Friday Sips

We began our Friday evening with the 2009 Chardonnay from Pollak Vineyards. As you may know I am a huge fan of Pollak Vineyards wines. It seems like I’m always looking for occasions to enjoy one of the wines from Pollak. I selected the chardonnay to go with our cheese and crackers as we waited for dinner to be ready.

We sipped and noticed pear, a hint of citrus, and toasty oak on the nose of this wonderful wine. In the mouth we noted apple, pear, a hint of oak and a creamy mouth feel. This wine went really well with our cheese and crackers. It was a perfect way to start the weekend.

For dinner we selected the 2009 Cab Franc from Gray Ghost to go with our pasta and chicken. Again we love the Gray Ghost wines. On the nose of this one we noted mixed red berries. In the mouth we got very similar fruit characteristics of cherry, strawberry and maybe even a hint of mocha. Warren detected some mint or menthol. This is a light bodied wine with a beautiful magenta color. It accompanied our meal very well. We hope you enjoyed some Virginia wine this evening!

More Sips On A Rainy Day

We continued our tour of Loudoun County wineries on our wet and dreary weekend. Wine tends to make things less dreary, though, and we made our way to Hiddencroft Vineyards.

Owner and winemaker Clyde Housel conducted our tasting which began with the white wine offerings. Included was a tank sample of the upcoming 2010 Vidal Blanc. When compared to the sweeter 2009 Vidal Blanc, the drier 2010 sample seemed similar to a dry Riesling. Rich with citrus zest and melon flavors it also presented mineral undertones; its finish was quite crisp and destined to herald the arrival to summer! Of the white wines that we tasted, Paul and I both favored the 2010 Vidal Blanc, and we look forward to its release in either June or July. Sweeter wine lovers may also like the floral-nosed 2009 Traminette with its 2 1/2 percent residual sugar.

Clyde moved us on to the red wines, and here we reached different conclusions. My gold-starred favorite was the 2008 Chambourcin Reserve which was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels and blended with 10% Petit Verdot. Lush ripe plum and cherry elements complemented by some spice notes made for a versatile wine that could partner with any beef or pork dish, a cheese course, or a simple plate of charcuterie. Paul selected the 2008 Cabernet Franc. The 2008 Cabernet Franc just earned gold at the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition, and it is made from all estate grown fruit. It possessed a “raisiny” nose with brambleberry flavors and a spicy finish. Of course, the tasting ended with a sample of fruit wines, and the pairing of cherry wine with dark chocolate was simply decadent!

As we sipped and savored, Clyde revealed to us that he was part of a blending collaboration along with Jordan Harris at Tarara Winery and Ben Renshaw at 8 Chains North. This will be very similar to the successful “3” blend produced by Veritas Vineyards, King Family Vineyards and Pollak Vineyards. The red grapes used in this blend will all be from the Tranquility Vineyards in Loudoun County; although we did not jot down the varieties to be used in the blend, we will be sure to find out in time for the June 5 release!

With our tasting done, we shared a glass of the 2008 Cabernet Franc and nibbled on cheese and baguette while we watched the raindrops fall. We finished in time to take advantage of a lull between showers and headed for the car with Hiddencroft favorites in hand. Plan a visit to Hiddencroft Vineyards, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

What To Do On A Rainy Day?

We went wine tasting! First stop was Loudoun Valley Vineyards. Our last visit to Loudoun Valley Vineyards was in March, 2010, and we were anxious to taste the current releases.

Of the white wines, we both favored the very aromatic 2009 Traminette. The Traminette grape is a hybrid of Gewurztaminer and Seyval Blanc, and this offering presented characteristics of both parents. It floral nose was quite intoxicating, and we both noted citrus and stone fruit flavors. Spicy fare or spring time menus that include baked ham would pair nicely with this one.

The red wines resulted in a split decision. I tended to favor the 2008 Dynasty which is a blend of Cabernet Franc (50%), Merlot and Touriga Nacional. This is a more fruit forward offering with elements of mixed berries and spice. I noted a velvety finish, too. Winemaker Bree Ann Moore favors neutral French oak barrels which may explain the softer tannic presence. Paul preferred the 2008 Cabernet Franc. He appreciated its dark plum and cherry flavors and full fruit finish; Paul also noted hints of black pepper in the mouth that would be characteristic of Cabernet Franc. Tasters who are hope for an early grilling season may want to try the lighter bodied 2008 Chambourcin or the Vinifera Red that includes such Rhone varieties as Mouvedre and Syrah.

Upcoming releases will include a non-fortified port style wine made from Touriga Nacional. This will be called Legacy and will be available in May. We will be sure to check back when this and other new releases may be on the tasting menu. Be sure to stop by Loudoun Valley Vineyards for a tasting, and be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Saturday Sips

Our Saturday sips included two white wines. We started the evening with the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Delaplane Cellars. I thought it was a food wine while Warren was easily able to sip it while enjoying some cheese and crackers. Our dinner wine was the 2008 Viognier from Pollak Vineyards.

We had the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Delaplane Cellars with some manchego cheese and crackers. I noted oaky pear on the nose while Warren jotted down pear and honey. In the mouth I thought this was a classic oaken chardonnay with buttery notes and a creamy mouth feel. Warren noted a honey texture, bit-o-honey (like the candy) and a toasty finish. We both thought though, that it went really well with the cheese and crackers. I thought it might even go better with some white fish or crab cakes. Warren agreed.

For dinner we had parmesan encrusted tilapia with black rice (by the way this was the first time I had black rice and it was pretty good…bland, but pretty good). Warren selected the 2008 Viognier from Pollak Vineyards. I was upset because this was my last bottle. I have loved all the vintages of the viognier from Pollak. I need to visit them again to get some of the 2010. Back to the wine…on the nose we noted apricot, stone fruit. In the mouth we noted minerality, stone fruit, Warren’s “bit-O-honey,” and a fruity finish. As it warmed up I definitely got honey as Warren noted. I love this wine and thought it went beautifully with our tilapia. If you find yourself enjoying a tasting at Pollak Vineyards or Delaplane Cellars, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!


Here’s a short video of our impressions of the new wine “3” by Pollak Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, and Veritas Winery. Click on the picture to see the video.