On Sunday we went to a once yearly barrel tasting at Linden Vineyards. We invited our friends Caroline and Kerry to join us at this event. We were so pleased they decided to join us.
Once we got to Linden we participated in their regular tasting and were able to taste their recently released 2004 Cabernet Franc and their 2005 Vidal Riesling as well as their current offerings. We could not find a bad thing to say about any of their wines. We enjoyed each one.
After our tasting we picked up our glass and our tasting sheet and went to the cellar to began the barrel tasting. The tasting sheet describes the event like this:
“Once a year we like to give you the opportunity to taste the new vintage. There is something magical about tasting a wine right from the barrel. The wines are young, unpolished, exuberant and full of fresh fruit flavors with a puckery dryness. We will tell you about the growing season, the logic behind the blends and how we think the wines will evolve.”
From the first barrel we were able to taste the 2005 Avenius. This wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. The grapes come from Shari Avenius’ vineyard which is close to Linden. She grows the grapes for Linden and Jim Law uses his skill to create the wines. Shari Avenius herself was using the wine theif to serve our taste of this developing wine. We would really enjoy having the chance to talk with her sometime about her vineyard.
The second barrel revealed the 2005 Hardscrabble which is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot, and cabernet franc. This one became the favorite of Paul and Caroline. The man providing our taste explained that this wine would be staying the barrel for several more months. We look forward to it’s release.
Barrel three consisted of the 2005 Petit Verdot. This wine contained petit verdot and cabernet franc. Warren found this one to be his favorite. Kerry enjoyed this one as well.
The last barrel was the 2005 Boisseau which is a blend of cabernet franc, petit verdot, and merlot. Richard Boisseau has 3 arces of grapes that he sells to Jim Law for creating this wine. Richard explained to us that each wine takes the name of the vineyard from which the grapes come. Instead of naming the wine by the largest concentration of a certain grape, the wine takes the name from the vineyard’s owner. Interesting way to name wines.
After the barrel tasting we entered a different part of the cellar for a special release tasting. Over the weekend Linden released the 2005 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc, the 2002 Hardscrabble Red, and the 2004 Petit Manseng. All three were very good. With each wine they provided foods that paired well with each one. After this tasting we went back upstairs and enjoyed two bottles of wine and nibbles for lunch. While we were having our lunch, they sold out of the 2002 Hardscrabble Red. Paul was a bit upset because he was planning on buying a bottle or two because it was 100% merlot.
We have found that barrel tasting provide you insight to the upcoming wines. We thoroughly enjoyed this barrel tasting at Linden and can’t say enough about their wines. Here are some photos from our visit to Linden:
Caroline, Kerry, and Warren at the regular tasting.
Warren, Kerry, and Caroline enjoying the barrel tasting.
Richard Boisseau using the wine theif to provide Warren a taste of the 2005 Boisseau.