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Return To Piedmont

Some wine friends of ours recently told us that Piedmont Vineyards was still open for business. We thought it was sold and no longer producing wine. It was time for us to return to Piedmont Vineyards. After our stop at Boxwood Winery over the weekend, we decided to go by Piedmont and see if they were in fact open.
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When we entered the tasting room we saw a very familiar face…Gerhard Von Finck. After hellos and welcomes, we found out that he was recently in the hospital but is almost back to normal and still selling wine at Piedmont. The only wine he is selling is his 2010 Chambourcin. He only has about 20 cases left so you need to get out there soon and get your case. All other wines on the tasting menu are from DelFosse Vineyards. Gerhard’s plan is finish selling his Chambourcin and then Claude DelFosse will be able to get a license to sell his wines on his own. So Piedmont will most likely become a satellite tasting room for DelFosse Vineyards. Gerhard hops to return to Toronto in the near future.

We last visited DelFosse in October and wrote about our visit at that time. If you want to find out what we thought about the wines at that time, check out that post. Even though we just recently tasted the DelFosse wines, we went ahead and did a tasting. As usual, we enjoyed the wines. A few favorites: The 2011 Reserve d’Oriane presented pineapple, peach, and apricot and a long finish. The 2008 Petit Verdot is 100% petit verdot with notes of blackberry, violet, and beautifully smooth ending. I thought of food right away with this one.
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After enjoying a bottle of the 2011 Reserve d’Oriane with lunch and bird watching on the patio and long chats with Gerhard, we wished him well and success in future before leaving. We also purchased a few of our favorites. Visit Piedmont Vineyards soon to enjoy the DelFosse wines and be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Roundup Time

Over the past couple of weekend, we’ve visited a few other wineries, and we wanted to post our reviews of these visits.

Chrysalis Vineyards—It’s always a treat to do a tasting here. Our gold star faves in the white category was the 2008 Viognier, the flagship white wine at Chrysalis Vineyards. We were allowed a “sneak” of the 2008 Albarino—Wow! This would be my double star favorite. Soft peach, a hint of lemon zest, and a noticeable minerality sums up the flavor profile. Of the red wines, my own gold star was presented to the 2005 Locksley Reserve; of course, I was not swayed by the fact that it won gold at the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition. Paul preferred the smoky 2005 Petit Verdot. We can also report that owner Jenni McCloud is making progress with her plans to build an on-site dairy and restaurant. We’ll follow these developments and keep track of latest releases as the spring and summer progresses.

Loudoun Valley Vineyards—The renaissance continues here! Our favorite white continues to be the crisp and refreshing 2008 Pinot Grigio, but the 2008 Vinifera White should prove to be a summertime crowd pleaser. The red wines produced another split decision. Paul favored the 2005 Cabernet Franc with its blackberry and spicy notes. My own preference was the 2005 Dynasty Reserve, and I noted dark berry, plum, and spice characteristics with some vanilla to boot. A more complex and “layered” pour, I opted to enjoy a glass of this one after our tasting.

Piedmont Vineyards—New releases planned in late May, and these include a Hunt Country Chardonnay and a Native Yeast Chardonnay. We were given “sneaks” of the Native Yeast, and for lovers of an oak-aged Chardonnay, this one should be popular. The current Hunt Country is still available and was Paul’s gold star winner. He favors the stainless steel Chardonnays, and this one is still crisp and refreshing. We both concurred on the Cabernet Franc with its raspberry and spice flavors. This one is limited in quantities, so buy now for future enjoyment.

Plan springtime visits to these wineries soon, and be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

New Reds at Piedmont

Recently Gerhard von Fincke e-mailed us inviting us to visit Piedmont Vineyards to taste his recently released wines. Last Sunday we decided to do just that.

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It’s always nice to chat with Gerhard and enjoy some wine at the same time. He conducted our tasting and we were able to taste many of our favorites. But we were there to taste the new 2006 Merlot and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of these wines were released in late July.

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The 2006 Merlot spent 30 months in oak. Even though it spent a long time on oak, it retained much of the fruit characters you expect in a merlot. I enjoyed this one. Gerhard suggests letting mellow in the bottle for three or four months. This one got my gold star for the day.

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon also spent 30 months in oak. This one has a dark garnet color. In the mouth it has hints of dark fruit; plums and cherries. It has some chewy tannins. As with the Merlot, this one needs a few months to settle down in the bottle. With time this will turn into an amazing cab. Warren awarded this cab his gold star for the day.

After our regular tasting, Gerhard let us taste a few older cabs. We were able to taste the 2000 cab and the 1997 cab. The 1997 is holding up beautifully. We liked this one so much, Gerhard let us have a glass with our lunch!

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While enjoying our lunch and the 1997 cab, we also enjoyed some live music. Piedmont now has live open mic entertainment on Sunday afternoons. We got to hear several songs by Expanding Waistlines. We think this is a great addition to the atmosphere at Piedmont.

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The next time you visit Piedmont, be sure to tell them Virginia WIne Time sent you!

Current Releases at Piedmont

The last time we were at Piedmont Vineyards and Winery, Gerhard von Fincke had assumed the role of winemaker. We returned last Sunday to sample the results of Gerhard’s work.

We were warmly greeted by Gerhard as we entered the busy tasting room, and he handed us the tasting menu which featured the full complement of Piedmont’s wines. Of course, we were interested in the wines that Gerhard produced, and these were the 2008 Hunt Country Chardonnay and the 2008 Cabernet Franc. Both releases earned our gold stars of approval. The 2008 Hunt Country Chardonnay was done in stainless steel and featured lemon aromas with flavors of lemon and pears. I also noted a crisp finish that is characteristic of a stainless steel Chardonnay.

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The 2008 Cabernet Franc was aged in oak for six months. Raspberry was prominent on the nose with raspberry and pepper in the mouth. This medium-bodied Cabernet Franc was not blended with other varieties, but it should be purchased sooner rather than later. Only 142 cases were made when this was released in March, and only a few cases remain of this popular wine.

Gerhard had been carrying some of the wines produced by DelFosse Winery, and he still pours the fruity Cuvee Laurent which includes Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The sweeter Deer Rock Red, a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin, is also still available at Piedmont Vineyards and Winery

Gerhard seems pleased with the direction that his wines are taking, and he credits local winemaker Doug Fabbiolli with assisting him in the winemaking craft. Gerhard’s next release will be the Hunt Country Red. This will be a bolder blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc due for release in September.

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With our tasting done, Paul and I each enjoyed a glass of the 2008 Hunt Country Chardonnay. On a warm summer day, its citrusy characteristics and crisp finish proved to be refreshing. In fact, we left with a bottle of the 2008 Hunt Country Chardonnay to bring home. We’re excited for Gerhard and see bright things for Piedmont Vineyards and Winery. We look forward to our next visit there, and readers should plan a visit, too—be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

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