Pick One Up! 2007 Virginia Wine Guide

2007 Virginia Wine Guide & Loudoun Wine Guide

Hello Friends,

The new 2007 Virginia Wine Guide is out and should be available at a local winery near you, so be sure to grab a copy. So what can I find inside the guide you ask? The guide is your source of information to wine festivals, events, the Virginia wine region and so much more red and white information.

Another fun thing about this guide is the Winery Passport. Take your Winery Passport to a local winery and after your tasting, ask for a stamp and place it on the appropriate winery square. Collect 25 or more stamps and submit your Winery Passport for a chance to win a variety of very nice prizes. You get a chance to win great prizes for tasting Virginia Wine; is that not a good deal friends?

Vine Spot visited well over 25 wineries last year and anticipate increasing the number this year as there are several new wineries and some other regions we hope to explore.

Vine Spot hopes to see some of you on the Wine Trail; it should be a great year for touring Virginia wineries!

Happy Sipping friends!



Gadino Cellars: Another Fine Winery in Rappahannock County

Following Vine Spot’s trip to Barboursville Vineyards we decided to saddle up and head to the charming town of Washington, VA located in Rappahannock County. The town of Washington plays host to a number of B&B’s, antique shops, novelty stores, farms and the purpose of our trip, Gadino Cellars.

Gadino Cellars

Gadino Cellars opened doors in 2005 and typifies a number of small family owned and operated wineries in Virginia producing quality hand crafted wines. The Gadino family brings forth an Italian heritage of home winemaking and successfully produced wine in California for a small circle of friends and family before heading eastward to plant vines in a burgeoning Virginia wine industry as early as 1989. Let’s just say that since the move, their circle of friends have expanded greatly and we were eager to taste their wines after hearing so many wonderful things about them while traveling about the Virginia wine trails. We arrived at the tasting bar and were warmly greeted by tasting associate, Mary-Anne, who would guide us through the tasting of Gadino Wines. After some friendly chat and a brief history about Gadino Cellars, we paid our $3 tasting fee and proceeded with the tasting. Do remember that once you pay this fee all you have to do is bring your Gadino wine glass for free future tastings. What a deal!

Dezel enjoying Gadino Wines @ Tasting bar

The white wines offered were as follows: Premium Chardonnay 2005, Viognier 2004 and the Sunset 2005 (Traminette and Chardonnay off dry blend). The red wines offered were the Moonrise 2005 (dry style Rosé), Merlot 2004 and last but not least the Cabernet Franc 2005, Virginia ’s flagship red. The Gadino wines tasted were lively and bright showing good varietal character. In particular, the perfumed and honeysuckled Viognier 2004 won the palate over displaying lush peaches and tropical notes inside subtle vanilla framing. The Premium Chardonnay 2005 is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish dishes offering a nice integration of fruit and toastiness with a mild nuttiness and crisp acidity. The Cabernet Franc 2005 is estate bottled from vines planted in 1990 and offers subdued dark fruit and cherry aromas with similar flavors backed by a sprinkling of spice and mild oak notes. Consider this your food friendly red that would also make a pleasant and relaxing evening sipper. As you can tell, even though Gadino Cellars is a fairly young winery, their wines are highly mature and already garnering numerous awards.

Comfy seating area next to warming fireplace

Following our tasting, we enjoyed the Cabernet Franc 2005 and walked about the tasting room and admired some of the beautiful artwork hanging from the wall. Gadino Cellars interior is spacious and for cooler months provides ample seating and a fireplace to keep you warm and comfortable. Gadino Cellars also offers light gourmet fare in the tasting room to pair with your favorite Gadino Cellars wine and has a nice gift shop with a variety of wine related items.

Beautiful Outdoor view from Gadino Cellars Sun Deck

On nicer days the sun deck is where you will want to be with your bottle of wine, cheese platter, fruits and French baguettes while enjoying the manicured greens, vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountain views. Gadino Cellars is a family friendly environment where their labor of love for producing quality wine shows in the glass. When you decide to pay the Gadino’s a visit, do let them know you saw and read about them right here on Virginia Vine Spot.

  • Do stay tuned friends as Vine Spot goes Tasting and Touring at Breaux Vineyards!
Happy Sipping!


Barboursville Vineyards: Where History and Elegance Mingle

No visit upon the Monticello Wine Trail is complete without first stopping at one of Virginias most successful and popular wineries. Barboursville Vineyards is located just north of Charlottesville and sits on over 800 acres of well manicured and rolling green hills. Barboursville is one of Virginia ’s largest producers and recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary, an amazing feat indeed!

We're here !!!

