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Tag: Breaux Vineyards (page 2 of 4)

Summer Sippers at Breaux Vineyards

I’m probably not the best Cellar Club member at Breaux Vineyards. I was two shipments behind. It was time to go to Breaux to pick up the last two shipments and check out the new wines. We were particularly looking for summer sippers as well. We went to Breaux on a Wednesday so the tasting room wasn’t busy at all. While we were tasting we got a chance to talk with Chris Blosser about the recent Fauqier County ordinance as well as how things were moving along in the vineyards. Things are looking good for harvest at Breaux. They have begun harvest and the grapes are looking great!

There were several new 2011 white wines that we hadn’t tasted on the Breaux tasting menu. They would all make great summer sippers. The 2011 Julie Blond is a crisp white with lemon and stone fruit notes. The 2011 Viognier presented peach, apricot, and a creamy finish. We thought it was crisper than the 2010. Nice for a food or as a sipper on its own. The 2011 rose is a blend of mostly nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon, and chambourcin. We noted strawberry and cherry. We thought this would make a perfect Wolf Trap wine.

On the slightly sweeter side, the 2011 Jennifer’s Jambalaya presented honeysuckle and stone fruit. If you like just a hint of sweetness, this one is for you. Again, it would be perfect for a warm summer afternoon. The 2011 Chere Marie is just a bit sweeter with grapefruit and pineapple notes. And if you are looking for a yet sweeter wine, the 2010 Nebbiolo Ice would satisfy that sweet tooth without that syrup texture. We noted some very nice almond and vanilla notes.

Before leaving, we enjoyed a glass of the 2011 Viognier with a baguette. The 2011 Viognier quickly became our favorite wine tasted during that visit. We also picked up my club wines and bought a few extras for the wine rack! All of these wines would be perfect for the few weeks that are left of summer 2012. Be sure to stock up now because many of them sell out fast. And when you visit Breaux Vineyards, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Brownie Wine

As I have mentioned before, I have lots of Virginia red wines on my wine rack. Lately I’ve been randomly selecting red wines to taste and enjoy. One evening last week I was finishing up some brownies that Warren made and thought a red wine would really compliment the brownies. I perused my wine rack and decided on the 2007 Lot 751 Virginia Red Table Wine from Breaux Vineyards Cellar Selection. This wine is only available to Cellar Club members.

Lot 751 is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, and cabernet franc grapes from the 2007 vintage. The dark color and dark cherry nose made me think that maybe this wine was meant for bigger foods. But once I swirled it in my glass and gave it a taste, I knew it would be perfect for the brownies. I noted cherry, extracted fruit, firm tannins, and a relatively smooth ending. With a bite of the brownie, the cherry notes really came through. Since this wine is from 2007 and has some firm tannins, it could benefit from more time on the rack. Or enjoy it now!

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again. There are benefits to being a Cellar Club member at Breaux Vineyards. I enjoy having access to wines the general public won’t get to purchase. I need to get to Breaux soon to pick up my most recent Cellar Club Selections. And if you visit Breaux Vineyards anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Friday Wines

Our evening sipper was the 2010 Barrel Select Chardonnay from Breaux Vineyards. It had a golden color reminiscent of a straw broom. On the nose we detected lots of pear and a passing minerality at the end as we took the glass from our nose. On the tongue we noticed it tasted like it smelled…lots of rich pear and a characteristic bold mouth feel, butter, and a lingering finish. It paired nicely with the manchego cheese and crackers.

For our dinner wine we departed from Virginia and went to California. We did this because next week we are heading to California for a week of wine tasting. We selected the 2004 Sawyer Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. We bought this during our last trip in 2008. We paired this wine with thick filet mignon, roasted potatoes, and tomato and basil salad. It had a beautiful garnet color which surprised us for an eight year old wine. On the nose we noticed raisiny fruit with some cedar and licorice nuances. In the mouth we picked up dried dark fruit, sandalwood and spice. Of course it went well with our filet mignon and roasted potatoes. We look forward to visiting Sawyer Cellars during our upcoming trip.

The Weekend Begins With Wine

Many Friday evenings are spent on my balcony enjoying food and wine. The weather wasn’t too hot on Friday so we continued the tradition.

