Sunset at Sunset Hills

After we visited Breaux Vineyards last Sunday, we headed to Sunset Hills to taste the wines. This was the first time Warren’s parents have visited Sunset Hills. We were lucky to be visiting them on their two year anniversary weekend.

Sunset Hills currently only has two whites available for tasting. We were disappointed to find out so many of their wines were sold out. We were hoping to try the viognier but that just wasn’t to be. However, we did taste two chardonnays. Here are my impressions:

2009 Chardonnay-peach, fruity, round mouth feel, my kind of chard, easy to drink, patio sipper, this one gets my gold star.

2009 Reserve Chardonnay-oak, butter nose, Warren’s kind of chardonnay, more complex, Warren’s gold star.

After the two chardonnays, we moved on to the reds. There were four to taste. Here are my notes:

2008 Cabernet Franc-raspberry nose, pepper, paired with pepperoni and cheese, more of a pizza wine, this one got my gold star for the reds.

2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve-earthy nose, dark fruit, higher percentage of cab franc, 84%, more herbal notes, mocha, Warren’s gold star.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon-herb on the nose, cherry, plum, cedar, black pepper, 9% cab franc, a little young, can lay down a few years.

2008 Petit Verdot – 25% cab sauv, chocolate nose, medium bodied (the tasting notes say this is a monster red), blueberry, cherry, earthy qualities.

After our tasting we selected the 2008 Cabernet Franc to have with some lunch items. We chose several items from the Lite Fare menu to have for lunch with the cab franc. Before leaving we saw this wonderful sunset. It certainly explains the name of the winery. How lucky we were to see it! Next time you find yourself visiting Sunset Hills, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!


Happy Thanksgiving! Today Warren made the thanksgiving meal for me, my mom, and his parents. Everything was delicious of course and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. Normally we would post about what wines to serve for Thanksgiving. This time however, we’re posting after the fact and posting about the wines we did have for Thanksgiving. It was mostly a Gray Ghost Thanksgiving this year.

We began with a butternut squash soup and had the 2009 Gewurztraminer from Gray Ghost. After the soup Warren served a harvest salad with the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Fox Meadow. The main course consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauces (both kinds), green beans, and cornbread. We had the 2009 Cabernet Franc from Gray Ghost. For desert we had Warren’s mother’s pecan pie and the 2009 Adieu from Gray Ghost. All the wines paired perfectly with the meal. What Virginia wines did you have for Thanksgiving?

I’m Not a Chambourcin Fan

For dinner last night we had breaded chicken and herbed rice. Warren selected the 2009 Chambourcin from Hume Vineyards to compliment the meal. I may not have noted this yet but I’m not a big fan of Chambourcin. I’ve tasted many Chambourcins and very few make it on my rack. The Hume Chambourcin would fit nicely with the other wines on my rack.

On the nose we jotted down fruity, jammy, dark plum, dark cherry, earth, tobacco, and anise. Jammy can sometimes be a bad thing but in this case it was not the bad kind of jammy. It was pleasant. In the mouth we noted similar characteristics with the addition of currents, spice, and pepper. Even though it is 13.8% alcohol, we noted some heat on the end. The Chambourcin complimented the breaded chicken and herbed rice rather well.

Even though I don’t call myself a Chambourcin fan, I did enjoy this one. We look forward to future vintages of Hume’s Chambourcin. Knowing that I’m not the biggest Chambourcin fan, are there other Virginia Chambourcins you, dear readers, recommend I try?

Iron Bridge Wine Co.

While staying in Warrenton to harvest grapes at Gray Ghost, we had dinner at the Iron Bridge Wine Co.

To begin we decided on a flight of VA wines with a cheese plate. Delaplane cellars Chardonnay, Pearmund Riesling, and the Gadino Petit Verdot were on the flight. Tasting the wines with the different items on the cheese plate was fun and adventurous. We selected the Gadino Petit Verdot to receive the gold star for the flight. However the gold star pairing had to be the blue cheese with the Pearmund Cellars Riesling. It just goes to show that opposites do attract.

For dinner we had the 2007 Topiary. It’s a blend of Cabernet Franc and merlot. Paul paired it with black angus beef meatloaf and Warren had New Zealand lamb chops. We noted dark plum, dark cherry, cassis, a hint of spice, and a solid dark garnet color. The Topiary paired well with our meals.

This restaurant serves and sells many Virginia wines. They have four floors in the wine tasting experience. After dinner we spent some time at the Enomatic bar tasting VA wines as well as wines from all over the world. Just to let you know, the Virginia wines more then held their own. In fact our ultimate gold star for the evening was awarded to the Hardscrabble Chardonnay from Linden. If you purchase a bottle to go from the downstairs selections you get a 25% discount off the shelf price. Some of the wineries represented here are Gray Ghost, Pearmund, Gadino, Linden, Hume, Fabbioli Cellars, and Boxwood.

We had a wonderful dinner and the Virginia wines were superb. If you find yourself in Warrenton and hungry, consider the Iron Bridge Wine Co. on Main St. And tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you.