On weekends, wine tastings are held outdoors to accommodate the weekend crowds. There were four tasting areas set up outdoors, and we quickly moved into position for our tasting. We opted for the Reserve tasting which includes the Estate and Reserve wines, totaling 11 wines. Our tasting associate was Melissa, and she was fun to converse with. She provided us with lots of information about the vineyard, and the wines produced there.
The Estate wines to note were the 2004 Viognier and 2003 Chardonnay, both of which we enjoyed. Niki’s favorite, the Viognier was refreshing and fruity, and the French Oak aging gives it those elegant qualities that rounds it out nicely on the palate. The Chardonnay was crisp and clean with flavors of apple, and would be a great sipper for these warm summer days.
Going down the tasting list, it is apparent that Norton is the chief grape here. This indigenous grape is one of a rare few North American grape varieties that can produce quality and complex red wines, making what Chrysalis does with it highly especial to say the least. Norton grapes produce full bodied, rich and flavorful wines. I will leave some mystery here, in hopes you will venture out and taste Virginia’s own; Chrysalis currently offers a 2002 Estate Norton, 2002 Norton Reserve, and a 2004 Norton Barrel Select. Other Reserve wines to note are the Albarino, a white full bodied, rare find in Virginia that is certainly worth a visit, and their 2003 Petit Verdot, big, bold, flavors of dark cherry and would work best when paired with food.
Last but not least is the 2004 Petit Manseng, unequivocally an agreeable and pleasing dessert wine, with intense tropical flavors and aromas to match.
Beautiful Views at Chrysalis
We decided to have lunch on their outdoor deck, and take in some of the surrounding picturesque views. Always my favorite, is wine selection time after a full tasting. Niki decided to go with the 2004 Viognier, and Dezel’s selection was the 2004 Norton Barrel Select. The Norton had a nice dark color, red fruit on the nose, full mouth feel, and finished nicely.
Our lunch and the wine selections were very nice and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit at Chrysalis, as we did last time. Check their web site for events, or just pack a picnic basket and make a day out of it. They also have 2 IronWork gas grills for public use, and beautiful grounds to boast for your pleasure; that paired with some of their pleasing wines are recipe for delight. Put them on your calendar, and as always, Happy Sipping!