On our way home from Sharp Rock a few weeks ago, we stopped at Gadino Cellars to see what was new. We were lucky enough to have Stephanie conduct our tasting. Stephanie is the assistant winemaker and tasting room manager. She’s always so informative and helpful when she conducts our tasting.
We started with the whites. We tasted the 2007 Barrel Select Chardonnay, the 2008 Sunset, and the 2008 Moonrise (which is actually more of a rose’). Our gold star went to the 2007 Barrel Select Chardonnay with it’s hints of apple and pear and nice nutty finish. Stephanie informed us the 2009 Pinot Grigio, the 2009 Viognier, and the 2009 Barrel Select Chardonnay will be released soon. The 2009 Pinot Grigio is already in the bottle. She let me buy one but I promised not to open it until July. I have it in the fridge waiting for July. I’ve been a fan of the Pinot Grigio for a long time so I’m really looking forward to this one.
We then tasted the reds. We tasted the 2008 Cab Franc, the 2007 Petit Verdot, the 2005 Reserve Merlot, and the 2008 Imagine, which was new to us. Even though the Imagine has 3% residual sugar you’d never know it. It’s a blend of chambourcin, cab franc, and cabernet sauvignon. Our gold star went to the 2005 Reserve Merlot. It has a nice cherry nose, smoother tannins which are integrated well. This is another of my favorites. I still have one bottle on my rack that I’ll be holding on to for awhile.
After our tasting and chatting with Stephanie, we decided to enjoy a glass of the 2007 Barrel Select Chardonnay on the deck. It was an unusually warm day for early May. The cool chardonnay hit the spot. Believe it or not, I was so caught up in the tasting, I didn’t take any photos! Next time I’ll be sure to snap some photos. Plan a stop at Gadino soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
After we enjoyed holiday nibbles and wines at Gray Ghost Vineyards, we decided to pay a visit to Gadino Cellars for a tasting. It had been quite a while since our last tasting there, and we were eager to see if any new offerings were now available on the tasting menu.
So on a very cold afternoon, we were warmly greeted by Stephanie, assistant wine maker and daughter of owners Bill and Aleta Gadino. As always, we started with the white wines. Our favorite? The 2007 Viognier with its floral nose and peach flavors. Treatment in Hungarian oak provides a softer oak finish. Paul was disappointed to learn that his favorite, the Pinot Grigio was sold out. This was one of our summer favorites, and we await its return next year!
The red wines were then offered for tasting, and we both agreed that the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve was the gold star winner. In the mouth, mixed berry flavors ended with vanilla on the finish. Cabernet Franc is known for its spicy characteristic, and this vintage is no exception. Already a gold medal winner, this Cabernet Franc should be quite popular with holiday fare especially if roasted meats are on the menu. Paul was quite pleased that Merlot was back on the menu, and we were able to sample the 2005 Merlot Reserve. What a treat! All we needed was a cigar. Nice blackberry and dark cherry aromas with some tobacco to boot! Of course, Paul had already opened his 2005 Merlot Reserve a long time ago, but he was tempted to purchase another bottle.
With our tasting done, I decided to treat Paul to a glass of the 2005 Merlot Reserve; of course, he had to share! As we sipped and watched the sunlight begin to fade into a lovely glow, Stephanie’s husband Derek stopped by for a brief chat. We learned that the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve is offered on restaurant menus including the acclaimed Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. (Note to Virginia wine lovers—if Virginia wines are offered on the wine list, please order a glass or bottle!)
Before we left Gadino Cellars, we made sure to give new homes to a couple of Gadino Cellars’ wines. We also extended our best holiday wishes to Stephanie with promises to return in the New Year. Looking for wines for the holidays? Be sure to visit Gadino Cellars and be certain to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
And to our readers—HAPPY HOLIDAYS!