Return To Dry Mill Vineyards

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!

2011 Mandolin

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!

Summer Sippers at Sunset

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!

Summer Sippers at Breaux Vineyards

I’m probably not the best Cellar Club member at Breaux Vineyards. I was two shipments behind. It was time to go to Breaux to pick up the last two shipments and check out the new wines. We were particularly looking for summer sippers as well. We went to Breaux on a Wednesday so the tasting room wasn’t busy at all. While we were tasting we got a chance to talk with Chris Blosser about the recent Fauqier County ordinance as well as how things were moving along in the vineyards. Things are looking good for harvest at Breaux. They have begun harvest and the grapes are looking great!

There were several new 2011 white wines that we hadn’t tasted on the Breaux tasting menu. They would all make great summer sippers. The 2011 Julie Blond is a crisp white with lemon and stone fruit notes. The 2011 Viognier presented peach, apricot, and a creamy finish. We thought it was crisper than the 2010. Nice for a food or as a sipper on its own. The 2011 rose is a blend of mostly nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon, and chambourcin. We noted strawberry and cherry. We thought this would make a perfect Wolf Trap wine.

On the slightly sweeter side, the 2011 Jennifer’s Jambalaya presented honeysuckle and stone fruit. If you like just a hint of sweetness, this one is for you. Again, it would be perfect for a warm summer afternoon. The 2011 Chere Marie is just a bit sweeter with grapefruit and pineapple notes. And if you are looking for a yet sweeter wine, the 2010 Nebbiolo Ice would satisfy that sweet tooth without that syrup texture. We noted some very nice almond and vanilla notes.

Before leaving, we enjoyed a glass of the 2011 Viognier with a baguette. The 2011 Viognier quickly became our favorite wine tasted during that visit. We also picked up my club wines and bought a few extras for the wine rack! All of these wines would be perfect for the few weeks that are left of summer 2012. Be sure to stock up now because many of them sell out fast. And when you visit Breaux Vineyards, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!