steel and one in barrels. The stainless steel version, Vincero, was crisp and tart with a floral nose. Even though it was our first wine, this one got my gold star. Next was the barrel fermented viognier, Ottantotto. Warren noted banana and peach here. This one became Warren’s favorite. We then tasted the Verano, a vidal blanc that is barrel fermented. This one has 1% residual sugar. We noted peach and a creamy mouth feel. The last white we tasted was the Calor Chardonnay. This one also had 1% residual sugar. We noted a nice floral nose with apple on the palate.

There were two reds to taste. We tasted the Celtico Chambourcin and the Cantabile Cabernet Franc. We noted jam, cherry, and cranberry tartness from the Chambourcin. This one was just recently bottled and was cloudy so we’ll need to give this one some time to get used to being in the bottle. The Cabernet Franc presented a fruity nose with raspberries noted. We also noted a spicy/herby quality. This was not one of my favorites but others in our group enjoyed it. We finished our tasting with the Gitano, a sweet red consisting of tint cao, merlot, and cabernet franc.

With our tasting complete, we secured two bottles for our lunch. We decided to have both the viogniers and do our own little comparison with our food items. Both viogniers went well with our cheeses and crackers and various other items. They even went well with the birthday cake Dezel brought for my birthday. As it turns out, it was a split decision. Some really liking the stainless steel and some really liking the barrel fermented version.

During our tasting we were able to chat with Stephen Mackey, owner and winemaker. We’ve talked with Stephen several times over the years while watching the winery grow. He caught us up on what’s been happening lately. He let us know several wines will be released in the coming months. It was great catching up with him. You need to plan a trip to Notaviva soon. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival

Out and About

We’ve been out and about on the wine trail recently. Here are a few stops we made and photos from each stop.

One stop was at Naked Mountain. We always enjoy going to Naked Mountain and finding out about their new releases. Here are some pictures from that visit. I’ll note here that my gold star went to the 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay. Warren’s gold star goes to the 2006 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay. This is typical for us. I prefer stainless and Warren prefers barrel fermented.

Village Winery is another winery we visited recently. Kent Marrs, the winemaker and owner, always treats us so well when we visit. We visited with our wine blogging friend Dezel from myvinespot. Our gold star here went to the combination of Elderberry Sparkling drink and the Apple wine. This was perfect the day we were there because it was quite warm and the drink was quite cool. Here are a few photos from the visit.

Our First Audio Boo

Listen!

Cheers To Rappahannock Cellars!

Be sure to check out this month’s edition of Wine Spectator, because wines from Rappahannock Cellars were reviewed and earned excellent scores! I’ll provide the wines and rating here and let you read the reviews for yourselves.

Here are the wines:

2008 Viognier-87 Points
R 2006-86 Points
2006 Cabernet Franc-86 points
2006 Meritage-85 points

Be sure to sample these excellent wines at Rappahannock Cellars, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Cleve Is A Winner!

Last Saturday we were invited to Philip Carter Winery for the release of their big Bordeaux red, Cleve. As part of the release party, they conducted a Twitter taste off of their current wines and the new Cleve. A few other wine bloggers joined the fun. Rob Cox, the newest member of the winemaking team at Philip Carter, conducted the Twitter Taste-off.

We began with the 2008 Chardonnay. This one got our gold star. It’s been their solid white for a while now. It’s the white wine we always go for when we visit Philip Carter. We always note the crispness, the fruit, the hints of lemongrass with a touch of oak. It’s also a winner. It’s gathered a handful of medals. Next up was the Governor Fauquier 2008. We tweeted nutty, off dry, tropical fruit, and melon flavors. We noted it has 1% residual sugar.

We then moved to the reds. We were looking forward to trying the Cleve but first we had the 2008 Cabernet Franc. This was not of our favorites but we did note it had a nice color for a cab franc. We tweeted it had an acidic nose, with black cherry and pepper on the palate. We then moved on to the Cleve! The Cleve is a Bordeaux style red with 50% cab franc, 35% petit verdot, and 15% cabernet sauvignon. Again, we tweeted extracted fruit on the nose, smoke, violets, bramble berry, big fruit, lengthy finish, and that you can chew on it awhile. We declared Cleve was a winner! We could see keeping this one on your rack for a while. It will on get better with time. Philip Carter Winery certainly has a winner on it’s hands with Cleve! Nice job winemakers!

The last wine we tasted was the Late Harvest Vidal 2008. It’s 8% residual sugar but isn’t overly sweet. We noted baked apple and honey. Perfect ending to the taste off.

After the Twitter taste off we had a chance to chat with Rob Cox. We always enjoy chatting with Rob Cox…we’ve followed him from winery to winery. We chatted about the Philip Carter wines and the wine industry in Virginia in general. Rob noted how many Virginia wineries are employing professional winemakers to help develop the wines they want to produce. He said, “The days of owner made wines are numbered.” He went on to say, “Virginia doesn’t need more wineries making wines, we need wineries making better wine.” He certainly has his opinions about the future of Virginia wines.

Philip Carter Winery is again teaming up with Luxury Cruise Counselors to plan a spectacular cruise to the Mediterranean in August 2011. Check out their website for more information. You simply must plan a trip out to Philip Carter Winery to taste that Cleve. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

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