In this video we talk about a few summer sippers you might enjoy this summer.
This is the only way to describe our Saturday afternoon at Glen Manor Vineyards. We both had a hectic week and looked forward to a relaxing getaway even if only for the afternoon. We decided to head out to Glen Manor Vineyards with a picnic in tow; we did not regret the decision.
Our picnic required the perfect wine; of course, we had to taste them all to find out which one would partner with lunch. Our decision came down to two of them: the crisp 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and the dry 2013 Morales Rose. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc continues the tradition of excellent results with the Sauvignon Blanc grape at Glen Manor Vineyards. It presented grassy notes with flavors of citrus and a crisp finish. Perfect for the afternoon that we had planned, and even better with shellfish. The 2013 Morales Rose is a blend of red grapes that include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. This rose is done in the Provence style—dry with lots of strawberry and melon flavors with a crisp finish. It screams summer yet is versatile enough to consider with a fall or holiday menu.
So what was our decision? It was a close call, but we nabbed a bottle of the 2013 Morales Rose to enjoy with a variety of deli meats, cheeses, and crackers. We found a perfect shady spot beneath a canvass canopy, and the Adirondack chairs allowed us the comfort to sip and nibble as we enjoyed the gorgeous view that encompassed mountain slopes, vineyards, and grassy knolls from which birds and butterlies fluttered about. We decided to linger for as long as possible; if we had brought pillows and blankets, we might have taken naps! It was truly an Ahhhhh experience of excellent wine, delicious snacks, and relaxing landscapes.
Consider your own Ahhhh moment at Glen Manor Vineyards. Remember to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
A few weeks ago, on a Friday evening, we enjoyed a few wines as we usually do. We’ve been busy posting about events and winery visits that we had to put this off a few weeks.
We started the evening with the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from Glen Manor Vineyards. We are huge fans of Jeff White’s wines and this sauvignon blanc didn’t disappoint. We had it with manchego cheese and sour dough bread. While enjoying the wine we definitely noticed grassy and boxwood on the nose. On the tongue we noticed tropical fruit, minerality, and a nice crisp ending. It paired wonderfully with the cheese and bread.
For dinner we were having lasagna and selected the 2009 Private Reserve Red from Chrysalis Vineyards from the VIP Wine Club. We noted dried fruit, tobacco, anise, and a whiff of sandalwood. In the mouth we noted dried plum, dried herbs, tobacco, and a vanilla finish. We think this wine is still integrating and could benefit from more time on the rack. The acidity of the wine did a nice job of cutting the red sauce of the lasagna. Yes, it is a little young but paired well with our meal.
We’ll continue to enjoy our Friday wines and post about our impressions. If you haven’t been to Glen Manor Vineyards or Chrysalis Vineyards lately, plan a trip to visit them soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
We salute Virginia Governor’s Cup winner, Jeff White, for winning the coveted award with his 2009 Hodder Hill, a meritage blend. This year’s competition marked a return to judging both white and red wines in a single event. Furthermore, wineries had to acknowledge that any wine submitted for judging was the product of 100% Virginia fruit. The panel of judges was an honor roll of wine experts and included Master of Wine and competition director, Jay Youmans. Therefore, this year’s award winners were those that met more rigorous standards than in previous years. Kudos, then, to all medal winners especially to the ultimate champ, Jeff White.
We decided to mark Jeff’s achievement by paying a visit to Glen Manor Vineyards this past Sunday. Our motive, of course, was to sample the award-winning 2009 Hodder Hill as well as other current releases. Jeff was not in the tasting room, but his wife Kelly was on hand to guide us through our tasting. The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc began our tasting experience, and what a lovely way to start the afternoon. Rich with characteristic grassy and citrus notes, it was offered a refreshing minerality and crisp, clean finish. Jeff White may well be setting the standard for Sauvignon Blanc produced in Virginia as this vintage continues the tradition of quality wine from this varietal at Glen Manor Vineyards.
