Virginia Wine Time

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Tag: events (page 3 of 8)

Weekend Happenings

There are lots of wine events coming up this weekend. We suggest you check out the Virginia Wineries website for a full listing of events. Piedmont Vinyards, Philip Carter, and Barrel Oak are three that we might be attending. What are you doing this wine weekend?

At Piedmont Vineyards and Winery:

At Philip Carter Winery:

May 29: Anniversary of American Wine – the 248th Anniversary Celebration of American Wine Festival, a three day event. Join hosts, Mr. Thomas Jefferson and Mr. Charles Carter, for our third annual 1762 Gold Medal Ceremony and discover why the Carter family is recognized as the first family of American wine.

It’s a day of fun in wine country for the entire family. Be there for the release of “Cleve”, a full-bodied red Bordeaux that is both complex and sophisticated, and enjoy the modern day juxtaposed to the eighteenth century! Hear the voices of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Carter as they speak of their personal connection to wine in young America.

Link-in to the Philip Carter Virtual Tweet-up & Tasting that will explore each Philip Carter wine, including Cleve, during the event, and bring Twitter, Facebook & Foursquare fans together.

Activities include live music, delicious foods, hay rides and moon bounce, and much, much more. Author, Marc Leepson returns. and, as always, all well behaved canine friends are welcomed. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

At Barrel Oak:

It is Barrel Oak Winery’s 2nd anniversary and we are celebrating this Memorial Day Weekend in several amazing ways! We are:

1. Releasing our most popular wines this weekend: BOWHaus White and BOWHaus Red as well as our highly anticipated Rose.
2. Opening the new art show by Ben Roeder: “Traces of Memory, an Abstract Introspective”.
3. Featuring great live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights!
4. Giving a Golden Ticket to every purchaser of a case of our wine. These Golden Tickets contain the gift of a free tasting for two, a combo platter, a bottle of wine, or a membership in our BOWClub. These gifts range in value from $18 to $175.
5. Raffling off TWO Aged Barrels with memberships in our Barrel Club. Each membership has a value of over $1300. Everyone tasting our wines will receive a raffle ticket.

Additionally, on Saturday and Sunday we will have awesome food service from Local 647, serving the best locally sourced farm-fresh organic foods and runners up winners of ABC Weekend’s 2009 Best Food Cart in America Competition.

There will be great music Friday from 6-9 with Demetrios and Curtis and dancing to the sunsets on Saturday 6-9pm to local favorites eNVee and Sunday 6-9pm to the Fabulous Exaggerations! And Sunday we will have old-timey music during the day with Poor Ellen Smith.

We have seating for over 400 guests and of course as always, dogs, kids and picnics are welcome!

Please join us at BOW for the perfect blend of Farm, Family, and Fun!
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Have a great weekend!

Spring Wine Festival

Today we went to the Spring Wine Festival at the Plains. The weather was cool and cloudy but the sun came out a few times. We had the opportunity to sample many wines from wineries all over the state of Virginia. We also had some delicious foods, participated in a California versus Virginia Twitter taste off, and heard some great music.

We were able to tasted wines at 15 different booths. We took lots of notes but couldn’t possibly let you know about each and every winery. Here are highlights from today’s tastings. We picked out a few to share with you. We’ll list the winery and the wine we noted.

Rockbridge-Pinot Noir
Castle Gruen-The King’s Red
Unicorn-Slightly Embarrassed
Abingdon-White Pinot Noir
Cooper-Viognier
Hiddencroft-Dutchman’s Creek
Virginia Mountain-Traminette
Aspen Dale-Consistant quality-we loved all their wines
Stone Mountain-Traminette
Pearmund-both were good
Kluge-Blanc de Blanc
Del Fosse-Reserve d’Oriane
Miracle Valley-Sweet Michelle
Vincent’s Vineyard-Cab Franc
Delaplane Cellars-Honah Lee Viognier

There were several other wineries in attendance but we didn’t have time to get to them all.

The Twitter Taste Off was described like this:

“You be the judge! Come into our wine laboratory and blind-taste your favorite Virginia varietal from several wineries side by side! Brandon Walsh, of Hosted Wine Tasting, will add a non-VA wine to each flight just to make it interesting. Varietals for this exclusive tasting includes Virginia’s best Chardonnays, Viogniers, Cabernets, Merlots and Bordeaux-style Blends.”

It was exactly that. We tasted a viognier from California and Virginia. The Delaplane Cellars Honah Lee Viognier beat the California viognier. We then tasted cab franc from both and the California cab franc won. The last tasting of merlots was a toss up. Half liked the California and half liked the Miracle Valley Merlot. Warren and I were split as well. I liked the California and Warren enjoyed the Miracle Valley.

