Can you believe Dezel forgot to submit a blog entry? The reference to the Naked Mountain Sauvignon Blanc in the previous post, which is crisp and refreshing, refreshed Dezel’s bumbling memory - so here you have it friends, Naked Mountain Vineyards!
Naked Mountain Vineyards is owned and operated by Bob and Phoebe Harper and is one of Virginia ’s true pioneering wineries, opening doors for sales and tasting in 1982; a time when there were just a handful of operating Virginia wineries. Popular for their Chardonnay, of which has been served at the White House on two separate occasions, Naked Mountain Vineyards went against popular trend by planting vinifera varieties, opposed to native and hybrid grapes which were more popular selections and less of a risk for growers in the early 80's. Some two decades later, Naked Mountain is still producing quality Virginia wine vinified from European varieties. This marked our second visit to the winery and we were eager to partake in the day’s fun filled and appetite satisfying lunch event.
Lasagna Lunch & Cabernet Franc – Yummy!
Is fine wine and great food not the perfect match? Well, Vine Spot thought so and so did friends Paul and Warren of VA Wine Time. Seeking great food and good wine we all saddled up and headed to Markham, VA, located near Linden and Fox Meadows Vineyards to partake in Naked Mountain’s annual Lasagna Lunch Season Extravaganza. Yummy!
Handsome Winery Dog – Asking for lasagna with his eyes!
Two types of lasagna were available, and since we are all carnivores, everyone enjoyed the homemade sausage lasagna. However, the veggie lasagna looked quite tasty also, and Dezel was tempted to order both (I know, bad boy, bad boy!). At any rate, with the lasagna selection made, it was time to visit the tasting bar and try Naked Mountain wines and vote on which wine would pair best with our delicious food selection.
Naked Mountain Vineyard's Tasting Bar
Moving onto our tasting, we aligned ourselves at the tasting bar and were ready to cycle through Naked Mountain's offerings. There is no tasting fee at Naked Mountain and we started off with the following white wine selections: Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003 and 2004. The red wines offered were the Cabernet Franc 2004 (10% Tannat, 5% merlot, 5% Petit Verdot) and the Raptor Red 2004 (Cabernet Franc based medium bodied and fruity red wine blend). We finished with the sweet ending, a semi-sweet Chardonnay/Riesling 2005 blend (93% Chardonnay, 7% Riesling) that would make for a nice spring or summer time wine with enough refreshing acidity to balance the sweetness.
Niki and Warren keeping warm and chatting at the round table.
Although we were targeting a red wine to pair with our meaty and cheesy lasagna selection, the white wines showed very well during our tasting. Paul really enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc 2005, which is crisp and refreshing with good acidity, offering soft and subtle citrus and tropical flavors on the palate. Naked Mountain’s signature white wines, the Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003 and 2004 are smooth, well rounded and dry wines that are fermented and aged in French oak barrels for 10 months. The 2004 showed more fruit characteristics on the taste, while the 2003 offered more toastiness, fig and mild smokiness. Both are nice food pairing wines that would marry well with seafood, chicken and creamy white sauce dishes. For our meal selection, we all favored the Cabernet Franc 2004; the cherry, subtle raspberry, spice and peppery flavors were palate pleasing and intermingled quite nicely with the seasoning and red sauce of the sausage lasagna. Also, complementing the day was the stone fireplace, which was most warming and indeed the cherry on top so to speak.
Beautiful Naked view of Mother Nature from the outdoor deck!
Following our tasting, we chatted a bit and talked about meeting up again soon to enjoy more great food and tasty Virginia wine. We then made our way to the outdoor deck which is just one of many excellent spots in Virginia to enjoy a weekend picnic and bask in Naked Mountain’s beautiful and sightly surroundings. I recommend readers check Naked Mountain’s event calendar and give the Harpers a visit. The area plays host to a nice three winery tour that are all relatively nearby, consisting of: Linden Vineyards, Fox Meadows, and this lovely attraction, Naked Mountain Vineyards – Visitors will find beautiful views and nice wine selections at all! When readers plan their visit, do tell the friendly folks at Naked Mountain you read about them here on Virginia Vine Spot! Have a wonderful time drinking naked (Naked Mountain wines that is) and enjoying the stunning views.
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Happy Sipping !