Barboursville is owned by Giovanni Zonin who also owns a large wine company in Italy and whose family is 6 generations deep in producing quality wines there. Luca Paschina, also from Italy, has been chief winemaker at Barboursville for the past 17 years and is responsible for producing their award winning signature wines that have made Barboursville one of the Common Wealth’s most consistent quality producers year after year.

Barboursville Vineyards

When we arrived, we were fortunate enough to fall right in line with a complementary tour that is held on weekends and hosted by one of Barboursville experienced staff members. The tour highlights the history of Barboursville Vineyards, winemaking in the Piedmont area and gives you a glimpse into where Barboursville wines are produced and aged. Vine Spot came away from this tour with a much greater appreciation for this pioneering winery and the challenges faced and overcame in the early days of Virginia winemaking when growing Vinifera grapes in the Common Wealth was a major hurdle. It was time to taste these wonderful wines now and Vine Spot was rather eager to get a ticket and move to the tasting bar.

The Barrel Room

The Stainless Collection

The tasting fee at Barboursville is $3 and not only do you get to taste a number of great wines, but you also get to keep the personalized glass. Be sure to bring your glass back for future visits as tasting fees will be waived. The tasting room at Barbourville is spacious with tall ceilings and elegantly decorated boasting a dual sided brick fireplace to keep toasty on those chilly days. Barboursville also has a nice gift shop where everything from local cider, spreads, jams and Barboursville T-Shirts can be purchased.

Moving onto our tasting, we were greeted by a welcoming smile and kind words and told what was being offered on the tasting sheet for that day. Starting with the whites, the following wines were offered: Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Pinot Grigio 2005, Chardonnay 2005, Chardonnay Reserve 2005, Viognier 2005, Riesling 2005 and finishing up with a nice off dry and fruity Rosé 2005.

Tasting Bar

Pouring Barboursville's finest....

The reds available for tasting were as follows: Merlot 2004, Sangiovese Reserve 2004, Barbera Reserve 2005, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005, and lastly Barbourville signature red, the Octagon 2004 7th Edition. The blush and dessert wines offered were the Cabernet Blanc, the Rosato and the Phileo. We were also treated to a sample of the limited edition Nebbiolo 2002 that is not usually tasted due to limited quantities.

Barboursville wines can best be described as well balanced, harmonious, textured and nuanced, not to mention reasonably priced for the most part. Wines that stuck out on Vine Spot's palate were many, but Vine Spot will mention a few by name. The Pinot Grigio 2005 is done in a dry style with nice pear and apple flavors on the palate and nicely balanced. The Chardonnay Reserve 2005 pleased Vine Spot with its fuller texture and ripe tree fruit flavors framed in sweet oak and vanilla. The Barboursville Viognier Reserve was beautifully fragrant with a smooth texture displaying nice, but subtle tropical fruit flavors on the palate. The medium bodied Barbera Reserve 2005, Italy’s very own red wine grape, was expressive with mixed berry flavors, cocoa and hints of vanilla and mild oak on the palate; based on its uniqueness in Virginia and the price point this is a Vine Spot recommendation. You may ask why Barboursville is in their 30th year, yet the Octagon is only in its 7th year. Barbourville only produces their signature Octagon Bordeaux styled blend when the vintage is what is considered by the winemaker to be a perfect or near perfect vintage for all varieties involved. This wine is Bordeaux based and displays a nice dark color with aromas of mixed berries, leather, vanilla and cocoa. The wine has a nice zing and liveliness about it with nuanced and complex dark fruit flavors rounded out by ripe tannins and a pleasantly lingering finish. This is your true dinner wine that has years of aging potential but offers a great tasting experience now. For the sweet ending, the Phileo is a blend of Moscato and Gewürztraminer that is fruity and sweet and has just enough acidity to make it a nice refreshing after dinner wine or warm weather sipper.

The 'Historic Ruins'

Can you believe that there is much more to see and do at Barboursville? Well there is, as the title suggests where History and Elegance Mingle. After tasting through Barbourville fine wines, visitors can tour the ‘Historic Ruins’ of General Barbour’s mansion that was designed by Thomas Jefferson and destroyed in a house fire on Christmas Day, 1884. The aged red brick remains of this historic abode are sure to capture the eyes and curiosity of all who visit from young to old.

Want to spoil yourself? A stones throw away from the ‘Historic Ruins’ sits The 1804 Inn, which is a renovated plantation house that exemplifies true elegance and leisure. With palatial furnishings and balconies that open up to green rolling hills and a serene pond, this could be a great place to escape from the city and bask in tranquility and style.

The Inn 1804

If that is not enough, Barboursville also boasts a 1st class and top notch restaurant that sits adjacent to the winery. Palladio Restaurant highlights fine cuisines of Northern Italy and offers menus that match Barboursville’s fine wine selections. Vine Spot recommends calling ahead and making reservations as this is a true crowd pleaser that attracts quite a crowd.