We began with St. Andre’s cheese and a baguette. We paired it with the 2010 Jennifer’s Jambalaya from Breaux Vineyards. As you may already know, I’m a member of the Breaux Cellar Club and thoroughly enjoy all the wines from Breaux. This is a perfect wine for a warm evening on the balcony. It’s slightly sweet, floral, and fruity. It’s a blend of seven white wines and has just the right amount of acidity. It paired beautifully with our cheese and bread.

For dinner I cooked my mom’s famous meatloaf, baked potatoes, and green beans almondine. We already had plans to visit Naked Mountain Winery & Vineyards this weekend so we selected the 2007 Raptor Red from my wine rack. Some of the 2007 reds from Virginia are beginning to show really well so we wanted to see how well the 2007 Raptor Red was holding up. We were very pleased when we opened it and paired it with our meal. We noted blackberry, raspberry, sweet tobacco, and spice.

Both of our evenings wines turned out to pair very nicely with our food choices. If you haven’t been to Breaux Vineyards or Naked Mountain Winery & Vineyards lately, plan a trip soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Women and Wine: Jen Breaux Blosser

Jen Breaux Blosser is General Manager of Sales, Marketing and Hospitality at Breaux Vineyards. She is also a very familiar face to Virginia wine lovers. Jen is a visible face in the tasting room at Breaux Vineyards, and she constantly interacts with wine lovers on Facebook and Twitter. Her energy and passion for Virginia wine is limitless. When Jen is not at the helm of a winery that has earned numerous national and international awards, she is also a mom to three boys. We’re so pleased she agreed to answer some questions for us. Click on the Women and Wine tab to read her answers. Thanks Jen!

Also check this out:

Wine critic Dave McIntyre’s article in Tuesday’s Washing Post is a must read for wine lovers. The article features chef Peter Chang and his decision to pour Virginia wines at the James Beard House in Manhattan to celebrate Monday’s start of the Year of the Dragon. Winemaker Andy Reagan will undertake the task of pairing Chang’s spicy cuisine with Virginia wines. NcIntyre then reports on a New Year’s dinner that he hosted at Peter Chang’s Charlottesville restaurant, China Grill, and invited several Virginia winemakers to attend. The purpose? To test Andy Reagan’s wine pairings with Chang’s menu. The results? Read the article to find out!

King Cab Served at Breaux Vineyards

Breaux Vineyards fans may already know that each year, the winery offers a series of vertical tastings that may include a vertical flight of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, meritage blends, etc. This past weekend, we attended a vertical tasting that featured the king of Bordeaux grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, and vintages since 2005 were served. These included barrel samples from the 2009 and 2010 vintages. A three-course menu was served with the flight of wines.

Tasters were greeted to the event with a tank sample of the 2011 Cabernet Rose, a very dry rose that already presented a nose of fresh strawberries. This Old World rose was an instant hit for me; it also called to attention the winemaking style of new winemaker David Castano. I expect that Castano’s wines will be more European with a focus on full fruit expression and nuanced earthy elements that make for elegant and food-friendly wines. Keep in mind that the difficult 2011 vintage will be Castano’s first as winemaker at Breaux, so this rose provided early signs of success.

So on to the Cabernets now and food course #1: jumbo prawn over thyme and Parmesan grits topped with wilted frisse and tomato oil. These were paired with the 2005 and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the two, I preferred the muscular, earthy 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon with its dark fruit characteristics and tobacco nuances. (However, I must admit that I enjoyed the prawn even more with the rose.) The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was lighter bodied compared to its younger sibling; Paul seemed to appreciate this one more than the 2006 and observed violet notes with cherry flavors and a smooth finish.

Course #2: grilled free-range chicken over cappellini spun with truffle cream and crimin mushrooms tossed with goddess coulis. My favorite dish of the evening! And it was paired with my favorite wine of the evening—the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was presented next to the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the contrasts were obvious. The 2007 growing season was stellar in Virginia thus producing outstanding red wines. The Breaux Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon lived up to the lofty expectations. Complex yet elegant, it delivered aromas and flavors of dark cherry, plum, cassis, and black pepper. I caught a whiff of pencil shavings; Paul described it as cedar. On the other hand, the 2008 presented a fruitier, riper profile with oaky elements that suggested it needed a bit more time to integrate more fully. The finish on this one seemed a bit shorter than the 2007. The 2008 growing season was a more classic one for Virginia that included a visit from hurricanes hence more rainfall.