From there we proceeded to the award-winning 2009 Hodder Hill. The color and aromas suggested Old World complexity and elegance with aromas of cherry, raspberry, coffee, and mint. Similar flavors were noted in the mouth with soft tannins and a lengthier finish. The 2009 Hodder Hill is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. Kelly explained to us that in contrast to the 2010 season, the 2009 growing season more characteristic of Virginia—warm days, cooler nights, and the right amount of rainfall that fell prior to harvest time. The harvest months, which typically run from August to October, were dry in 2009. These factors allowed for gradual, even ripening of the grapes to produce a complex wine that also expresses the terrior of the vineyards.
Kelly also shared with us that Jeff really had no inkling that he was going to win the competition. In fact, Jeff never enters his wines into judging contests; however, he did enter only the 2009 Hodder Hill in order to receive critical feedback from the judges. Given the elite panel of this year’s judges, this was certainly understandable. When informed that he had indeed won the Governor’s Cup, Jeff was truly surprised.
We finished our tasting with the excellent 2009 Petit Verdot, a wine that we have written about in the past. It continues to progress quite nicely with dark plum flavors and nuances of spice and mocha.
While at the tasting bar, we ran into blogger Dezel Quillen of My Vine Spot and his friend, Michael Ching who is the assistant winemaker at Paradise Springs. Like us, they were on the trail that day to sample the wines at Glen Manor Vineyards. After our tasting, we shared wine and conversation; we also made certain to purchase several bottles of our favorites including the 2009 Hodder Hill.
Be sure to visit Glen Manor Vineyards to taste the excellent wines created by Jeff White, and please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
Glen Manor Vineyards held a barrel tasting this weekend, and we attended the event so that we could sample the developing wines from the 2010 vintage. We keep hearing about the potential for the 2010 vintage to be among the best ever for Virginia, and this barrel tasting gave us the first opportunity to see how this vintage is progressing in the barrels.
We must admit that we are big fans of winemaker Jeff White, and we had high hopes going into the tasting. We were not disappointed at the end of our tasting. Four red wines and one white wine were offered for sneak peaks, and all were intense in aromas and flavors. We started with the 2010 Cabernet Franc, and we noted dark fruit and earthy characteristics; these elements along with a dash of spice were even more evident in the 2010 Hodder Hill, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The Hodder Hill was developing in new French oak barrels for the tasting but the rest of the aging will eventually occur in older French oak barrels.
Stations III and IV allowed us to compare the 2010 barrel sample and the special release 2009 Petit Verdot that was already bottled. The 2010 will be a dynamite pour upon release—inky and jammy with lots of bold black fruit and spice, it was easy to conclude that this will be a blockbuster. However, only three barrels were produced, so it will indeed be limited. I must say, though, that I was as enamored with the elegant 2009 Petit Verdot offered at Station IV; it offered the characteristic dark fruit and spicy components that are associated with Petit Verdot but seemed more structured and refined. Candle lights and dinner parties with this one!
Our final sample was actually from a tank, and it featured the 2010 Late Harvest Petit Manseng. Waves of tropical fruit flavors seemed to say “aloha” in the mouth; at only 5% residual sugar, it could serve as a dessert wine or a partner with a cheese course and some proscuitto on the side. Speaking of food, I must add that the barrel samples were offered alongside a variety of foods that included mousse truffle canapes, mushroom fritters, empanadas, and dark chocolate truffles. My favorite was the fig preserve and mascarpone serve atop savory walnut shortbread paired with the Petit Manseng.
So when to expect to see these wines in the tasting room? Probably in 2012; however, the tasting room menu now features enough current releases to keep Glen Manor fans quite happy. Jeff White continues his excellence with Sauvignon Blanc; the 2009 vintage featured classic elements of citrus and grass with a vibrant acidity and minerality that beg for springtime crabcakes. The reds included the 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2008 Hodder Hill, and the 2008 Vin Rouge. All were well crafted; however, we both concurred that the bolder 2008 Vin Rouge was our favorite; this blend was heavier on the Petit Verdot (33%) with other components including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. I noted aromas of blackberry, black cherry,tobacco and pepper with some anise to boot; similar fruit characters abounded in the mouth with a lenghty finish.
Needless to say, we left Glen Manor Vineyards with a few bottles of our favorite wines. We’ll be back soon, though, and we encourage readers to stop by for a tasting. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.