Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Month: February 2011 (page 2 of 3)

Cabernet and Chocolates

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.

Saturday Sips

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!

Friday Pours

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.

Perfection at Pollak

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!

Virginia Sparklings Impress at Tasting

Paul and I were invited to a tasting of sparkling wines which was held at Keswick Vineyards. Stephan Barnard and his wife Kat hosted the event, but the logistics (including the procurement of sparkling wines) were superbly handled by Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like and the Dynamic Duo who write Swirl Sip Snark. A number of palates were on hand to lend their opinions on which sparkling bubbled most brightly, and these included: Swirl Sip Snark, John Witherspoon of the Wine Cellar Wine Shop, John & Jean Haggarty of Haggarty On Wine, Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards, Joel Timmons of Virginia Wine Snob, Richard Leahy of Richard Leahy’s Wine Report, Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like, and Rick Collier & Nancy Bauer of Virginia Wine in Your Pocket.

So twelve sparklings were poured for our critical judgments, and all but two were from Virginia. The tasting was done blind. How did Virginia fare? Quite well. In fact, the two non-Virginia sparklings did not show well at all with the offering from France scoring at the bottom. The other, a bubbly bearing the Barefoot label, ranked #6. Without further ado, here are the rankings based on the panel’s decision:

1. Thibaut-Janisson FIZZ, $21
2. Prince Michel Sparkling Wine, $30
3. Afton Mountain Vineyards Tete’ de Cuvee, $30
4. Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc, $24 (tie)
4. Veritas Scintilla, $30 (tie)
6. Barefoot Brut Cuvee, $9.99
7. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay, $30
8. King Family Brut, $30
9. Barboursville Brut, $18.99
10. Potomac Point Sparkling Wine, $0 (received as tasting sample)
11. Ingleside Vineyards Virginia Brut, $20
12. Chateau Gaillard Cuvee Charlette Voyant Touraine, $19

After tasting the wonderful sparkling we were able to taste several viogniers. We had three from Virginia and two from California. Stephen even shared a 2009 Viognier from the Keswick Signature series. We spent some time socializing and enjoying the wines. It was great getting to spend time with and getting to know our fellow Virginia wine writers. We would like to send out a huge Thank You to Frank Morgan, the folks at Swirl Sip Snark, Stephen Barnard and his wife Kat, and the Inn on Poplar Hill for providing the flutes. We appreciate all the help that went into creating a wonderful tasting afternoon!

Here are some pictures from the afternoon.

Please plan to sample these bubbling beauties at the Virginia wineries that produce them, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Busy Weekend

We had a weekend full of wine and friends in the Charlottesville area. On Saturday we visited Pollak Vineyards and King Family Vineyards. In the afternoon we met many other Virginia wine bloggers and others for a very special sparkling tasting hosted at Keswick Vineyards. The attendees were:

Swirl Sip Snark
John Witherspoon, Wine Cellar Wine Shop
John & Jean Haggarty, Haggarty On Wine
Stephen Barnard, Keswick Vineyards
Joel Timmons, Virginia Wine Snob
Richard Leahy, Richard Leahy’s Wine Report
Frank Morgan, Drink What You Like
Rick Collier & Nancy Bauer, Virginia Wine in Your Pocket

On our way home on Sunday we went to Blenheim Vineyards and had a great visit with Kirsty Harmon. We then stopped at Barboursville to check out some new wines. In the days and weeks to come we’ll be posting about all these weekend events. Stay tuned!

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