And now course #3: grassfed beef braised with mushrooms over garlic croustade and wilted watercress. Barrel samples of the 2009 and 2010 vintages were partnered with this dish. Again, the contrasts were notable. The 2009 sample finished last on my list of wine preferences for the evening. “Green” was the word that I jotted down as I observed more vegetal aromas. Still young to be sure, I will be interested to taste this one down the road. The 2010, however, had potential written all over it. I would consider this one to be on par with the 2007 vintage. Though extremely young, dark fruit components were on full display as was a noted vanilla finish to suggest oak aging. This youthful kid was more than a match for the slow-cooked beef, earthy mushrooms, and stick-to-your ribs sauce.

As a New Orleans native, I appreciate lagniappe (or “something extra”), and the 2006 Late Harvest Breaux Soleil was our bonus pour of the evening. This blend of late harvest Vidal, Viognier, Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc exhibited a heady floral nose along with aromas of apricots, citrus and honey. It was certainly a lovely bonus and a nice way to finish the evening.

As we sipped and dined, winemaker David Castano introduced himself and explained that he hails from a family of winemakers in Spain. He expertly presented the wines and entertained questions from the crowd of tasters. In the process, we learned that all Cabernets at Breaux are blends from both American and French oak barrels, and Castano intends to continue this practice so as to maximize the benefits to the aging process offered by both types of barrels. As a side note, we also learned that Breaux neighbors, Grandale Farms Restaurant, will begin their own vineyard to be called Silhouette Vineyards. Details about this development were indeed scarce; needless to say, check in with Virginia Wine Time to keep abreast of the developing story.

We always enjoy wine and chatter with our fellow bloggers, and joining us for the evening were Allan Liska and Erika Johannsen from Cellarblog. I think that we all concurred on a decision that the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was the evening’s winner. The next vertical tasting will take place in March and feature Merlot, and we will certainly check our calendars for that event. In the meantime, plan a visit to Breaux Vineyards or perhaps even reserve a seat at the next vertical tasting in March. Please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Verticals at Breaux Vineyards

This past weekend we headed to Breaux Vineyards to pick up my latest Cellar Club selections. While there we decided to do a tasting to see what had been added to the tasting menu. We were treated to a few vertical tastings of new wines and some classics. While we enjoyed all of the Breaux wines, I’ll only inform you of the wines that were included in our vertical tastings.

We began with merlots. Breaux is now tasting the 2005 and the 2006 at the tasting bar. Our favorite tasting associate Silvia, walked us through our tastings. The 2005 Merlot is a wonderful wine. We noted cherry, chocolate, dark fruit, and finish that was smooth. We thought this one could be enjoyed on its own or with food. The 2006 Merlot presented early, herby characteristics with acidic notes. We noted spice, plum, and cherry. We think this one needs another year or two to be a superb wine. We suggest you purchase it now and let it sit on your rack to enjoy in the years to come.

Our second vertical consisted of the cab sauvs from 2005, 2006, and 2008. Warren and I were split on our gold stars for the cab sauvs. I preferred the 2008 with its fresh, fruity, sweet nose with bright berries and light tannins on the tongue. The 2008 was a perfect example of the fruity characteristics I expect from a 2008 red. Warren selected the 2005 for his gold star. He described it as a classic cab sauv. He noted dark cherry, pepper, coffee and chocolate and noted the subtle oak would accompany food rather well. We both thought the 2006 presented a green characteristic (not green pepper though) with wet wood notes. We both think this one will get better with time.

Our final vertical included the 2006 Nebbiolo and the 2008 Barrel Select Nebbiolo. Our gold star went to the 2008 Barrel Select Nebbiolo. We noted a fruity nose with blackberry and dark currants in the mouth. We noted the chewy quality of this wine. The 2006 Nebbiolo presented herb, spice, tobacco, tar, and coffee. This one also had a chewy quality to it.

We really enjoyed our chance to taste so many vintages. We were excited about the Cabernet Sauvignons. So much so we are planning to attend the Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical tasting on January 14th. If you are planning to attend the event, let us know so we can all sit together. And if you visit Breaux Vineyards anytime soon, be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Snow and Wine at Breaux

Last Sunday Warren and I headed to Loudoun County for a day of horseback riding and wine tasting. We began the day at Providence Farm for a trail ride. There was still snow on the ground and fall colors in the trees. Besides the beautiful views, we saw deer, all kinds of birds, and other wild life. After our memorable trail ride, we headed to Breaux Vineyards for some wine tasting. We were also there to pick up my latest Cellar Club selections.

