I was asked at a recent dinner party about Virginia wines I had tasted in 2012 that were the most memorable. This could have been any wine that I tasted but not necessarily purchased in 2012. I gave a quick answer but then realized that more reflection time would have generated a list of favorite wines. I will list my top five white wines and top five red wines; these are memorable wines that I enjoyed last year but may have been purchased in previous years.
Afton Mountain 2010 Gewurztraminer
Glen Manor 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Gray Ghost 2011 Adieu
Jefferson 2010 Reserve Chardonnay
Linden 2009 Hardscrabble Chardonnay
Barboursville 2007 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Breaux 2005 Nebbiolo
Glen Manor 2009 Hodder Hill
Keswick 2009 Merlot
Pollak 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Favorite wines not produced in Virginia? Hanzell 2009 Pinot Noir, J Vineyards Brut Rose, and Silver Oak 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon top my list. The Champagne Mailly Grand Cru was another winner that made New Years’ Eve very special. My most disappointing wine experience, though, was a 2004 French Burgundy that I had been saving for a special occasion; yes, it was rather expensive. I opened it before a dinner party to honor two guests who had just been married, and thankfully, I tasted it before it was poured. Yikes was it bad! Oxidized and funky were the only words to describe it. Heartbroken, I even tried decanting, but it could not be saved—it was done!
Feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section! Of course, plan a visit to any of the wonderful wineries listed in this post, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
Some wine friends of ours recently told us that Piedmont Vineyards was still open for business. We thought it was sold and no longer producing wine. It was time for us to return to Piedmont Vineyards. After our stop at Boxwood Winery over the weekend, we decided to go by Piedmont and see if they were in fact open.
When we entered the tasting room we saw a very familiar face…Gerhard Von Finck. After hellos and welcomes, we found out that he was recently in the hospital but is almost back to normal and still selling wine at Piedmont. The only wine he is selling is his 2010 Chambourcin. He only has about 20 cases left so you need to get out there soon and get your case. All other wines on the tasting menu are from DelFosse Vineyards. Gerhard’s plan is finish selling his Chambourcin and then Claude DelFosse will be able to get a license to sell his wines on his own. So Piedmont will most likely become a satellite tasting room for DelFosse Vineyards. Gerhard hops to return to Toronto in the near future.
We last visited DelFosse in October and wrote about our visit at that time. If you want to find out what we thought about the wines at that time, check out that post. Even though we just recently tasted the DelFosse wines, we went ahead and did a tasting. As usual, we enjoyed the wines. A few favorites: The 2011 Reserve d’Oriane presented pineapple, peach, and apricot and a long finish. The 2008 Petit Verdot is 100% petit verdot with notes of blackberry, violet, and beautifully smooth ending. I thought of food right away with this one.
After enjoying a bottle of the 2011 Reserve d’Oriane with lunch and bird watching on the patio and long chats with Gerhard, we wished him well and success in future before leaving. We also purchased a few of our favorites. Visit Piedmont Vineyards soon to enjoy the DelFosse wines and be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
So we are back on the wine trails, and what better way to start than with a tasting at Boxwood Estate Winery? We had not been to Boxwood since it opened a tasting room on the estate last summer, and we knew that we were due for a visit.
We were impressed with the seated tasting set up, and our tasting associate started us right away with our tasting. Five red wines were available for tasting, and three were from the 2010 vintage while the other two were from the 2009 vintage.
Overall, we were most impressed with the 2010 offerings. The 2010 Boxwood Estate Trellis, a blend dominated by Merlot (68%) and complimented by Malbec (18%) and Petit Verdot (14%) proved to be an accessible, medium-bodied wine with aromas of violet and cigar box. Flavors of cherry and nutmeg filled the mouth.
My own favorite was the 2010 Topiary, a blend of Cabernet Franc (61%) and Merlot (39%). Violet and tobacco notes were evident as well as aromas and flavors of raspberry and black pepper. An even more complex wine was the 2010 Boxwood, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (43%), and Petit Verdot (7%). Concentrated aromas of dark berries and plum along with undertones of licorice and cigar box made for a complex nose; similar flavors were noted in the mouth with an additional layer of blackberry. An elegant and age-worthy wine, I determined to add a bottle of the 2010 Boxwood to my own wine rack at home! Paul’s favorite? The 2010 Boxwood.
With our tasting completed, we decided to enjoy a glass of the 2010 Topiary while viewing the stark winter landscape from our seat near the window. Paul was armed with his new camera to take snapshots of barren trees reaching up to stark blue skies as well as the occasional hungry hawk soaring above to find an afternoon treat. We will return to Boxwood Estate Winery soon especially when we know that the new Rose will be released. Until then, plan a visit to Boxwood Estate Winery and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.