We’re back! After a few weeks of vacation we have returned to the wine trail. On Saturday we decided to introduce some friends to a few wineries in Loudoun County. We selected Hunters Run Wine Barn and Doukenie Winery as our first two stops back on the trail. Our friends Troy and Craig came along.
Hunters Run Wine Barn-Owner Geri Nolan conducted our tasting. It was nice to see her again and catch up on what has been happening at Hunters Run since our last visit. During our tasting we learned that all the wines are now being created at Cave Ridge Vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley and Randy Phillips is the winemaker. Since our last visit to Hunters Run, the tasting menu has expanded to include a full line up of wines. One of our favorites was the 2010 Barrel Aged Viognier. It’s a nice rounded wine with tropical notes. We decided to enjoy a bottle of this with our friends with warm bread and cheese. It’s a nice wine for a warm summer afternoon. Another of our favorites is the port style wine called Todds. It’s named after Geri’s father. It is chambourcin based and fermented in bourbon barrels. The alcohol level is 17.5% and the residual sugar is 7%. We noted bright fruit and a smooth finish. Warren enjoyed it so much he decided to get a bottle to bring home. Our friends enjoyed the tasting and experiencing the fun at Hunters Run. They plan to visit again soon.
Doukenie Winery-Our final stop of the day was Doukenie Winery. It had been awhile since we visited and it was time to see what was new on the tasting menu. Our friends had never visit Doukenie so they were interested in tasting all the wines. There were definitely new wines on the menu that we had not tasted before. The stand out white was the 2011 Chardonnay. We noted pear, butter, honey, a nice acidity and a nutty-honey finish. We decided to enjoy a bottle with more bread and cheese. Two of the reds stood out to us. The 2010 Vintner’s Reserve is a Bordeaux style blend that presents a jammy nose with notes of dried fruit, tobacco, and anise with a lengthy smooth finish. The 2010 Petit Verdot has been a favorite of mine for a while now. It has a rich, dense, inky color with notes of dried fried, a whiff of violet, tobacco, and a stiff tannins in the end. Tasting this one once again convinced me I should join the wine club. So I took the plunge and joined the club. Having joined the club, we were able to take advantage of the club members room to enjoy our wine and nibbles with our friends. It was a nice visit to Doukenie and now that I’m a club member, I’m sure we’ll be returning more often.
Plan a trip to Loudoun County soon and be sure to include Hunters Run and Doukenie on your list of wineries to visit. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
Our second stop on Wine Tourism Day was Chrysalis Vineyards. Warren’s parents hadn’t been there yet and it was close to Boxwood so we decided to take them there. Tastings at Chrysalis are so popular that they now have timed tastings. Upon entering the tasting room we signed up for the 1:30 tasting. We had a few minutes to kill so we walked around and showed Warren’s parents the grounds.
As usual, our tasting started with the white wines. The three of were split on our favorite white. I preferred the 2011 Chardonnay. I enjoyed the stainless steel crisp edge with notes of green apple, minerality. Warren favored the 2011 Albarino with it’s notes of apricot, peach, and tartness. Warren’s father enjoyed the 2011 Viognier with its floral notes, creamy mouth feel, and toasted nut finish. While we had our favorite whites, these would all make wonderful summer sippers.
We moved on to the reds and again we were split but this time Warren and I selected the same favorite red. We both enjoyed the 2009 Petit Verdot. We noted blackberry, cherry, firm acids, and solid tannic finish. Warren’s father enjoyed the 2011 Barrel Select Norton. He enjoyed the jammy flavors of cherry, blueberry and blackberry. He was thinking of food items to pair with this wine.
With our tasting complete and our favorites recorded, we selected a bottle of the 2011 Albarino to enjoy with lunch items while enjoying the view of the vineyards. After lunch we purchased a few of our favorites and said our goodbyes. We will return to Chrysalis soon and encourage you to do the same. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
Saturday, May 11th was Wine Tourism Day across the country. Of course we had to be part of this day. Luckily Warren’s parents were in town as well. We decided to take them to a few wineries they hadn’t been to before. The first winery we took them to was Boxwood Estate Winery.
Warren’s parents were impressed with the beautifully designed tasting room and winery building. We’ve always thought it was one of the best we’ve seen. We conducted our tasting at the circular tasting bar right inside the building. Warren’s father joined Warren and I during the tasting. All three of us really enjoyed the 2012 Rose with it’s crisp edge, strawberry and white peach flavors, and the long finish.
The reds were a different story. Warren’s father found a favorite different from ours. Warren’s father favored the 2009 Topiary. He enjoyed the pepper and tobacco notes. Warren and I favored the 2010 Boxwood. We noted dried herb, tobacco, and mineral notes. We thought it was a bit young still and enjoyed it now but think it will be even better in a year or so.
After our tasting Warren’s father and I shared a half bottle of the 2010 Boxwood and Warren enjoyed a glass of the 2012 Rose. Even though there was a light sprinkle in the air, we did enjoy our wine at the picnic tables with a nice view of the vineyards. Before leaving we purchased some of our favorite wines. Our first stop on Wine Tourism Day was a success. When you next visit Boxwood, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!