In closing, Barboursville is definitely a must visit on the Monticello Wine Trail and is truly a fine combination of charm, romance and elegance. At 31 years of age, Barboursville is only getting better with time, much like the fine wine they produce. When you visit, please let the friendly staff at Barboursville know you read about them right here on Virginia Vine Spot!

Happy Sipping friends!


Weekly Sip: First Colony Cabernet Franc 2004

First Colony Cabernet Franc 2004

The last time Vine Spot visited First Colony Winery , I made it a point to pick up both of the Cabernet Franc wines they produce. First Colony Winery does a Cabernet Franc 2004 that sports an attractive price tag of $12.95 and also a Cabernet Franc Reserve 2004 for $17.95, which has a splash of Touriga and Tannat for color, complexity and tannin structure. This week’s weekly sip takes the bargain Cabernet Franc 2004 off of the now infamous ‘Wine Row’ and into Vine Spot’s glass.

Review: The Cabernet Franc 2004 is an estate bottling that is lighter bodied and offers a soft cherry and berry fruit nose with some herbal aromas. On the palate the wine is bright with cherry and blackberry flavors and soft tannins. This would be your pizza or lighter red sauce dish wine. In my opinion, based on my palate preference and the price I think the Cabernet Franc Reserve 2004 is a far better wine offering more bang for the buck so to speak. The Cabernet Franc Reserve 2004 is a more aromatic, complex and flavorful wine; the tannin structure and finish are also attractive characteristics of this selection. This would be your red meat dinner wine or evening sipper. It’s superb!

For the price point, those curious about the potential and diversity of Cabernet Franc would find satisfaction in trying these two wines side by side. First Colony also does other quality red and white wines and if you are considering visiting wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail , this winery should be on your list.

Happy Sipping!



Revisiting Linden Vineyards: Scrabble Anyone ?

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.

Scrabble - The Wine Edition

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!

Happy Sipping!


Rock the Vote: American Wine Blog Awards 2007

Greetings Friends,

Tom Wark, of Fermentation, the Daily Wine Blog, has created the American Wine Blog Awards Vintage 2007. This is the first of its kind and is a genius idea that has attracted a great deal of enthusiasm and interest throughout the Wine Blogosphere.

Vine Spot did not realize that there were so many great wine blogs out there until I started checking out all the nominations under the different categories. As I was browsing, I saw that Virginia Vine Spot was nominated under Best Single Subject Wine Blog and Best Graphics on a Wine Blog. There are some spectacular views to be found in Virginia Wine Country and I’m pleased that others find them equally attractive. If you have not already done so, take the time to nominate Virginia Vine Spot your favorite Wine Blog(s). I would like to thank those who voted for and continue to support Vine Spot.

Vine Spot would also like to send Tom Wark of Fermentation a ‘Hi-Five' for putting this great event together. It has drawn the attention of wine bloggers from all over this great globe and there is never enough wine geeks in a room (or website for that matter). And now for the categories:

Voting ends January 18th sippers, So Rock the Vote -- Happy Sipping!



Chateau Frank Rosé : Bubbly & Breakfast at Vine Spots

A Tasty Southern Breakfast

QUIZ TIME : What movie had the following exchange about 'GRITS' ?

What's this over here?

You've never heard of grits?

Sure, Sure. I've heard of grits. I've just never actually seen a grit before

I will be the first to admit that when an old friend of mine, about ten years ago, told me that his favorite breakfast meal growing up as a child was catfish, grits and buttermilk biscuits, I thought he was a tad peculiar. I mean, I enjoy grits like ‘mostly’ everyone else but never thought about grits, fried catfish and biscuits in the same meal and on the same plate. Well think again, I tried it and it was delicious. I spiced the grits up with cheddar sprinklings topped with sweet corn relish and had hot buttermilk biscuits stuffed with an Albemarle Pepper Jelly I picked up in Charlottesville . The Cajun battered cat fish I whipped up completed the meal and Chateau Frank Célèbre Rosé (NV) complimented the meal quite well.

Review: The Chateau Frank Célèbre Rosé (NV) is one of several award winning sparkling wines produced by Dr Franks Vinifera Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake in Upstate New York. The Chateau Frank Rosé is produced from 100% estate grown Pinot Meunier grapes, which is a close relative to our seductive friend Pinot Noir and the most widely planted variety in France ’s Champagne region. Chateau Frank Célèbre Rosé is a nice salmon color and done in a crémant style, which translates into fuller bodied. On the taste, the wine offers brightness and an abundance of red berry fruit and a strong and refreshing fizz of tiny fine bubbles. At $20 this is a nice sparkling wine that local readers may be able to find at Total Wine stores.

