It’s that time of year when we go to Naked Mountain Vineyard and Winery to enjoy lasagna and wine. Which wine did we enjoy with lasagna? Well, to figure that out we had to complete a tasting of wines at the tasting bar, of course!
The 2006 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay and the sweeter Chardonnay Riesling were the two white wines offered for tasting. My favorite was the Barrel Fermented Chardonnay with its aromas of pear and vanilla; I also enjoyed its creamy mouth feel. Paul preferred the fruity characteristics of the Chardonnay Riesling, and I think he had visions of a warmer spring day and a refreshing fruit salad when he savored this one.
Speaking of food, we certainly had lasagna on our minds when we sampled the red wines. The Rhone-inspired 2006 Scarlet Oak Red earned my stamp of approval. Created from a blend of 45% Syrah, 45% Mouvedre, and 10% Tannat, it presented a smoky nose with cherry and raspberry aromas with a whiff dried herbs to boot; similar flavors with a toasty edge were evident in the mouth. Paul, however, was more inclined toward the newly released 2007 Raptor Red, a blend of Tannat (31%), Merlot (30%), Petit Verdot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (19%). Darker fruit elements abounded here with a smoky/earthy nose. I concurred that this blend offered a bolder, more complex wine; from the 2007 vintage, it will only improve with time.
So with lasagna on the way, we settled on a glass of our favorite red wines; I enjoyed a glass of the 2006 Scarlet Oak Red, and Paul sipped the 2007 Raptor Red. As we sipped and nibbled, we met cellar master Brooke Walter who hinted at exciting possibilities for the upcoming releases. She was particularly enthusiastic about the possible release of a stand-alone Malbec. Brooke also assured us that new owners Randy and Meagan Morgan were commited to maintaining the strong winemaking tradition at Naked Mountain Vineyards. Needless to say, we promised to return in the near future to sample new releases at Naked Mountain Vineyards and Winery.
We should also mention that the sausage lasagna is amazing at Naked Mountain, so plan to enjoy a lasagna lunch with a glass of wine at Naked Moutain Vineyards and Winery. Please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
On Sunday we attended the annual Cabernet and Chocolates event at Gray Ghost Vineyards. We always have a great time enjoying chocolates and all the red wines. We got to see some of our favorite wine friends. We also got to taste the new 2010 Riesling! It was delicious! Here are some pictures from the event.
Just recently we visited Blenheim Vineyards (more details to come) and picked up a few bottles of the White Table Wine. I decided we would begin our evening with this wine.
The White Table Wine from Blenheim VIneyards is 100% chardonnay.On the nose we noted pear, floral notes, peach, and stone fruit. In the mouth we noted stone fruit, peach, apricot, and a nice round mouth feel. We had this with goat cheese and baguette. It was a perfect pairing with our evening nibbles.
For dinner we were having parmesan encrusted tilapia with wild rice and mixed vegetables. We opted for the 2009 Viognier Water Bent Barrels from Breaux Vineyards from the Wine Club Selection. Right away we noticed the very light color. On the nose I wrote down light airy fruit. Warren noted floral qualities with some ripe fruit. In the mouth we noted floral notes, hints of honeysuckle, mango, apricot, and a nice mouth feel. It was very crisp and paired very well with our meal. We also noticed that as this one warmed up in our glasses, the flavors were much more pronounced. We really enjoyed this bottle of wine!
This evening we started with the 2007 Chardonnay from Flying Fox Vineyards. We haven’t been to Flying Fox for a few years. We had this with some nice goat cheese and baguette. On the nose we got pear and melon. In the mouth we got pear, and a crisp finish. We thought this was a very good pairing with our goat cheese and baguette. We thought it was an easy sipper that would go well with most before dinner nibbles.
Our dinner wine was the 2002 Kluge Estate New World Red. We had this with big, fat steaks and roasted potatoes. We noted blackberry, dark cherry, and anise on the nose. On the tongue we noticed blackberry, tobacco, integrated tannins, and a smooth lengthy finish. We also noticed the dense garnet color. While we know the fate of Kluge, we thought we should probably have kept this one on the rack for a few more years. Instead we went ahead and enjoyed it with this meal. It was quite lovely and we enjoyed it very much.
While we were in Charlottesville last weekend for the sparkling tasting at Keswick, we planned to stop by a few of our favorite wineries to check out the latest releases. Pollak Vineyards was at the top of my list. It was our first stop on our Charlottesville trip. We are always greeted like family when we visit Pollak. All our favorite tasting associates recognize us and great us with a smile.
Most of the wines we tasted this time were new. We started our tasting with the whites. First up was the 2009 Chardonnay. We tasted this one in the barrel back in March of 2010 and enjoyed it then. I loved it even more this time. We noted pear, green apple, and some nice minerality. I knew I’d be leaving with some of this one. We followed this one with the 2008 Chardonnay Reserve. I noticed citrus notes with a smooth, round mouth feel. The final white was the 2009 Durant White. I really enjoyed the 2008 Durant White and knew I’d enjoy this one as well. I picked up pear, and lime. This is a great sipper for before dinner nibbles. It’s a blend a three different whites. Again, I knew I’d be leaving with a few bottles of this one. I was disappointed they were sold out of both the viognier and the pinot gris. We’ll have to return in the spring when they are released.
The first of the reds was the 2009 Durant Red. This is a cabernet franc, merlot blend. This one was probably the biggest surprise of the tasting. We didn’t remember tasting it before. The color was beautiful and we noted lots of ripe, red berry fruit. It reminded us (as the tasting sheet notes) a beaujolais. We think this one would make a great pizza or burger wine. Another one to add to the list! THe 2008 Merlot was next. With this one we noted dark cherry, blackberry, and a full mouth feel. The 2008 Cabernet Franc spent 14 months in oak and presented cherry, jam, and black pepper. The last red was the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Since the petit verdot is sold out, this was the biggest red on the tasting. We noted lots of big cherry, dark fruit, and a lingering finish. That finish makes you want more.
With our tasting complete, we had a glass of the 2009 Durant Red by the fire while deciding how many bottles of each wine to bring home. I settled on a mixed case with mostly the 2009 Chardonnay. I completed the case with the Durant White, Durant Red, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I have always enjoyed Pollak Vineyards wines. The wines are consistent across the board. Jake Busching is a talented winemaker. I look forward to returning in the spring to taste the viognier, pinot gris, and the petit verdot. If you visit Pollak Vineyards anytime soon, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!