My mother's birthday was this past weekend, and her one gift request was for her husband to bring her to Virginia to celebrate her birthday with her ‘great’ son and visit some Virginia wineries. They arrived at Dulles, from Georgia Friday morning, and after a quick stop at IHOP we were on our way to jump on the Loudoun County wine trail.
Breaux Vineyards was our first stop of the day, and my mom really enjoyed their 2002 barrel fermented Chardonnay. This Chardonnay was smooth with hints of vanilla and spice, not overly oaky, and what you would expect of a well made barrel fermented Chardonnay. In unison, we all concurred with two thumbs up on the 2001 Nebbiolo. The 2001 vintage was smooth, with supple tannins and flavors of dark cherry and blackberry. After some conversation with the tasting associate about the 2001 vintage, I tasted the 2003 vintage, which was not listed to differentiate between the two. Needless to say, the 2003 is quite a vigorous character that will require a little more time in the bottle. I do however, look forward to seeing him again in a few years.
After our visit to Breaux, we stopped by Windham so my mom could try their Raspberry Merlot I had been boasting about. After a full tasting her husband took a liking to the 2004 Cabernet Franc, needless to say we both purchased a bottle to enjoy with dinner later. The 2004 Cab Franc has moderate tannins, aromas of dark fruit and raspberry, and flavors of berry fruit on the palette. After some conversation with the tasting associate and other tasters, we opted for a tour down stairs. Below is a picture of the fermenting raspberries, which is half of the delicious Raspberry Merlot dessert wine made at Windham.
We also visited Lost Creek, but they were sold out of most of their reds, so we did a partial tasting and chatted with the tasting associate, and had a really nice time there. Lost Creek has made some nice outdoor additions, and is worth a visit if you find yourself in the area.
Group picture at Lost Creek
We kicked off the next day by visiting Loudoun Valley. They make a pretty wide range of wines, and we enjoyed their two Merlot vintages (2001, 2003), as well the 2003 Vinifera White, a blend of barrel fermented Chardonnay and Riesling.
I promised stunning views and some great blends, so our next visit took us to Hillsborough. Both of the red blends, the 2004 Garnet and the 2003 Ruby were winners amongst us all. We lounged at Hillsborough for a while, had a sip, and enjoyed some of the beautiful views Hillsborough has to offer.
We rounded out the day by attending Tarara’s Wine and Wind festival. We had a great time there, enjoying the food and wine pairing seminars, craft and food vendors, a hayride through the vineyard, and last but not least the wine tasting. I opted for the Reserve tasting that was offered for an additional $5, and was impressed with the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Given the variety is difficult to ripen in Virginia, this wine had all the key characteristics of a well made Cab (compliments to the winemaker).
My mother and her husband Greg really enjoyed their short stay here in Northern Virginia, and the Loudoun wine experience. Next year we look forward to taking them to the Charlottesville area for more wine tasting and fun!
Mom and John Boy