Virginia Wine Time

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Tag: Pollak Vineyards (page 2 of 2)

Friday Wines

On Friday evening we continued enjoying the nice weather on my balcony by enjoying our sipping wine as well as our dinner wine. There was a cool breeze perfect for sipping and enjoying the sunset.

We selected the 2008 Chardonnay from Pollak Vineyards as our sipper. We enjoyed it with a creamy St. Angels cheese and baguette. We noted pear, apple, and honey on the nose with very similar notes on the tongue as well as slightly toasted edge on the finish. It paired perfectly with our nibbles. You can’t go wrong with any of the wines from Pollak.

For dinner we had filet mignon, wild rice, and mixed veggies. Warren selected the 2008 Merlot from King Family Vineyards. When I taste a wine like this I wonder what it would be like if I had left it on the rack a little longer. On the nose we noted smoke, dark cherry, blackberry, and dried herbs with a whiff of tobacco. In the mouth we noted dark berry flavors, similar fruit as the nose with the addition of vanilla. We also took note of the long finish. Of course this wine paired perfectly with our meal. Just like the Pollak wines, you can’t go wrong with any of the wines from King Family. They happen to be one of our favorite wineries.

If you haven’t been to Pollak or King Family, you simply must plan a visit soon. And if you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

The First Lady Of Virginia’s FLITE Winery Tour

Today we were privileged to join Virginia’s First Lady Maureen McDonnell on a tour and tasting of wines on the Monticello Trail. We were joined by forty other participants involved in promoting the Virginia wine industry, and these included familiar faces such as Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like and Patrick Evans Hylton editor of Virginia Wine Lover magazine. This memorable day began with a continental breakfast at the historic Old City Hall, and we then boarded a luxury bus destined for three Monticello wineries: Pollak Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, and Keswick Vineyards.

We arrived at Pollak Vineyards amidst a flurry of media attention. Paul assumed that the television cameras were there to await his final word on Virginia wines; alas, they were there to greet First Lady Maureen McDonnell who has been a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of the Virginia wine industry. Winemaker Jake Busching was also on hand to greet us all, and we made our way to the tasting room. We were first treated to a tour of the barrel room complete with barrel samples of the stellar 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve and the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. The juicy Cabernet Franc has already won gold in a California competition, and we await its release.

We were then guided through a tasting in the main tasting room with the First Lady herself helping with the process. We are big fans of Pollak’s wines, so picking our favorites proved to be a tough task; however, we did favor the intense 2010 Viognier. The 2010 white vintages are already creating a buzz in the tasting rooms, and this Viognier present a reason why this is the case. Vibrant apricot and peach characteristics prevailed and it presented a full mouth feel no doubt aided by spending some time in neutral French oak barrels. Of the red wines, we enjoyed the smoky 2008 Merlot with its bold cherry flavors. However it is no longer for sale. Summer sippers will also enjoy the crisp 2010 Pinot Gris.

From Pollak Vineyards the entourage continued on to Barboursville Vineyards for lunch and wine at the heralded Palladio restaurant. Winemaker Luka Paschina guided us through the food and wine pairings, and what an exquisite experience! The salad course featured fresh greens tossed with morels and served atop asparagus spears; a sprinkle of grated pecorino completed the dish. Paired with this was the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc with it’s characteristic citrus, hay and mineral elements. The main dish was a lovely sweet pea risotto topped with seared rock fish, and this was partnered with the lush 2010 Viognier Reserve. Rich aromatics, exotic tropical fruit characters,and a creamy mouth feel best describe this perfect compliment to the equally rich risotto. A cheese course paired the decorated 2006 Octagon, the winery’s flagship Bordeaux-style blend, finished the menu.

The afternoon’s event ended at Keswick Vineyards, and winemaker Stephen Bernard presented his platinum and gold medal winning wines beneath an outdoor canopy that allowed tasters to enjoy a glorious spring afternoon. Stephen is one of our favorite winemakers, and selecting a favorite was a tough decision. The 2010 Verdejo was crisp and clean and should prove popular during the upcoming summer months. I enjoyed the fuller-bodied 2009 Viognier Reserve done in the Condrieu style, and Stephen confirmed that this one will only taste better with time. The complex 2007 Heritage earned my star of approval for the red wines. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the elements of dark fruit, tobacco and cedar begged for a heavy beef dish.

As we sipped and savored through the afternoon, we learned that First Lady Maureen McDonnell has planted her own small vineyard at the Governor’s Mansion. Mrs. McDonnell opted to plant 15 second year vines in the Mansion’s garden. Why second year vines? The First Lady wishes to produce a wine to commemorate the Governor’s Mansion’s 200th anniversary; therefore, vines in their third year of growth would be necessary. Viticultural expert Lucie Morton provided input into the decision, so look forward to wines produced from the Governor’s garden!

The day ended too soon, and we thanked Annette Boyd, director of the Virginia wine board, for organizing the event and then inviting us to attend. Plan your own visit to these excellent wineries, and be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Perfection at Pollak

While we were in Charlottesville last weekend for the sparkling tasting at Keswick, we planned to stop by a few of our favorite wineries to check out the latest releases. Pollak Vineyards was at the top of my list. It was our first stop on our Charlottesville trip. We are always greeted like family when we visit Pollak. All our favorite tasting associates recognize us and great us with a smile.

Most of the wines we tasted this time were new. We started our tasting with the whites. First up was the 2009 Chardonnay. We tasted this one in the barrel back in March of 2010 and enjoyed it then. I loved it even more this time. We noted pear, green apple, and some nice minerality. I knew I’d be leaving with some of this one. We followed this one with the 2008 Chardonnay Reserve. I noticed citrus notes with a smooth, round mouth feel. The final white was the 2009 Durant White. I really enjoyed the 2008 Durant White and knew I’d enjoy this one as well. I picked up pear, and lime. This is a great sipper for before dinner nibbles. It’s a blend a three different whites. Again, I knew I’d be leaving with a few bottles of this one. I was disappointed they were sold out of both the viognier and the pinot gris. We’ll have to return in the spring when they are released.

The first of the reds was the 2009 Durant Red. This is a cabernet franc, merlot blend. This one was probably the biggest surprise of the tasting. We didn’t remember tasting it before. The color was beautiful and we noted lots of ripe, red berry fruit. It reminded us (as the tasting sheet notes) a beaujolais. We think this one would make a great pizza or burger wine. Another one to add to the list! THe 2008 Merlot was next. With this one we noted dark cherry, blackberry, and a full mouth feel. The 2008 Cabernet Franc spent 14 months in oak and presented cherry, jam, and black pepper. The last red was the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Since the petit verdot is sold out, this was the biggest red on the tasting. We noted lots of big cherry, dark fruit, and a lingering finish. That finish makes you want more.

With our tasting complete, we had a glass of the 2009 Durant Red by the fire while deciding how many bottles of each wine to bring home. I settled on a mixed case with mostly the 2009 Chardonnay. I completed the case with the Durant White, Durant Red, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I have always enjoyed Pollak Vineyards wines. The wines are consistent across the board. Jake Busching is a talented winemaker. I look forward to returning in the spring to taste the viognier, pinot gris, and the petit verdot. If you visit Pollak Vineyards anytime soon, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

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