Region

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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A local tasting with Bennett Sewell of Bodega Familia Sewell Winery

One of my favorite places to visit in my neighborhood in Fairfax, Virginia is Swirl & Sip Wine Shop, which recently opened in the Mosaic District. Not only does this shop pay particularly close attention to special, hard-to-find wines, they constantly strive to learn and to teach others about these unique wines directly from the winemaker or owner’s mouth. Almost every week, a winemaker or owner comes to pour their wines at their tasting bar to talk about not only what went into making the wine, but the story behind the label with visiting patrons. The tastings are always free, and they showcase some very special wines, ranging from unusual locations and unique technique. They also  offer most of the wines poured for sale after the tasting. In fact, a couple of weeks back, I met the Proprietor from Valley of the Moon Winery in California, and it was because …

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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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Quick Pour: Weingut Markus Huber Hugo Red 2012

Producer: Weingut Markus Huber Region: Lower Austria Price: $16 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch (Gamay); (13% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: A lively, fruit forward red blend ensconced in dark fruit (blueberry and strawberry) showing with hints of licorice throughout the palate, bearing soft tannins, and finishing with a touch of spice and juicy plum. A pleasant Friday night pizza or pasta wine that can be enjoyed to unwind. . Producer: Weingut Markus Huber Region: Lower Austria Price: $16 Vintage: 2012 Varietals: Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch (Gamay); (13% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: A lively, fruit forward red blend ensconced in dark fruit (blueberry and strawberry) showing with hints of licorice throughout the palate, bearing soft tannins, and finishing with a touch of spice and juicy plum. A pleasant Friday night pizza or pasta wine that can be enjoyed to unwind. . Quick Pour: Weingut Markus Huber Hugo Red 2012 Quick Pour: Weingut Markus Huber Hugo …

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Quick Pour: Sunset Hills Sunset Red Blend; A Vertical of the 2010 & 2011

Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Shenandoah AVA, Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 39% Petit Verdot, 36% Cabernet Franc,  21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, Estate Vineyard #1 , Estate Vineyard #2, Estate Vineyard #3, Maggie Malick Vineyard; (13% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Pepper, raspberry, and rose petal notes greet the nose, while juicy fruit forward flavors of strawberry, cherry, and wild berry jam across the tastebuds with very tuned down tannins (faintly present), and a short, stunted finish with very light notes of oak and floral notes craving for some last minute attention. Average.   Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2010 Varietals: 62% Cabernet Franc (Berry Hill Vineyard & Benevino Vineyard), 17% Nebbiolo (Berry Hill Vineyard), 12% Merlot (Sunset Hills Vineyard), 9% Petit Verdot (Waterford Vineyard) ; (13.5% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Rich chocolate notes enveloped by light tobacco notes …

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