Region

The Tasting Panel 2012 Tour of Double Golds; Washington, DC

For those of you who haven’t heard, this past year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition yielded a few winners from Virginia wineries and vineyards. The greatest accolade to be received in this competition is the Double Gold Medal. In the 2012 competition, Virginia’s own, Ingleside Vineyards, took home a Double Gold honor for their 2007 Petit Verdot. Please see the footer of this post for a listing of other Virginia wineries to receive awards.  Congratulations to Ingleside on their tremendous accomplishment. Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to Tasting Panel Magazine’s Tour of Double Golds event at the Poste Moderne Brasserie. The event consisted of most, if not all, of the Double Gold winners in the wine categories as well as the San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold winners. A fantastic cheese and characuterie spread was available to all attendees as well as a wine …

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Quick Pour: Sakonnet Vineyards Petite White NV

Producer: Sakonnet Vineyards Region: Rhode Island Price: $14 Vintage: NV Winemaker Notes: Sakonnet Vineyards has pioneered the production of fine wines in Southern New England for thirty-five years. All of our estate wines reflect the favorable maritime climate found along Rhode Island’s beautiful coast. This wine combines the crisp acidity of Vidal and the floral, spicy hallmarks of Gewurztraminer. This light-bodied blend is yellow-white in color with subtle white grapefruit aromas. The strength of the fruit flavors creates the perception that the wine is off-dry, yet it is not. The stainless steel treatment highlights the crisp, coastal acidity. Grassy, white grapefruit flavors linger through the fresh finish, which is medium in length. Both the Vidal and Gewurztraminer components have distinctive flavor profiles which allow this blend to pair well with a variety of dishes. Dry jack, goat and gouda cheeses work superbly with the wine’s spicy, citrus character. Prosciutto, veal …

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Quick Pour: White Hall Sugar Ridge White NV

Producer: White Hall Vineyards Region: Central Virginia / Monticello AVA Price: $11.99 Vintage: NV Winemaker Notes: Opening with a nose of ripe peaches that precedes a light palate of honeyed apricots with a refreshing semi-sweet finish Virginia Pour House Notes: Concentrated aroma of freshly picked peaches and light pear set the tone for intense flavors of candied apricots which lingers long after each sip. The 3.5% Residual Sugar content makes for a sweet finish but, oddly, provides an almost effervescent mouth feel on the palate. Presented as a dessert wine on my table setting, I paired this wine with a few fresh cannolis. This wine is drinking well right now.   VIRGINIA POUR HOUSE RATING 86 Points

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Quick Pour: Oak Crest Moonlight Sonata 2010

Producer: Oak Crest Vineyard and Winery Region: Eastern Virginia / George Washington Birthplace AVA Price: $14 Vintage: 2010 Winemaker Notes: A German Rhine wine is the stylistic target for this 100% Symphony wine. Serve cold as a sipping wine or with spicy oriental food.   Virginia Pour House Notes: If you are looking for a borderline dessert style wine, minus the extreme sugar explosion and heavy mouthfeel, the Moonlight Sonata is just right for you. The 100% Symphony, grape produced, wine is marked by sweet tropical flavors with low acidity and floral aromas accenting the nose. Light notes of grapefruit contribute to this mango mouth bomb and is perfect for sipping by itself on a warm summer/fall day. For more information on the Symphony grape read about it here. VIRGINIA POUR HOUSE RATING: 84 Points

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Blenheim Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Producer: Blenheim Vineyards Price: $20 Vintage: 2010 Winemaker Notes: Velvety accents of plum, raspberry and lilac charm the nose while flavors of lively tangerine and red apple dance across the palate. French and American oak aged (70% for 12 months; 30% for 3 months). Virginia Pour House Notes: Many people are under the impression that Virginia should be producing Cabernet Sauvignon like that of California. Well, given our climate, Virginia vintners do the best they can with the conditions provided them. This isn’t California, folks, this is Virginia, and we produce some damn good wine. Many vintners are persevering and exceeding all challenges thrown at them, and this wine is the perfect example of hard work and great Virginia wine production.  Big jammy blackberry and plum aromas fill the sinuses with a gorgeous floral bouquet. Smooth blackberry and dark fruit provide a supple back drop to this medium bodied flavor …

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Balistreri Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

