There are a great many places one could play a friendly game of Scrabble, but why not play at one of your favorite Virginia wineries. Think about it, picturesque romantic views, delectable local cheeses and fine nibbles, a friendly and relaxing atmosphere and of course great wine to boot.
At last, Vine Spot made it to Linden Vineyards on time to partake in the Vineyard Tour and the in-depth Cellar Tasting. If readers recall, the past two attempts of arriving early and attending these events were marred by that notorious sluggish Interstate 66 traffic. This time around, there were all smiles as we arrived early on a sunny yet cool Saturday with minimal traffic and met with Tasting Room Manager Jane, who would guide us through an in-depth tour of the Vineyard and Wine Cellar. This informative tour is complimentary and steps you through the winemaking process at a high level, from vine to wine, at Linden Vineyards. Jane did an excellent job guiding us through this tour and I recommend readers visit Linden ’s site and schedule the Vineyard and Cellar tour which starts at 11:30am on Saturdays and Sundays and lasts about 45 minutes.
Vineyard Tour with Jane on a Clear and Sunny Day
If you are on schedule as Vine Spot was (very rare), once the Vineyard and Cellar Tour concludes, you can move right onto the Cellar Tasting. The Cellar Tasting is $12 and begins at 12:15pm, and repeats every 45 minutes. This special tasting is held downstairs in the barrel room in a more private and intimate setting with no more than 6 to 10 people. This tasting is highly informative and interactive and the wines tasted are Linden ’s special vintages, limited releases and aged wines. The wines we tasted through consisted of the following: Hardscrabble Chardonnay 1999, Hardscrabble Chardonnay 2001, Reserve 2001 (42% Cab Sauvignon, 30% Cab Franc, 25% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot), Petit Verdot 2002, and Late Harvest 2004 (100% Vidal Blanc).
The Cellar Tasting with Scott
As you can tell, we tasted and learned about some very nice selections. Scott, our host for this in-depth tasting, did a great job of guiding us through the Cellar Tasting and pointing out factors such as weather, vineyard site and selection and the winemaking style and decisions that went into the tasty lineup of wines we sampled. Do note that these wines are only sampled during the Cellar Tasting but can be purchased in the main tasting area for your drinking pleasure if you do not partake in the Cellar Tasting.
Dezel at the Main Tasting Bar
Timing was just perfect as we went from the Cellar Tasting directly to the main tasting bar for Linden ’s complimentary tasting of several of their current wines that differ from what is sampled during the Cellar Tasting and are also high quality wines. We were greeted by a smiling and informative Tasting Associate that guided us through the following wines: Seyval 2005, Red 2004 (My personal favorite – 56% Cab Sauvignon, 31% Petit Verdot, 7% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc), 2003 Claret (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, and last but not least the refreshing and fruit driven Vidal Riesling 2005 (77% Vidal, 23% Riesling).
Following our tasting, we decided on a glass of the Petit Verdot 2002 and the Vidal Riesling 2005. Complementing this was freshly baked baguettes as well as some tasty venison sausage and two of their suggested local cheeses to pair with our wine selections. I have enjoyed Linden ’s Petit Verdot times past and the richness, red ripe fruit, spiciness and brightness of this selection always draws the palate near. Opposite, but equally tasty, the Vidal Riesling 2005 displays a nice range and integration of tree and tropical fruit flavors with a nice colorful liveliness about it. This indeed would be plug_and_play with crab cakes and grilled seafood dishes.
Beautiful views at Linden Vineyards
By this time I was having a very pleasant day and not just because I was winning at Scrabble. As readers well know, Scrabble can be a lengthy game, so more baguettes, more local cheeses, and yes, my favorite, a bottle of the Red 2004 was ordered. The Red 2004 is a nice palate filling medium bodied red wine with good fruit concentration, pleasant nuances, a sprinkle of pepper, a hint of cocoa, and a nice lingering finish. This would be my versatile food friendly wine much like what you could expect from a Pinot Noir.
As with all good things, our day came to a happy end. We always enjoy visiting Jim Law’s Linden Vineyards; fine wine, spectacular views, Vineyard and Cellar Tours, Cellar Tastings, an attractive enclosed deck …Need I say more? When readers decide to visit Linden Vineyards do let them know you read and saw them here on Virginia Vine Spot.
Stay tuned friends, I have oodles of red and white news to report!