Hurricane Preparedness

We have been preparing for hurricane Irene. Warren bought caned foods, water, and batteries. He’s a veteran hurricane survivor and knows just what to do to prepare for such a storm. As part of our hurricane preparedness, we enjoyed some Virginia wines last night around dinner time.

Our hurricane preparedness sipper was the 2009 Hunt Country Chardonnay from Piedmont Vineyards. We enjoyed this wine with some swiss cheese and crackers while sitting on the balcony trying to enjoy the humid weather. We noticed a whiff of pineapple and pear on the nose and a touch of citrus and a crispness in the mouth. Of course it paired beautifully with our cheese and crackers. It also helped manage the humid temperatures on the balcony.

For dinner we opted to move indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. We were having steaks and roasted potatoes for dinner and we selected the 2007 Petit Verdot Cellar Selection from Breaux Vineyards. This was a perfect wine to prepare for the oncoming hurricane. We noticed characteristics of concentrated dark fruit, lots of dark plum, dark cherry, leather, tobacco, and carmel. Warren even noticed some pepper. We did pour it through the Soiree to help give it some air as we filled our glasses. When we poured the last drops into our glasses, we were wishing we had another bottle! The wine paired wonderfully with our dinner choices.

Are you prepared for the hurricane? Make enjoying some Virginia wine part of your preparing for the storm. If you happen to visit Piedmont Vineyards or Breaux Vineyards in the near future, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Piedmont Vineyards

Recently we stopped at Piedmont Vineyards to visit with our friend and winemaker Gerhard von Finck. We always enjoy catching up with Gerhard and tasting his latest releases. This time he also treated us to some barrel samples!

The current lineup of white wines consist of three different chardonnays. Piedmont is known for chardonnay and this lineup doesn’t disappoint. We started with the 2009 Hunt Country Chardonnay. This one is unoaked and presents a crisp edge with fruit all around. This one received my gold star. Next up was the 2009 Native Yeast Chardonnay. Warren noted this was a complex wine with creamy notes. The final chardonnay is the 2009 Special Reserve Chardonnay. This one was aged nine months on the lees in Hungarian oak. It is a nice round, buttery chard with hints of oak and a long finish. This one received Warren’s gold star.

We started the reds with the 2008 Hunt Country Red. This one is merlot based. We noted ripe, red fruit, with an easy finish. I think this one would go well with pizza. Next up was the 2009 Cabernet Franc. This one is 100% cab franc and spent nine months on oak. We noted a raspberry nose and big, smooth raspberry notes on the tongue. This one became our gold star winner for the reds. Warren and I both enjoyed this one. Next up was the 2006 Merlot. This merlot spent 30 months in oak yet has enough fruit left to sit nicely on the tongue. The last red was the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. We noted some earthy elements, cedar, and nicely integrated tannins.

After our tasting Gerhard took us to the barrel room. We were able to sample a few wines still in barrels. We were able to taste chambourcin that was going through ML (malolactic fermentation) and was quite yeasty. However, you could see the direction it was going. We also tasted a cabernet sauvignon and a merlot. Both of these were really developing well in the barrels. I really enjoyed the merlot and look forward to it being bottled. It’s always fun to see wines in the process and attempt to figure out what they’ll be like when bottled.

Once we finished the sneak peek from the barrels, we selected the 2009 Cabernet Franc to have with lunch. We had a prosciutto and mozzarella roll with crackers for lunch. Gerhard joined us and chatted about wine the whole time. What a great afternoon! Plan a trip to visit Piedmont Vineyards soon and tell Gerhard Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Friday Pours

So we’re back with a vengeance. We sampled a couple of whites this evening and recorded our thoughts about them. Paul opened a bottle of the 2009 Chardonnay from Piedmont Vineyards done in stainless steel tanks. On the nose we noted pear and citrus, and in the mouth we tasted pear and melon flavors with a crisp finish. Perfect with light cheeses and picnic fare! In fact, we enjoyed a glass of this one with a goat cheese and baguette.

For dinner, Paul selected the 2009 Neveah White from Tarara Winery. Paul is a fan of white fish, and he thought that this more complex white wine would pare nicely with his dinner menu that included breaded fish, wild rice and mixed veggies. At the dinner table, we concurred that 2009 Neveah was the best choice. On the nose, we noted fruit aromas of pear and melon with lime to complete the mix; in the mouth, similar fruit flavors prevailed with vanilla on the finish. (Warren intervenes—on the sniff, I got a whiff of mowed grass.) This blended white wine made for a more complex pour, and it paired quite nicely with our meal.

Planning to visit Piedmont Vineyards or Tarara Winery? Mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!