Delaplane Barrel Tasting

A few weekends ago we had the chance to attend the Delaplane Cellars Winemaker’s Dozen Club Spring Barrel Tasting. Barrel tastings are a great way to see how certain vintages are developing. You can often see how they’ll turn out when they are eventually bottled. We always enjoy the opportunity to see how the wines are developing in the barrel.

The barrel tasting began with a taste of the 2011 Rose. It was paired with several cheeses and crackers. We noted spicy characteristics. It paired well with the various cheeses. While tasting the Rose we ran into some of our wine trail buddies, Susci and Rick. We decided to follow them at the barrel tasting.

The first barrel was the 2010 Springlot. This taste was paired with chilled smoked bacon and potato bisque shooters. We noted smoke, raspberry, and blackberry on the nose. We noted a nice color, floral nuances, medium tannins and pepper on the finish.

The second barrel was the 2010 Delaplane. This one was paired with the world’s smallest filet mignon with horseradish cream. This is the first estate blend for Delaplane. It’s spending time in French and Virginian oak. It’s 50% merlot, 33% cabernet sauvignon, and 17% cabernet franc. We noted blackberry, raspberry, sweet tobacco, and a vanilla finish. This one quickly became our favorite. We were very impressed since this is Jim Dolphin’s first estate blend. Nice job!

Next up was the 2010 Williams Gap. It was paired with BBQ’d shrimp and grits. We noted mixed bramble berry, a smokey nose, tobacco, leather, anise, and a caramel finish.

The 2010 Syrah was the next barrel. It was paired with Delaplane risotto stuffed mushrooms. We noted coffee, vanilla, oak notes, dried herbs, a hint of sweetness, dark fruit and a caramel finish. There are six barrels of this that will be all blended together before bottling.

The final was the 2010 Tannat that was just recently bottled. This was paired with roasted Virginia lamb shoulder “Gyro” with Tzatziki. We noted smoke, anise, and dark berry fruit. It’s a bit young but it was just bottled in March. This one will benefit from some time on your rack before opening.

We thoroughly enjoyed the barrel tasting. And it was even more fun with our wine friends. The wines are developing nicely in the barrels at Delaplane. We are looking forward to the bottling of the 2010 Delaplane. It was our favorite and the one that impressed us the most. We’ll be picking up several bottles once it’s released. If you haven’t been to Delaplane lately, plane a trip and see what’s new. And tell the Virginia Wine Time sent you!

A rare treat…me in a picture on the blog! Don’t get used to it! 🙂

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