Virginia Wines in Wine Spectator!

I recently attended a wine maker’s dinner at a local restaurant, and the topic of Virginia wine came up. My table partner who brought up the topic was rather derisive about the notion that Virginia made quality wines and even scoffed at articles written by local wine experts who compared the best local wines to those of Bordeaux or Burgundy. Of course, yours truly chimed in that Virginia did indeed make some outstanding wines and suggested to my table mate that before dismissing local wines perhaps she should get out on the wine trails and try a few. I then mentioned that many Virginia wines earn medals at international wine competitions with several earning high scores in Wine Spectator magazine. And right on cue, this month’s edition rated wines from Lovingston Winery and Tarara Winery. Entries from both wineries rated in the 85-89 range, and a wine that earns a score in this range is described as “very good: a wine with special qualities.” Here are the wines and their scores:

Lovingston Merlot Monticello Josie’s Knoll 2010 – 87 points
Lovingston Cabernet Franc Monticello Josie’s Knoll 2010 – 86 points
Tarara Honah Lee Virginia 2010 – 86 points
Tarara Nevaeh White Virginia 2010 – 85 points

Congratulations to winemakers Riaan Rossouw and Jordan Harris of Lovingston Winery and Tarara Winery respectively for the diligent efforts both in the vineyards and the barrel room. And next time you come across a naysayer about Virginia wines, remind him/her that even internationally recognized and widely read wine magazines have taken notice of Virginia wines.

Plan a visit to Lovingston Winery and Tarara Winery to sample these excellent wines, and mention that 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!