And three (swirl), two (sniff), one (sip)—that is how to appreciate the 2009 Three2One Cellars Tranquility which made its debut this past Sunday at the an event hosted at the seven acre Tranquility Vineyards owned by Al and Mary Taylor. The 2009 Three2One Cellars Tranquility is the result of collaboration between three winemakers in Loudoun County—Ben Renshaw of 8 Chains North Winery and Vineyards, Clyde Housel of Hiddencroft Vineyards, and Jordan Harris of Tarara Vineyards. However, the event also provided an opportunity for the winemakers to showcase their own wines; in fact, the afternoon started with a flight of wines from the three wineries and culminated with the premiere tasting of the Three2One.
Participants in the event included bloggers (Drink What You Like and Cellar blog) and Virginia wine aficianados, but the most special guests were my parents, Warren and Carolyn, who were up for a visit from New Orleans. We all met at the Landsdowne Resort and then were transported by bus to the Tranquility Vineyard. And what a view greeted us! Rolling mountain landscapes painted green by continuous spring rainfall made for picturesque moments. The tastings were conducted in the vineyard beneath a tent that provided shelter from early sprinkles and then the later bright sunlight. Our first flight began with Ben Renshaw’s lineup of the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (which actually grew on me as it warmed up a little bit), the refreshing LocoVino, and the 2008 Furnace Mountain Red. We recently visited 8 Chains North, and our favorites remained the LocoVino and the 2008 Furnace Mountain Red. Dad chimed in that his favorite was of this flight was the LocoVino; Mom does not drink wine, but she does have a very perceptive nose. She correctly detected the earthy elements in the 2008 Furnace Mountain Red and noted its tobacco aromas.
Clyde Housel then presented his flight which included the 2009 Traminette, the gold-medal awarded 2008 Cabernet Franc, and the Vitis Rubus, a blend of Raspberry and Chambourcin. The 2009 Traminette and its floral nose beg for summer weather, but a decadent chocolate cake should pair nicely with the Vitis Rubus. Jordan Harris of Tarara Winery conducted the final flight that included the 2009 Nevaeh White, the 2009 Tranquility, and the 2008 Nevaeh Red. The 2009 Nevaeh White was my ultimate white wine of the day; a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay, it was clean and crisp. Paul raved about the bold 2009 Tranquility, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat; buy now but drink later as this one will certainly benefit from time on the wine rack. Dad and I enjoyed the accessible 2009 Nevaeh Red with its rich berry and spicy notes.
Of course, the tasting ended with the 2009 Three2One Cellars Tranquility, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (77%) and Tannat (23%). Renshaw, Housel and Harris worked together as “like minded friends that all believe Tranquility Vineyard is one of the prized terroirs in Virginia. It is a blend of the top two barrels each winery produced from this vineyard in 2009.” Aged 18 months in French and American oak barrels, we all noted dark berries, licorice and tobacco on the nose; blackberry and plum flavors abounded with a nice acidity and lengthier finish. Tannic? Yes, but smoother than expected. Age-worthy? Absolutely. Save for a special occasion and serve with big beef dishes and roasted veggies.
Comradery between the three winemakers was evident throughout the day’s presentations, and an appreciation for the Tranquility Vineyard was quite obvious. Its elevation, rocky soils, and air and water drainage were credited for producing the quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat grapes that comprised the blend. Comradery was also on display between tasters who all seemed at ease comparing notes on favorite wines. Grilled fare that included sausage, shrimp, chicken and veggies paired well with the wines, and a troubadour strummed gentle rhythms on a guitar. Before we knew it, it was time to purchase favorite wines and bid adieu to the winemakers who made the event possible. Dad left with a few bottles of favorite white wines, and with a family vacation to the beach looming in the near future, I’ll be sure that these are packed along for the trip!