In an effort to visit many Loudoun County wineries that we haven’t visited in a long time, we found ourselves in Loudoun County last weekend tasting wines at Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery. It had been awhile since we visited and it was time to taste what was new on the menu. We were lucky enough to have owner and winemaker Dean Vanhuss conduct most of our tasting.
As is usually the case, we began with the white wines and continued on with the read wines. Here are my notes from our tasting:
2009 Barrel Chardonnay – Lemon, oak, tart ending
2010 Viognier – Floral nose, oak, but 25% stainless steel chard is blended in, citrus on the end
2008 Chambourcin – cranberry, fruity nose, smooth, cherry, earthy ending. Lighter than most Chambourcins we taste.
2008 Merlot – tobacco, lighter bodied, cigar box, cherry at the mid palate, smooth ending
2009 Petit Verdot – plum, smokey, moderate tannins, tartness, blueberry, tobacco
2009 Merlot – Opened by the owner – dark fruit, has a more concentrated feel, moderate to heavy tannins, blueberry
2009 Traminette – light, fruity nose, short finish, citrus, lime .5 to 1% RS
2010 Chambourcin Rose – 2% RS, plum, summer sipper on a warm afternoon
During our tasting we chatted with Dean about the 2012 growing season. He said 2012 has been a good year and has high hopes for a nice harvest. He doesn’t think the late summer rains will have much of an effect on the harvest like it did last year. 2012 should yield some nice wines.
After our tasting we both enjoyed a glass of the 2009 Merlot with cheese and bread. Before leaving we purchased a few of our favorites to add to our wine racks. The next time you visit Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery, be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
We recently visited Doukenie Winery. While we enjoyed many of the wines on the tasting menu, we zeroed in on the 2011 Mandolin White Table Wine. We thought this one was a good representation of a summer sipper to enjoy one of these last days of summer.
Last Friday evening we enjoyed a bottle of the 2011 Mandolin on the balcony with hard cheeses and crackers while watching the sunset and enjoying one of our last days of summer. The 2011 Mandolin is a blend of traminette and vidal. We noted lemon, orange, and a slightly sweet ending. It paired perfecting with our cheese and crackers. If you visit Doukenie anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
On another note, did you know we have another wine blog? We sometimes visit Maryland wineries. When we do, we write about them on our other blog, Maryland Wine Time. We recently visited Black Ankle Vineyards and wrote about it on the blog. Check it out!
After our stop at Breaux Vineyards we headed over to Sunset Hills to continue our search for summer sippers. We hadn’t been to Sunset Hills for almost a year. Not only did we want to find some summer sippers but we also wanted to check out the full tasting menu.
We had no problem finding several summer sippers at Sunset Hills. We began with the 2011 Chardonnay. It was crisp and bright with hints of pear, apple, and a nice acidic finish. The 2011 Viognier is a lighter viognier this year. We noted a floral nose….orange blossom with a nice mouth feel and melon, apricot, and white flower notes. On the slightly sweeter side at 1.2% RS, the 2011 Sunset White would be perfect for a hot afternoon. We noted honey, tropical fruit, and a nice lingering mouth feel.
If Rose interests you, and it should, think about the 2011 Rose. We recently brought this one to Wolf Trap to enjoy during a concert. It’s 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. It was all about the cherry and raspberry. It paired very nicely with our picnic fair at Wolf Trap. We finished our tasting with two reds: the 2011 Merlot and the 2010 Sunset Red. The merlot presented notes of cherry, blackberry, and plum. It’s medium bodied and would make a great sipper come this fall. The 2010 Red was a bit bigger and may need some more time on the rack. We noted tobacco, raspberry, and pepper with moderate tannins.
Before leaving we purchased a few of our favorites and promised we’d return sooner than later. If you stop at Sunset Hills anytime soon, tell Meredith we said hello and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!