Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Author: Warren and Paul (page 4 of 5)

Virginia Sparklings Impress at Tasting

Paul and I were invited to a tasting of sparkling wines which was held at Keswick Vineyards. Stephan Barnard and his wife Kat hosted the event, but the logistics (including the procurement of sparkling wines) were superbly handled by Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like and the Dynamic Duo who write Swirl Sip Snark. A number of palates were on hand to lend their opinions on which sparkling bubbled most brightly, and these included: Swirl Sip Snark, John Witherspoon of the Wine Cellar Wine Shop, John & Jean Haggarty of Haggarty On Wine, Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards, Joel Timmons of Virginia Wine Snob, Richard Leahy of Richard Leahy’s Wine Report, Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like, and Rick Collier & Nancy Bauer of Virginia Wine in Your Pocket.

So twelve sparklings were poured for our critical judgments, and all but two were from Virginia. The tasting was done blind. How did Virginia fare? Quite well. In fact, the two non-Virginia sparklings did not show well at all with the offering from France scoring at the bottom. The other, a bubbly bearing the Barefoot label, ranked #6. Without further ado, here are the rankings based on the panel’s decision:

1. Thibaut-Janisson FIZZ, $21
2. Prince Michel Sparkling Wine, $30
3. Afton Mountain Vineyards Tete’ de Cuvee, $30
4. Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc, $24 (tie)
4. Veritas Scintilla, $30 (tie)
6. Barefoot Brut Cuvee, $9.99
7. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay, $30
8. King Family Brut, $30
9. Barboursville Brut, $18.99
10. Potomac Point Sparkling Wine, $0 (received as tasting sample)
11. Ingleside Vineyards Virginia Brut, $20
12. Chateau Gaillard Cuvee Charlette Voyant Touraine, $19

After tasting the wonderful sparkling we were able to taste several viogniers. We had three from Virginia and two from California. Stephen even shared a 2009 Viognier from the Keswick Signature series. We spent some time socializing and enjoying the wines. It was great getting to spend time with and getting to know our fellow Virginia wine writers. We would like to send out a huge Thank You to Frank Morgan, the folks at Swirl Sip Snark, Stephen Barnard and his wife Kat, and the Inn on Poplar Hill for providing the flutes. We appreciate all the help that went into creating a wonderful tasting afternoon!

Here are some pictures from the afternoon.

Please plan to sample these bubbling beauties at the Virginia wineries that produce them, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Cheese and Wine

Click on the picture to see a short video.

Extra Pour

In this edition of the Extra Pour you’ll find out about our trip to Virginia Wine country and our stay at The Inn at Meander Plantation. Click on the image to download the latest Extra Pour!

Warm Wednesday Whites

Man, is it hot! As we sweat through a record-breaking summer in which 95 degrees is considered cool, we decided to sample some summer sippers sent to us by Kluge estate Winery and Vineyard. The package included the 2009 Albemarle Sauvignon Blanc, the 2009 Albemarle Viognier, and the 2007 Kluge SP Rose. On this warm Wednesday, we tasted the Sauvignon Blanc and the Viognier; we’ll save the Rose for our “back to school” special review.

Our summer menus tend to be fairly light, and this afternoon we snacked on white cheese and crackers as we sipped a glass of the 2009 Albemarle Sauvignon Blanc. On the nose we noted lemongrass and melon with a refreshing minerality with similar attributes in the mouth. It was perfect on a hot day and paired well with our cheese and crackers.

As the sun began to set, Paul prepared a simple supper that consisted of herbed chicken with aromatic jasmine rice. Our wine pairing with this meal was the 2009 Albemarle Viognier. It offered the floral aromatics that reminded us of summertime honeysuckle blossoms, and we both observed flavors of mango and apricot. It finished with a very subtle toasty edge reminiscent of a Condrieu-style Viognier. As the sun began to set and temps lowered to a more comfortable 91 degrees, the 2009 Albemarle Viognier was the best way to end a hot summer’s day.

Stay tuned for our upcoming review of the SP Rose. In the meantime, plan to purchase some summer sippers from Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard. Be sure to mention,though, that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Extra Pour Spring Edition

In this edition of the Extra Pour you’ll find out about how “Meritage Blends Bring Success to Local Winemakers.” Click on the image to download the latest Extra Pour!

Linden Barrel Tasting

So we’re behind in our postings, but we promise to get caught up. (Darn those 9-5 things called jobs!)  Anyway, we did attend the Linden barrel tasting held on May 2 and wanted to post about the event.  We love all things Linden, and this barrel tasting confirmed for us that Jim Law is an incredible winemaker.  Of course, he does get phenomenal support from superb fruit cultivated from the Avenius and Boisseau vineyards, and these wines all prove this theorem to be correct—great wine starts in the vineyard.

Our cellar tasting began with the cult-favorite 2009 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc paired with mussels.  Is there another word for “divine”?  Please let us know!  Classic Sauvignon Blanc characteristics prevailed here with the signature minerality associated with the Avenius Sauvignon Blanc.  In fact, we met up with Shari who presented her 2009 Chardonnay at the Concrete Egg.  Yes, a concrete egg.  This storage device could well pass for an atom bomb, but indeed it does house evolving Chardonnay wine that would otherwise ferment in a stainless steel tank.  Shari explained to us that this is not new technology and the egg does provide a more stable environment for wine to develop.  We await the final results, of course, since this sample was quite young; however, we do anticipate a more French-style offering.

And so on to the red wine barrel samples.  Which were the faves?  We reached a split decision, but it a tough decision. Paul’s nod went to the 2009 Boisseau Cabernet Franc due to its fruit-forward presentation.  I gravitated toward the more complex 2009 Hardscrabble barrel with its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Jim’s father poured from this barrel, and I appreciated the story behind the blend—a difficult spring that gave way to a remarkable summer that will produce a cellar-worthy Bordeaux-style wine.

From there we proceeded to the special release room where upcoming releases were being tasted.  Here again we reached different conclusions.  I held my ultimate gold star for the special release room, and it was presented to the 2007 Hardscrabble Red. The composite here was similar to the barrel sample but included Petit Verdot and splash of Carmenere.  Dark fruit, pencil shavings, and a spicy edge defined this one; given that it’s from the stellar 2007 vintage, count on a cellar-worthy offering to boot.  Paul preferred the more accessible 2007 Avenius Red which was dominated by Petit Verdot but supported by a generous splash of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Drink now or later, this pour offered blackberries, raspberries, and a bit of nutmeg to complement grilled fare that may include a dash of barbeque sauce.

With our barrel tasting done, we enjoyed a glass of the 2009 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc with a baguette.  It was a lovely spring afternoon, and Jim Law’s tasting room offers spectacular mountain views which aw appreciated as we sipped and nibbled. Remember, the cellar tasting is offered to case club members; so, visit Linden to try their current releases and you might be tempted to purchase a case in order to enjoy the benefits.  Be sure to mention, though, that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2014 Virginia Wine Time

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