On a gorgeous Sunday morning we headed out to Delaplane Cellars to pick up Warren’s club wines. We decided to taste the current line up of wines on the tasting menu.
We tasted the 2012 Rose before but this time it seemed to have developed nicely since our last taste. It’s a blend of merlot, cab franc, and cab sauv. It was crisp and clean with strawberry notes throughout.
The 2011 Merlot seems to be coming around as well. In the past it has not been our favorite but this time we noted flavors we had not savored before. Black cherry notes seem to prevail with a hint of minerality. We’re glad to see it’s coming together as time goes on.
After picking up Warren’s wine club wines we each enjoyed a glass of wine with a baguette and some cheese. Being a club member and being on the “pick up” option insures we visit Delaplane once a quarter. It’s nice to keep up with how the wines are developing and get to taste the current line up. If you haven’t been to Delaplane Cellars lately, plan a trip and we you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you.
After the special release tasting we attended at Linden Vineyards recently, we decided to visit a few other wineries in the area. Our first stop was Delaplane Cellars. Being a club member and electing to pick up the shipments instead of having them shipped makes it possible to visit Delaplane often to see what’s new and taste the most current wines. Warren had a shipment to pick up so we decided to visit Delaplane.
Jim Dolphin was there that day and conducted our tasting. The day we attended they were having a special pairing with some of the wines on the tasting menu. Our first wine was the 2012 Rose paired with a pork roulette with strawberry preserves. We noted strawberry, melon, and spice. This would make a nice sipping wine for a concert at Wolf Trap. The second wine/food pairing was the 2012 Viognier paired with toasted cornbread and local honey. Warren and I both thought this was a classic viognier with a floral nose, and honeysuckle and apricot in the mouth. The cornbread was a nice touch with the viognier. We really enjoyed this viognier. The final wine/food pairing was the 2011 Cinq3 paired with Caromont Red Rowe cheese. This one presented some bright fruit flavors with notes of smoke, coffee, and menthol. While I enjoyed the wine, I didn’t care for the cheese so I let Warren finish my piece with his wine. While not paired with foods, we also tasted the 2012 Melange Blanc and the 2011 Merlot.
During our tasting we chatted with Jim about wine of course and he said of the 2010 and 2011 vintages, “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” That pretty much sums up the differences between the two seasons. Some of the 2010s still aren’t quite ready while the 2011s are wines to enjoy right now. During our conversation with Jim, he let us taste the 2012 Petit Manseng. The petit manseng has 5% RS but is integrated so well you are barely aware of the sweetness. We noted tropical fruit and a nice mouth weight. Jim also let us taste the 2010 Williams Gap. I remember loving this one at the barrel tasting a few years ago so I was curious to see how it was developing in the bottle. The first sip informed me it was coming along nicely. I enjoyed it now as much as I did then. We noted some nice fruit, anise, tobacco, and developing smooth ending. We’ll need to try to get a bottle of this for the wine rack sometime.
With our tasting and conversation complete, we decided to enjoy a glass of the 2012 Viognier with the wonderful views. We enjoyed the viognier so much that we included it as part of the #vawinechat Twitter tasting on May 2nd. Lots of Virginia wine bloggers and winemakers joined in for a Twitter tasting of Virginia viogniers. We enjoyed the 2012 Viognier as part of the tasting. We shared our impressions of the wine on Twitter for others to enjoy. Join us on Twitter sometime and participate in the #vawinechat events. The next one is on May 16th. We’ll be tasting and Twitting about Virginia red blends. And the next time you visit Delaplane Cellars be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
A few weekends ago we had the chance to attend the Delaplane Cellars Winemaker’s Dozen Club Spring Barrel Tasting. Barrel tastings are a great way to see how certain vintages are developing. You can often see how they’ll turn out when they are eventually bottled. We always enjoy the opportunity to see how the wines are developing in the barrel.
