Round Up Time

Too many wineries and not enough time to write about all of our experiences—this seems to be the ongoing dilemma for us. I will use this post to play catch up on wineries that we have recently visited:

Delaplane Cellars: We always look forward to a tasting here if only to enjoy the gorgeous view from the windows; of course the wines are pretty good too. The 2009 Melange Rouge remains my favorite on the tasting menu; readers may recall that I enjoyed this Bordeaux-style blend the last time we tasted at Delaplane Cellars. Paul enjoyed the smoky 2009 Tannat with its notes of plum and dried herbs. The 2011 Cabernet Franc was the lightest-bodied red and yet the most versatile red wine on the menu. The bright fruit flavors and peppery elements make for a wine that can be served on its own, with fish or pork, or with Thanksgiving fare that features herbed turkey and cranberry sauce. White wines, you ask? Paul was a big fan of the 2011 Maggie’s Viognier with its floral notes and orange blossom notes. Looking for a reason to join Delaplane’s wine club? The cellar-worthy 2010 Syrah might provide convincing evidence. A smoky nose leads to dark plum and tobacco aromas with similar dark fruit flavors and spicy elements in the mouth. I detected a hint of caramel at the end too.
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Linden Vineyards: Too easy to say all of the above, but that would be the answer. We always sign up for the cellar tasting, too, and that complicates our decision to pick a favorite wine. From the regular tasting menu, we were fans of creamy 2010 Chardonnay and the jammy 2010 Petit Verdot. The cellar tasting usually brings out the split decisions. We both agreed that the fuller-bodied 2009 Boisseau Chardonnay was ready for prime time. Rich pear and vanilla aromas were matched by ripe pear and honey flavors. However, I own two bottles of the 2009 Avenius Chardonnay, and I was well pleased with its progression in the bottle. Drink now? Enjoy the Boisseau. Enjoy later? Be patient with the Avenius.

On to the red wines, and these included the 2009 Boisseau Red and the 2009 Hardscrabble Red. Ripe berry fruit and violet notes characterized the Merlot-driven Boisseau, and it was Paul’s immediate favorite. However, I preferred the complexity of the 2009 Hardscrabble Red. Cabernet Sauvignon (64%) dominates the blend, and Merlot (19%), Petit Verdot (10%), and Cabernet Franc (7%) serve as sidekicks. Still tight on the nose, swirling brought forward the dark berry and earthy elements. I made certain to purchase a bottle of this special wine before the left the winery! The cellar tasting always closes with a comparison of dessert wines, and the 2005 and 2008 Late Harvest Vidal were presented for our enjoyment. Paul preferred the fresh 2008 Late Harvest Vidal with its bright floral aromas and vibrant tropical fruit and ginger spice components. I appreciated the older 2005 with its more honeyed texture and dried apricot and citrus flavors.
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Three Fox Vineyards: The 2011 Gatto Bianco was an easy favorite. This white wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc, and the 2% residual sugar brings forward the tropical fruit elements. The Leggero Chardonnay is also noteworthy for its pear and pineapple characteristics and crisp finish. We were also fast fans of the 2009 Piemontese Nebbiolo with its aromas of clover and tobacco. Swirling coaxed raspberry, blackberry and pepper notes to move forward. Port fans may also like the Rosso Dolce Chambourcin and its elements of dark cherry and black plum; a mocha splash at the end begged for chocolate; Paul suggested a tobacco treat, but I’ll let readers decide on that one. A dark chocolate brownie for me, and a cigar for Paul!
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We made certain to purchase our favorite wines at each of these wineries. Readers may have already concluded that Virginia wineries offer a diverse selection of quality wines, and the only right choices are the ones that best please the palate. Therefore, get out on the wine trails and discover which Virginia wines best suit your own palate! Start with a visit to these wineries, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

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