Producer: Balistreri Vineyards Price: $22 Vintage: 2009 Winemaker Notes: Talbott Vineyard, Colorado The Un-Chardonnay, fermented on the skins like a “Red”, a full-bodied wine with hints of buttery apple and pear flavors Virginia Pour House Notes: I was a bit thrown off by the style with which this Chardonnay was made. It presented itself with a cloudy orange hue so by any traditional judging method, this wine would never be considered for anything. I was intrigued to say the least. The nose offered scents of honeydew melon, honey, and very subtle apple notes. The palate was overwhelmed with apple, pear, honey, and a light touch of mango. I also sensed notes of jasmine tea that became more prominent on the finish. Overall, it wasn’t bad in flavor though it was tough for me to get past the cloudy orange glow of the wine. Not bad for a unique offering from Colorado. …

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Newport Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Producer: Newport Vineyards Price: $16.99 Vintage: 2011 Winemaker Notes: Dry, with hints of passionfruit and gooseberries, with a crisp, palate-cleansing finish. Sancerre style. Virginia Pour House Notes: Aroma: light citrus notes commanded by grapefruit Flavors: grapefruit dominated flavors with a touch of lime and tropical fruit Finish: tapering citrus flavors with a touch of mineral and pineapple undertones Additional Notes: After having my palate taxed with a tremendously large tasting sheet, I clearly could not comprehend what I was actually tasting AT the winery. When I unscrewed the top of this at home I was hit with citrus from start to finish. This light bodied Sauvignon Blanc had an almost effervescent mouth feel, that carried the a medium length crisp and refreshing finish. This wine is very different from most typical Sauvignon Blancs as it is produced in a Sancerre style (naturally high acidity and the potential to exhibit the minerally, …

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Casanel Vineyards Norton Rosé 2011

Producer: Casanel Vineyards Price: $24 Vintage: 2011 Winemaker Notes: Varietals: Norton Additional Notes: A bright floral and citrusy wine made from the official wine variety of Virginia. Made in stainless steel tanks to highlight the fruit character, this wine is like drinking in a Virginia Summer day.  The aromatic intensity is very inviting; the palate is dry and crisp with enough acidity to match up to many food pairings.   Virginia Pour House Notes: Aroma: plum, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry Flavors: raspberry forward flavors with subtle dark berry undertones Finish: light dark berry flavors taper from slightly tart to dry with just a hint of spice Additional Notes: After a recent trip with the rest of the Virginia Wine Mafia cast to the Barns at Hamilton Station, some of us decided to drop by Casanel. After conversing with the other bloggers about a potential Norton blind tasting in the future, Casanel chimed in that …

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Virginia Wineworks Viognier 2011

Producer: Virginia Wineworks (Michael Shaps) Price: $16 Vintage: 2011 Winemaker Notes: Additional Notes: A bright floral and citrusy wine made from the official wine variety of Virginia. Made in stainless steel tanks to highlight the fruit character, this wine is like drinking in a Virginia Summer day.  The aromatic intensity is very inviting; the palate is dry and crisp with enough acidity to match up to many food pairings.   Virginia Pour House Notes: Aroma: pear, green apple, and a touch citrus Flavors: effervescent mouth-feel with kiwi undertones with apple, pear, apricot, and lime doing battle on the palate Finish: crisp and refreshing finish with green apple dominating the lengthy finish Additional Notes: After visiting First Colony Winery a couple months back, I was urged to take a ride up the driveway to the Michael Shaps / Virginia Wineworks facility. The tasting room and production facility is located in a warehouse that Shaps uses …

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Canyon Wind Cellars Cabernet Franc 2004

Producer: Canyon Wind Cellars Price: $20 Vintage: 2004 Winemaker Notes: Production: 144 cases produced Additional Notes: This was the first single varietal Cabernet Franc that Canyon Wind Cellars has produced. Winemaker Jay Christianson was nice enough to dig up some library notes for me for the review. From Jay: The library is small enough that I have not opened and tasted this varietal in few years but the tasting notes from pre-bottling trials indicate that the wine had nice balance, good violet and blueberries.  The oak for this wine was 1/3 new, 1/3 once used, 1/3 twice used oak, and only about 15% French. Many thanks to Jay Christianson for the details.   Virginia Pour House Notes: Aroma: licorice, clove, jammy notes of blackberry and hints of floral notes Flavors: light spice with blueberry, blackberry and hints of cassis Finish: smooth finish with soft tannins and floral notes carrying the …

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