The barrel tasting began with a taste of the 2011 Rose. It was paired with several cheeses and crackers. We noted spicy characteristics. It paired well with the various cheeses. While tasting the Rose we ran into some of our wine trail buddies, Susci and Rick. We decided to follow them at the barrel tasting.
The first barrel was the 2010 Springlot. This taste was paired with chilled smoked bacon and potato bisque shooters. We noted smoke, raspberry, and blackberry on the nose. We noted a nice color, floral nuances, medium tannins and pepper on the finish.
The second barrel was the 2010 Delaplane. This one was paired with the world’s smallest filet mignon with horseradish cream. This is the first estate blend for Delaplane. It’s spending time in French and Virginian oak. It’s 50% merlot, 33% cabernet sauvignon, and 17% cabernet franc. We noted blackberry, raspberry, sweet tobacco, and a vanilla finish. This one quickly became our favorite. We were very impressed since this is Jim Dolphin’s first estate blend. Nice job!
Next up was the 2010 Williams Gap. It was paired with BBQ’d shrimp and grits. We noted mixed bramble berry, a smokey nose, tobacco, leather, anise, and a caramel finish.
The 2010 Syrah was the next barrel. It was paired with Delaplane risotto stuffed mushrooms. We noted coffee, vanilla, oak notes, dried herbs, a hint of sweetness, dark fruit and a caramel finish. There are six barrels of this that will be all blended together before bottling.
The final was the 2010 Tannat that was just recently bottled. This was paired with roasted Virginia lamb shoulder “Gyro” with Tzatziki. We noted smoke, anise, and dark berry fruit. It’s a bit young but it was just bottled in March. This one will benefit from some time on your rack before opening.
We thoroughly enjoyed the barrel tasting. And it was even more fun with our wine friends. The wines are developing nicely in the barrels at Delaplane. We are looking forward to the bottling of the 2010 Delaplane. It was our favorite and the one that impressed us the most. We’ll be picking up several bottles once it’s released. If you haven’t been to Delaplane lately, plane a trip and see what’s new. And tell the Virginia Wine Time sent you!
A rare treat…me in a picture on the blog! Don’t get used to it!
Paul and I have always been impressed with the wines produced by Jim Dolphin at Delaplane Cellars, and since our last visit to the winery, Delaplane Cellars has earned numerous accolades of wine critics. Feature articles in newspapers and magazines added to the demand for wines from the relatively new winery in Virginia. And if the wines were not enough to visit Delaplane Cellars, the incredible mountain views offer further incentive.
Success has been wonderful to Delaplane Cellars; in fact, it has been too good. On this particular visit, most of their wines were sold out! This includes the heralded Honah Lee and Maggie’s Viogniers as well as the acclaimed Syrah. Four wines were available for tasting, and two were from Delaplane Cellars—the full-bodied 2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay and the complex red 2009 William’s Gap. To fill in the gaps, two offerings from Vintage Ridge were also available tasting, a 2008 Merlot and a 2009 Cabernet Franc. I favored both Delaplane wine, especially the Chardonnay; Paul enjoyed the Merlot as well as the Chardonnay.
As we tasted, our tasting associates updated us on the upcoming releases. Look forward to red wine releases in late winter, and these will include a Syrah, the blended Cinq, and a Tannat. An off-dry Petit Manseng will also be released at roughly the same time. Viogniers? Bottlings from the Honah Lee and Maggie’s Vineyards should be available in the late spring.
From the tasting bar, the winter landscape beckoned, and we shifted our attention to wine, food and gazing. We opted to enjoy a lunch of soft, creamy white cheese with warm bread and a bottle of the 2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay. We appreciated its flavors of apples, pears and honey; its full-bodied mouth feel complemented the creamy texture of the cheese. As we sipped and nibbled, we appreciated the often under-appreciated winter landscape that allowed us to view blue-tinted mountains on a very sunny afternoon.
We will be certain to visit Delaplane Cellars in the spring and summer to sample upcoming releases. In the meantime, enjoy the quiet of wintertime with a trip to Delaplane Cellars. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.