More Hitmakers From Virginia

I recently posted about Virginia wines earning solid scores from Wine Spectator magazine, and I can report that Wine Enthusiast has likewise given impressive scores to several Virginia red wines. Annefield Vineyards, Bogati Bodega Winery, Keswick Vineyards, Lovingston Winery, Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery, and Veramar Vineyard produced the wines that are featured in this month’s issue.

Potomac Point 2009 Richland Reserve Heritage Bordeaux-style Red Blend (Virginia)-Pungent dark char amidst firm black plum on this Virginia Bordeaux blend brings to mind flavors of smoked meats and strong black coffee. Full bodied and masculine in profile, it’s quite tannic, yet concentrated enough to handle it well. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Veramar 2009 Estate Club Merlot (Virginia)-Warm and spicy on the nose and palate, this Virginia Merlot boasts a sour cherry aroma combined with hints of gingersnap cookie and ripe bramble. Ample and rich with slightly stewed black fruit notes, the palate is bathed in waves of anise and cinnamon that linger on the finish. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Veramar 2009 Estate Club Ameritage Red Blend (Virginia)-While soft and ripe on the nose and palate with loads of soft red fruit and hints of mocha and milk chocolate, this Virginia Ameritage doesn’t have a lot of structure, but its smooth, warm style is still eager to please. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Veramar 2008 Estate Club Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)-Ripe and rich on the nose with a harmonious black fruit and sweet vanilla bean aroma, this Virginia Cab is clean and pure with a remarkably pristine fruit profile. Bright and fresh with balanced acidity and a nicely concentrated midpalate. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Annefield Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)-Aromas of espresso and burnt biscotti entice on this dark yet elegant Cab. On the palate, fresh violets linger amidst layers of ripe black fruit, smoke and char towards a stout, moderately tannic finish. Quite pleasant now, but could improve with 3–5 years of bottle aging. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 87

Bogati 2009 Collection I Bordeaux-style Red Blend (Virginia)-Sweet red cherry fruit melds with whiffs of graham cracker crumb and leather on this ripe, full bodied red from Bogati. There’s a thin vein of green that trails throughout, but the palate is nicely structured with a dose of warm pepper notes and mouthcoating tannins on the finish. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Lovingston 2008 Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve Bordeaux-style Red Blend (Monticello)-Lush, ripe blueberries and plums meld into hints of dark chocolate and lavender on Lovingston Estate’s lovely Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve. It seems a bit soft on entry, yet bright acidity and smooth, furry tannins give the black fruit palate substance and style. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 89

Keswick Vineyards 2009 Merlot (Monticello)-Hints of anise, black pepper and toasted coconut make this dark, smoky Merlot a bit exotic and unexpected. Full-bodied with a concentrated yet vibrant black fruit palate, it ends with flair on a rather tropical coconut finish. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 87

Lovingston 2008 Josie’s Knoll Merlot (Monticello)-Intensely aromatic with notes of sweet pomegranate and fresh violets, Lovingston’s standard label Josie’s Knoll is soft and a tad sweet on entry with a ripe black cherry juice note. Hints of fresh herbs on the midpalate combine with grippy tannins on the finish, adding a dose of style and structure. — A.I. (12/1/2011) — 86

Do non-believers in Virginia wines ever challenge you to prove that the state makes great wines? Don’t suffer through the experience. Tell them to read some of the industry magazines, or even better, refer them to Virginia Wine Time. They just need to be educated on the matter.

Visit the outstanding wineries that are mentioned in this post, and be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Veramar Vineyards

I’m a bit behind in my blogging, so I’ll try to catch up this week.  This post picks up with our trek to the Shenandoah area which featured visits to Glen Manor Vineyards and Veramar Vineyard.  I’ve already written about Glen Manor Vineyards; today, I’ll finish the detail of that trip with a wrap up of our impressions of Vermar Vineyard


On a warm fall day, we noted signs of color changes with leaves taking on autumn hues.  As we made our way to the tasting room, we couldn’t help but notice spectacular mountain views, but in case we thought that we were lost, we were comforted by the word, Vermar, spelled in large rocks near the nearby pond.  On this particular day, we had the option of trying the reserve tasting, and these feature the best-crated wines at Veramar.  Wines sampled at the reserve tasting are available for purchase only to wine club members, and the session was hosted by wine maker Jim Bogaty.  Of course, we decided to participate in the reserve tasting, and with gold stars in hand, we made our way to the tasting bar designated for the reserve tasting.


On hand for sampling were six wines—three whites and three reds.  We were treated to wine critic Steve Spurrier’s favorite, the 2007 Estate Club Chardonnay Shenandoah Valley, and this one presented a nose that I described as brioche—vanilla, toast and almonds with coated with sautéed pears.  Complimentary flavors were noted in the mouth with a lingering finish.  This Chardonnay was done sur lees which provides a rich texture to this complex wine.  While I’m a fan of big chardonnays, I did concur with Paul, though, that the gold star of the white wines was the Tres Blanc.  A lovely blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Vidal Blanc, this fruity wine displayed a nice floral and subtle citrus aroma with heady fruit characteristics that included mango and peach.  Quite the crowd pleaser, the Tres Blanc should pair quite well with spicy fare, but I might even pop open a bottle of this one for Thanksgiving dinner if herbed turkey is on the menu.

On to the red wines, and we once again came to the same conclusion.  Our gold star was awarded to the 2007 Estate Club merlot Free Run.  Jim Bogaty explained that free-run means that the grape juice runs feely with no pressing; the grapes press on their own and by their own weight.  This Merlot is then aged in French oak to present a well-integrated wine.  Plum and cherry characteristics prevailed with notes of spice and mocha.  This one should age well, too!

With our tasting completed, we thanked Jim Bogaty for conducting our tasting, and he shared with us that Steve Spurrier will soon pay a visit to Veramar with other wine experts to sample the Estate Club Chardonnay.  We congratulated him on this exciting news, and we opted to share a glass of the revered Chardonnay to enjoy while appreciating the mountain landscape. 


Since the reserve wines are available only to club members, tasters should also be aware that a regular tasting menu is available.  We were able to sample these wines, and a quick note of our faves include the citrusy 2008 Seyval Blanc and the earthy Cabernet Franc.


We hope to return to Veramar Vineyard soon, but fall is here and readers should plan a trip to enjoy autumn’s pageant and Veramar’s nice wines. Of course, remember to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.