North America

Quick Pour: Sans Liege Call to Arms 2011

Producer: Sans Liege Region: Paso Robles AVA, California, United States Wine: Call to Arms Price: $30 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 70% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne; (15.1% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Fresh lemon meringue, touch of honey, lush, white tropical fruit, and flaky pastry aromas lead to a smooth, honey-coated palate with plenty of weight. Fresh, floral nuances compliment and balance the fruit-forward notes of apricot, golden apple, and pineapple with spice undertones that taper into honey-dipped hints of brioche and angel food cake from mid to back palate. The finish is extremely smooth, pleasing, and spiced up with notes of lemon zest that seem to linger on and on. Excellent balance – a little hot, but not overly acidic with a plethora to look forward to with each sip. Producer: Sans Liege Region: Paso Robles AVA, California, United States Wine: Call to Arms Price: $30 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 70% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne; (15.1% …

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Quick Pour: Stone Hill Winery Vignoles 2012

Producer: Stone Hill Winery, Hermann, Missouri Region: Hermann AVA, Missouri, United States Price: $11.49 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: 100% Vignoles; (12.8% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Candied pineapple and fresh baked white cake aromas boom on the nose while pineapple syrup and honey-drenched tropical fruit smooth out the palate, which shows fresh acidity, nice weight, and noticeable residual sugar without overly intoxicating sweetness. Smooth, soft, and juicy. This screw top white is perfect for those scorching summer days.   Producer: Stone Hill Winery, Hermann, Missouri Region: Hermann AVA, Missouri, United States Price: $11.49 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: 100% Vignoles; (12.8% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Candied pineapple and fresh baked white cake aromas boom on the nose while pineapple syrup and honey-drenched tropical fruit smooth out the palate, which shows fresh acidity, nice weight, and noticeable residual sugar without overly intoxicating sweetness. Smooth, soft, and juicy. This screw top white is perfect for those scorching summer days.   …

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Quick Pour: Lovingston Winery Petit Manseng 2013

Producer: Lovingston Winery, Lovingston, Virginia Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $19.95 Vintage: 2013 Varietals: 100% Petit Manseng; (12.5% ABV) Winemaker Notes: Returning to our off-dry version of this varietal, the 2013 Petit Manseng carries a nose of pineapple and orange peel, and the bright acidity balances well with the slightly sweet finish. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Lovely to pair with creamy goat cheese or a spicy dish. 200 cases made Virginia Pour House Notes: Crisp, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and mineral aromas give way to a nice, weighted palate of honey-drenched pineapple, fuji apple, honeysuckle, and orange zest. Crisp, but fresh and balanced sweetness, with just a hint of residual sugar peaking out mid palate tapering off while approaching the finish.   Producer: Lovingston Winery, Lovingston, Virginia Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $19.95 Vintage: 2013 Varietals: 100% Petit Manseng; (12.5% ABV) Winemaker Notes: Returning to our off-dry version of …

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Quick Pour: Ramulose Ridge Vineyards Traminette 2012

Producer: Ramulose Ridge Vineyards Region: Central Virginia, Virginia Price: $18 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: 100% Traminette ABV: 12.5% Virginia Pour House Notes: VERY aromatic! Jasmine, lilac, clover and lychee in the nose. Flavors of honey dew melon and honeysuckle with crisp, bright acidity bracketing the sweetness and an off dry finish of cedar and a touch of star anise. Extremely fresh, lingering and pleasant. Good for both red and white drinkers. A great start for this Virginia winery!   Producer: Ramulose Ridge Vineyards Region: Central Virginia, Virginia Price: $18 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: 100% Traminette ABV: 12.5% Virginia Pour House Notes: VERY aromatic! Jasmine, lilac, clover and lychee in the nose. Flavors of honey dew melon and honeysuckle with crisp, bright acidity bracketing the sweetness and an off dry finish of cedar and a touch of star anise. Extremely fresh, lingering and pleasant. Good for both red and white drinkers. A great …

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Quick Pour: Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2012

Producer: Red Newt Cellars Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, New York, United States Price: $15 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (10.3% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Lemon zest backed by light red apple  and tropical notes lead to a crisp, yet semi-sweet palate filled with ripe tart apple and plenty of depth in the department of tropical fruit.  This Riesling is balanced and smooth adding more citrus and mineral nuances towards the back palate, while finishes up slightly tart, yet refreshing overall. Producer: Red Newt Cellars Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, New York, United States Price: $15 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (10.3% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Lemon zest backed by light red apple  and tropical notes lead to a crisp, yet semi-sweet palate filled with ripe tart apple and plenty of depth in the department of tropical fruit.  This Riesling is balanced and smooth adding more citrus and mineral nuances towards the …