The snow on the ground with the fall colors on the trees made for some beautiful pictures at Breaux!

One of our favorite tasting associates Silvia conducted our tasting. We always enjoy chatting about wine with Silvia when we visit Breaux Vineyards. We’ve tasted all the wines on the regular tasting menu several times but enjoy seeing how they are evolving in the bottle. The 2010 Viognier is really evolving. We tasted it for the first time at the Wine Bloggers Conference back in July. We then tasted it again in September. This time we noticed honeysuckle really standing out. It’s a complex wine that will continue to delight our palates. The non-vintage Equation is also evolving nicely in the bottle. Each time we taste it something different arrives on our tongues. This time the plum and berry flavors really stood out. This one is a great sipper and would go well with pizza or burgers.

During our tasting we were able to chat with Jen Breaux and taste some of the Cellar Club selections. We were able to taste the 2010 Lot 10-08. This is a blend of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc. Its light and crisp and presents citrus and stone fruit notes. It had a tart finish with a hint of merinality. I decided this one would make a great sipper for the beginning of a dinner party. I brought home two bottles for that exact reason. The 2008 Six Degrees is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera. Warren noted violet, plum, blackberry, dried fruit, and tobacco. He thinks it would pair well with prime rib. Yum!

After our tasting we enjoyed some of the 2010 Lot 10-08 with cheese and baguette slices. Jen treated us to a glass of the 2001 Nebbiolo! Thanks Jen! The 2001 Nebbiolo is a stand out wine. It is developing beautifully in the bottle. Its light and smooth and is effortless to enjoy. If you ever get the chance to try this one, you simply must. We had a great afternoon at Breaux enjoying the wines and running into our friends Jeff and Stacey! If you visit Breaux Vineyards anytime soon, meet some friends, enjoy the wine, join the club, and be sure to tell them Virginia WIne Time sent you!

Friday Wines

Our sipper for the evening was the 2008 Viognier from Corcoran Vineyards. We had it with a soft creamy cheese and baguette. We noted a floral nose with lime and ripe pear in the mouth. It was refreshing on the cool fall evening. It paired well with our Friday evening nibbles. We don’t think Corcoran is making a viognier anymore and it’s just sad because this one is so nice.

For dinner we had turkey cutlets and angel hair pasta. Warren selected the 2009 Breaux Vineyards Viognier. We have loved the Breaux Viogniers in the past and just knew this one would go well with our meal. On the nose we noted honeysuckle and mango. In the mouth we picked up honeysuckle and mango, tropical fruit notes. It had a full mouth feel and a lengthy finish. And yes, it went well with our meal.

Hurricane Preparedness

We have been preparing for hurricane Irene. Warren bought caned foods, water, and batteries. He’s a veteran hurricane survivor and knows just what to do to prepare for such a storm. As part of our hurricane preparedness, we enjoyed some Virginia wines last night around dinner time.

Our hurricane preparedness sipper was the 2009 Hunt Country Chardonnay from Piedmont Vineyards. We enjoyed this wine with some swiss cheese and crackers while sitting on the balcony trying to enjoy the humid weather. We noticed a whiff of pineapple and pear on the nose and a touch of citrus and a crispness in the mouth. Of course it paired beautifully with our cheese and crackers. It also helped manage the humid temperatures on the balcony.

For dinner we opted to move indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. We were having steaks and roasted potatoes for dinner and we selected the 2007 Petit Verdot Cellar Selection from Breaux Vineyards. This was a perfect wine to prepare for the oncoming hurricane. We noticed characteristics of concentrated dark fruit, lots of dark plum, dark cherry, leather, tobacco, and carmel. Warren even noticed some pepper. We did pour it through the Soiree to help give it some air as we filled our glasses. When we poured the last drops into our glasses, we were wishing we had another bottle! The wine paired wonderfully with our dinner choices.

Are you prepared for the hurricane? Make enjoying some Virginia wine part of your preparing for the storm. If you happen to visit Piedmont Vineyards or Breaux Vineyards in the near future, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

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