First Colony Merlot

This evening we enjoyed the 2002 First Colony Merlot. We visited First Colony in September 2005 and saved this wine for a special evening. We had this merlot with some chocolates and nibbles appropriate for merlot.

Strong cherry aromas greet the nose; big cherry flavors fill the mouth with hints of chocolate and vanilla at the end. This merlot craves chocolates! It lingers in the mouth to provide a longer finish. Some tobacco/leather appears at the end. The tannis are fairly soft and accessible to the mouth; this merlot would be fine with food such as steak yet elegant and easy enough to sip on its own.

This weekend we are headed off to Charlottesville to attend the Mardi Gras event at Horton Cellars Winery. We will also visit Oakencroft Winery and Vinyard and Barboursville Vineyard. We will provide tasting notes on our upcoming wine experiences at Horton, Oakencroft, and Barboursville.

Linden Vineyards

Today we went to Linden Vineyards to enjoy their cellar tasting. During the special cellar tasting you get to compare wines from different vintages. We began with the 1999 Hardscrabble Chardonnay (one of our favorites) and got to compare it with the 2001 Hardscrabble Chardonnay. We then moved on to the 2000 Glen Manor Red and were able to compare to the 2001 Glen Manor Red. And finally we tasted the 2003 Late Harvest and compared it with the 2000 Late Harvest. All the wines were exceptional and Margaret, our tasting specialist, was very knowledgable. We then enjoyed a bottle of their Claret with sausage and cheese on their enclosed deck. The scenery at Linden is breathtaking and shouldn’t be missed. If you have considered a visit to Linden, we highly suggest you plan that trip.

Hillsborough Garnet

Hillsborough Vineyards is one of our favorites. A relatively new winery on the Virginia wine scene. Their wines are well-crafted. Today we tasted all of their wines, and these include Opal (Chardonnay and Viognier blend), Garnet (Bourdeaux style Red), and Ruby(Tannat and Touriga blend). We had the 2004 Garnet for lunch, and it was a very good pour. Cabernet Sauvignon prevails here, and black cherry/oak/pepper flavors dominate; however, Merlot rounds out this wine. It can be sipped but should be enjoyed with food. I would have this with anything that “moos”. The Garnet will be best appreciated if laid down for a few months, but it’s yummy now, too!