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Quick Pour: Heron Hill Cabernet Franc 2011

Producer: Heron Hill Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $14.99 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: Cabernet Franc; (12.5% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Wafting notes of raspberry on a foundation of light spice and licorice giving way to a rich and jammy palate that is ensconced with wild berry nuances and spice and black licorice undertones. The finish is elegant with a silky, smooth texture and subdued tannins. It was a perfect pairing for our Texas Style Beef Brisket with all the fixings.   Producer: Heron Hill Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $14.99 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: Cabernet Franc; (12.5% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Wafting notes of raspberry on a foundation of light spice and licorice giving way to a rich and jammy palate that is ensconced with wild berry nuances and spice and black licorice undertones. The finish is elegant with a …

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Tasting Event: Chester Wine Society’s Virginia Wine Vertical Tasting and Exploration

This past weekend, I was invited to pour and lead a discussion in Richmond, Virginia at a Chester Wine Society gathering. My fiance’s mother, Cindi, helped start the wine loving group as a way to explore and expand their knowledge of wines from all over the world, as well as bring together great people. We drove down from DC fresh off of our flight from California wine country and brought two vertical tastings: Chester Gap Cellars Viognier Reserves from 2010-2012 and 2011 Cabernet Francs from Rappahannock Cellars, Fabbioli Cellars, and Berry Hill Vineyard. I also included a bottle of the Rappahannock Cabernet Franc Reserve from 2010 to compare and contrast how vastly different vintage years could be. We all took part in open discussion, enjoyed some great finger foods, and voted on our favorites from the group. We begin first with the vertical tasting of Chester Gap Cellars Viognier Reserve, …

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Quick Pour: Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2012

Producer: Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $14.99 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (12% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Lots of minerality and fruit-forward citrus jump-start the senses, while the palate is balanced with an almost creamy texture and setup by juicy stone fruit. Balanced by bright acidity and heavy mineral character, the finish is crisp and clean adding in additional notes of honeysuckle that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. This would be a great wine to pair with pecan-crusted walleye or flaky white fish with a sweet demi-glace. Producer: Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $14.99 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (12% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Lots of minerality and fruit-forward citrus jump-start the senses, while the palate is balanced with an almost creamy texture and setup by juicy stone fruit. Balanced …

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Quick Pour: Hosmer Winery Chardonnay 2012

Producer: Hosmer Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Cayuga Lake AVA, New York, United States Price: $14 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Chardonnay; (13.1% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: A faint golden hue and subtle aromatics, this youthful Finger Lakes Chardonnay is showing some impressive complexities. Layers upon layers tout nuances of floral, lime, toasty oak, apricot, and pineapple notes, while showing a nice medium-bodied structure and crisp mineral finish. With a little bit more bottle age the expressive acidity on the palate will settle down a little bit and develop really nicely. Producer: Hosmer Winery Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Cayuga Lake AVA, New York, United States Price: $14 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Chardonnay; (13.1% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: A faint golden hue and subtle aromatics, this youthful Finger Lakes Chardonnay is showing some impressive complexities. Layers upon layers tout nuances of floral, lime, toasty oak, apricot, and pineapple notes, while showing a nice medium-bodied structure and …

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Quick Pour: McGregor Vineyard Semi-Dry Riesling 2012

Producer: McGregor Vineyard Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $17.99 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (11% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Honeysuckle and citrus fruit power through on the nose while bright, crisp acidity clashes with juicy tropical fruit, citrus, and some kiwi. The tail end finishes zesty, but is balanced by a kiss of sweetness and a hint of minerality. Pair with Mexican food, fish tacos, or by itself. Producer: McGregor Vineyard Region: Finger Lakes AVA, Keuka Lake, New York, United States Price: $17.99 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Riesling; (11% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Honeysuckle and citrus fruit power through on the nose while bright, crisp acidity clashes with juicy tropical fruit, citrus, and some kiwi. The tail end finishes zesty, but is balanced by a kiss of sweetness and a hint of minerality. Pair with Mexican food, fish tacos, or by itself. Quick Pour: McGregor Vineyard Semi-Dry Riesling …

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