We ended the day with some biscotti and a glass of the Delaplane Cellars Honah Lee Viognier while listening to Bianca Merkley on the music stage. It began to rain so we called it a day and headed home. We were pleased with the wines we were able to taste today. We highly recommend the wine festivals at the Plains. There’s something there for everyone.

Wine Festival at the Plains

What are you doing this weekend? We’d like to suggest the Spring Wine Festival at the Plains. There will be over 250 Virginia wines presented for tasting. There will be fine art, fancy food, culinary seminars, musical entertainment, and the opening night of Twilight Polo.

We attended this event last fall and loved it. Many of the wineries we are unable to get to, taste their wines at this festival. It’s a great way to taste some wines you’d never get to taste unless you made a trip to their tasting room.

Check out the website and get your tickets now! We’ll see you there!

Linden Barrel Tasting

So we’re behind in our postings, but we promise to get caught up. (Darn those 9-5 things called jobs!)  Anyway, we did attend the Linden barrel tasting held on May 2 and wanted to post about the event.  We love all things Linden, and this barrel tasting confirmed for us that Jim Law is an incredible winemaker.  Of course, he does get phenomenal support from superb fruit cultivated from the Avenius and Boisseau vineyards, and these wines all prove this theorem to be correct—great wine starts in the vineyard.

Our cellar tasting began with the cult-favorite 2009 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc paired with mussels.  Is there another word for “divine”?  Please let us know!  Classic Sauvignon Blanc characteristics prevailed here with the signature minerality associated with the Avenius Sauvignon Blanc.  In fact, we met up with Shari who presented her 2009 Chardonnay at the Concrete Egg.  Yes, a concrete egg.  This storage device could well pass for an atom bomb, but indeed it does house evolving Chardonnay wine that would otherwise ferment in a stainless steel tank.  Shari explained to us that this is not new technology and the egg does provide a more stable environment for wine to develop.  We await the final results, of course, since this sample was quite young; however, we do anticipate a more French-style offering.

And so on to the red wine barrel samples.  Which were the faves?  We reached a split decision, but it a tough decision. Paul’s nod went to the 2009 Boisseau Cabernet Franc due to its fruit-forward presentation.  I gravitated toward the more complex 2009 Hardscrabble barrel with its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Jim’s father poured from this barrel, and I appreciated the story behind the blend—a difficult spring that gave way to a remarkable summer that will produce a cellar-worthy Bordeaux-style wine.

From there we proceeded to the special release room where upcoming releases were being tasted.  Here again we reached different conclusions.  I held my ultimate gold star for the special release room, and it was presented to the 2007 Hardscrabble Red. The composite here was similar to the barrel sample but included Petit Verdot and splash of Carmenere.  Dark fruit, pencil shavings, and a spicy edge defined this one; given that it’s from the stellar 2007 vintage, count on a cellar-worthy offering to boot.  Paul preferred the more accessible 2007 Avenius Red which was dominated by Petit Verdot but supported by a generous splash of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Drink now or later, this pour offered blackberries, raspberries, and a bit of nutmeg to complement grilled fare that may include a dash of barbeque sauce.

With our barrel tasting done, we enjoyed a glass of the 2009 Avenius Sauvignon Blanc with a baguette.  It was a lovely spring afternoon, and Jim Law’s tasting room offers spectacular mountain views which aw appreciated as we sipped and nibbled. Remember, the cellar tasting is offered to case club members; so, visit Linden to try their current releases and you might be tempted to purchase a case in order to enjoy the benefits.  Be sure to mention, though, that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

My Blends

Warren shared his blending experience with you in the last post. I’ll share mine in this post. I will agree with Warren about Al’s malbec. It’s one of the best I’ve tasted. It reminded me of Lori Corcoran’s malbec. Maybe in the future Al will plant enough to produce a stand alone. It’s definitely a great addition to the pieces he uses for blending.

My first blend was made up of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec, and 10% Petit Verdot. I really liked the stand alone versions of these grapes and thought larger amounts of merlot and cab sauv would make a nice wine. Well, in the end this first blend had too much spice for my taste. I didn’t understand that because I only had 15% of the cab franc which were I thought most of the spice would come from. Al explained to me that when you put them all together, they bring out different characteristics and my blend just happened to bring out more spice. Of course I needed to change the percentages in my second blend.

Since I really enjoyed the malbec as a stand alone, I decided to make that one of the major components of my second blend. I went with 30% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. This second blend was so much better than the first blend. The spiciness was gone and replaced with some nice fruit and decent tannins. I was ready to bottle this blend. Warren said he enjoyed it as well.

Al explained how they create 15 different blends, make a gallon of each one, and taste them at three different time intervals. The blend for this year’s Ranger Reserve is 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 12% Malbec. We got a chance to taste it and of course it was wonderful. We had a great time at the blending class and look forward to blending again in the future.

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