Thursday, November 6, 2014

VAwinechat: Colonial Virginia Wine Trail

Colonial Virginia Wine Trail

The Colonial Virginia Wine Trail features four of Virginia's best wineries (Williamsburg Winery, Saudé Creek Vineyards, New Kent Winery and James River Cellars) all within a one hour drive. Stretching from North to Southeast of Richmond, it appears that the wineries are easily accessed from the freeway, making this wine trail doable in a day, though you might stretch it out once you see some of the accommodations they offer. Since the wineries are in such close proximity to each other, I was interested to see the interaction between the players. My initial impression is that, while they all know what the others are doing and support each other, they are also marching to their own drummers, nothing lock-step here.

Wine Tasting Notes:

James River Cellars 2013 Gewürtztraminer:
Estate-grown grapes; golden honey color; honeysuckle, stone fruit, and subtle almond aromas; subtle honey and citrus, almond, and spice flavors; medium body, subtle sweetness (.5% RS) balanced by acidity; twist-off closure; 83 cases made; SRP $20. Nice on its own, great food wine.
Williamsburg Winery 2012 Trianon Cabernet Franc Reserve
75% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot grapes; 67% neutral oak, 33% new oak; bright red berries, cherries and some pepper aromas; cherry, pomegranate, and herb flavors; tart and slight peppery finish; 12% ABV; cork closure; 7500 bottles produced; SRP $32.
New Kent Winery 2012 Reserve Chardonnay
Grapes estate grown in New Kent County; barrel fermented and aged sur lies; apple, pear and subtle tropical fruit aromas; pear, vanilla, caramel, and a touch of baking spice flavors; creamy texture;  13%ABV; cork closure; SRP $25.
Saudé Creek Vineyards 2013 Reserve Traminette
Apple, apricot, pear, honey, and floral aromas; pear,   stone fruit flavors; dessert-wine-like bottle indicates sweetness by association, but wine is actually drier than expected, well-balanced with a light acidity on the finish; 12.5% ABV; cork closure.
Part of out discussion was about whether or not Virginia wines have improved, or whether they are just getting their due. Based on the few wines I tasted while living their six years ago and a few more over the years, I would say the quality has improved, dramatically. The truth is, whether it's an improvement in quality or just better press, Virginia wines are impressive -- you should feel comfortable searching Virginia wines out and buying them for your personal drinking or to share with guests.

These wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.

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