Last Saturday Dezel took full advantage of a beautiful and sunny spring day and paid a visit to Tarara Winery. It is no secret that when the birds are singing, butterflies in flight and flowers blooming, Dezel can more than likely be found at a Virginia winery or some other outdoor event.
Entering Tarara Winery
On this visit, Dezel's pal Johnny, from the previously posted tuna story came along, giving up his weekend Australian Shiraz habit to come out and enjoy some Virginia wine. Somehow, Dezel believes Johnny likes this Virginia wine, despite all his Shiraz talk. So off we were to Loudoun County to enjoy a lovely and sunny spring day!
Beautifully in Bloom - Road leading to Tarara Winery
On the way to the winery, the gorgeous pear trees on the property boardering the road were in full bloom, only outmatched by the picturesque Shadow Lake, which offers the perfect centerpiece for a romantic picnic or family gathering. Thus the scene was set for a pleasurable spring day of tasting through Tarara’s full spectrum of award winning wines. After chatting with some familiar faces in the crowd, we made our way to the tasting bar for a taste.
Picturesque Shadow Lake
Tarara offers two separate tasting options, one featuring your good everyday casual wines and the other is the Winemakers Select tasting, featuring Tarara’s reserved and limited production wines. Winemaker, Rob Warren, has done an excellent job of hand crafting quality wines at Tarara and we were eager to sample their offerings. Hosted by Sandy, we gathered a tasting sheet and pen and began our tasting. Sandy informed us that the Pinot Gris 2005 and Viognier 2005 were sold out, but the 2006 vintage of those varietal wines would be released the week of April 7th. Dezel is curious to find out if the 2006 vintage of the Pinot Gris and Viognier are fashioned after the 2005 vintages (stainless aged, crisp, refreshing), which were really enjoyable dry white wines.
Mr. Shiraz at Tarara Tasting Bar
Since Dezel has been to Tarara several times in the past and expressed what stood out on the palate in previous posts, Dezel
stole asked for Johnny’s tasting sheet to see what an Australian, Shiraz sort of guy, had a preference for. Johnny listed the following wines, and I must note that he was looking for nice spring and summer type wines in particular for the upcoming warmer months. The Cameo 2005 was high on the list for picnics and lawn concerts like at Wolf Trap. The Cameo is a Cabernet Franc based Rosé styled blend that is light and refreshing with fresh red fruit aromas that follow through on the palate with just the slightest pinch of sweetness. This wine would pair nicely with spicy ethnic cuisine, traditional barbeque and light hors' dourves. Moving right along, the Merlot 2004, a medium bodied wine, offers soft cherry, currant and spice aromas with supple tannins and is a well rounded wine that has benefited from French barrel aging and time in the bottle. This wine drinks nicely now and has the potential to develop in the bottle for several years to come; game, duck and red sauce dishes come to mind when tasting this wine. The newly released Vidal Blanc 2006 is an expressive off dry wine, that favors the sweeter side with citrus and tropical aromas standing out – I can see this offering doing quite well for itself at Tarara’s summer concert series and festivals. Another warm weather pleaser is the Wild River Red 2005, which is a Chambourcin based blend that has a small percentage of homegrown blackberries added. This wine is on the lighter side of medium bodied and is a fruit driven wine boasting blackberries (of course), raspberry and red cherry flavors and is best served chilled and pairs quite well with milk chocolate and drinks well on its own.
Deck View - Tarara Winery
Following our tasting, Johnny stocked up on an armful of Virginia spring and summer time wine selections and we made our way to the raised deck where a live band was entertaining the crowd. The deck is just outside the tasting room and provides nice views of the Potomac River, back dropped by the Sugar Loaf Mountains in the distance. Outside of the the deck, Tarara’s guest friendly 475 acres consists of wooded walking trails, a volley ball area, tennis courts, and wine cave tours and let’s not forget Shadow Lake, one of the most breathtaking lakes you will find on any Virginia winery grounds.
In closing, Dezel recommends readers visit Tarara’s web site as they have free outdoor concerts every Saturday on the outdoor deck throughout the month of April and the Winds and Wine Festival the 1st week of May, and many more fun filled events with their award winning wines at the center. So friends, pack a picnic basket or visit the wine shop for fresh French baguettes, a variety of cheeses, spreads and sausage, and enjoy a wonderful day spent at one of Loudoun’s top wineries - Tarara Winery! When you visit please let the kind staff know you read about them right here on Virginia Vine Spot.
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Happy Sipping and Thanks for your support !