More importantly, I would like to make mention of the founder of Dr. Franks Sparkling Wines, Willy Frank, the son of the renowned Dr. Konstantin Frank. Willy Frank planted his vineyard, Chateau Frank Champagne, consisting of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier off of Keuka Lake in the early 80’s. Willy Frank set out to add another dimension to an already successful and acclaimed winery and by all means succeeded, winning numerous awards and notable mention. Sadly, Willy passed away in March of 2006, but last year during our visit to the winery, we had the opportunity to meet and chat with his son Fred Frank, who continues the family tradition of producing high quality still and sparkling wines.

Want to learn more about New York wines? Check out the following blogs:

Lenndevours: Enjoying Long Island Wines and much more! Great Reviews! Great Site!

Finger Lakes Weekend Wino: Great source for Finger Lake Wines and Events.

Finger Lakes Wine Tribune: Resource for Finger Lake Wines and Reviews.

Quiz Answer: My Cousin Vinny -- Happy Sipping!



Discovering Turkish Red Wine

Wine is like a box of chocolates ….

You never know what you're gonna get.

Ever had a bottle of wine and found yourself totally clueless as to what to expect? This is how I felt after receiving two bottles of Turkish wine for Christmas from friends. Turkey is not quite a hot viticultural region and I have never noticed any Turkish wines in any of the wine stores I frequent. Needless to say, we whipped up a delicious meat and cheese lasagna, accompanied by an Italian dressed salad and Mediterranean black olive bread and sought out to discover a little about this Turkish red wine.

Review: The Kavaklidere Yakut is a light bodied blend consisting of Öküzgözü, Carignan and Boðazkere; all native to Turkey I believe. The wine presents itself quite well, displaying a beautiful deep garnet color. The nose is rather ample, offering earthy and red fruit aromas, namely cherry. On the palate this wine has a light weight to it, but offers bright acidity, subtle, but not particularly unpleasant tartness and a nice concentration of fresh fruit. I would offer this as a food pairing wine because the tannins are rather firm, but not overpowering. The wine finishes short, but has enough character and allure to entice you into another swirl, sniff and sip.

This wine retails for less than $8 and while it cannot be found in most wine stores, it can be obtained from local Turkish stores here in Northern Virginia . I will reply to this post with the names and addresses of a few of the local stores if anyone wants to grab a bottle. For the price, it is a nice bottle to discover with a weekday meal.

Happy Sipping!


Want to write with Vine Spot?

So I fell for an offer in the mail and now find myself the owner of oodles of these lovely Chambourcin colored black ink pens. Outside of the lovely color and ‘yours truly’ printed on the pen, they write very well and are attractive.

If readers would like a few of these ink pens please email me your address and I will get a few of these Chambourcin colored writing tools out to you. You write with BIC, PAPER-MATE and CROSS, so why not write with VINE SPOT : )

Happy Sipping and Thanks for all the wonderful emails and support!



White Hall Vineyards Petit Manseng 2005

White Hall Vineyards Petit Manseng 2005

Feeling tropical? Indeed I was after a warm and sunny weekend in January here in Virginia . Needless to say, the weather is more winter like now, but the seasonal warmth sure was nice. The warm weather motivated me to seek out something white and sweet to sip and the White Hall Petit Manseng 2005 hit Vine Spot's spot.

Review: The White Hall Petit Manseng 2005 is a medium bodied rich and aromatic wine displaying a light straw color. The bouquet is inviting, boasting aromas of honeysuckle, tropical fruit and hints of cinnamon. On the taste, this wine is full of tropical fruit, namely pineapple and ripe tree fruit flavors. The wine is slightly sweet and has a nice medium length finish. The White Hall Petit Manseng 2005 is a nice after dinner wine or would pair well with spicy indian or asian cuisine. This wine is truly inviting and exotic and has a small about of Viognier added to make it satiating and interesting.

For the ever curious, Petit Manseng is a white wine producing grape hailing from the Jurancon region of southwestern France where it produces renowned high quality wines. The grape is naturally high in acidity, making it a nice candidate for the ideal dessert wine. I'm seeing more plantings of Petit Manseng here in Virginia and wineries such as Hillsborough are using it in blends, while others like Horton and Veritas are producing a varietal bottling. Chrysalis Vineyards produces a dessert styled wine from the Petit Manseng grape that is truly liquid gold to say the least. If we are so lucky to have another stroke of seasonal warmth, consider trying some Petit Manseng, whether Virginia or Jurancon. If you try it, or already have a favorite producer, drop me a line and share the fruity details.

Happy Sipping!



In the news: Possible Good News for VA Wineries

The Virginia Wineries we love to visit may soon regain their right to self distribute to stores and restaurants if the General Assembly passes legislation that is supported by two local lawmakers. If you recall, in 2006 Virginia Wineries were dealt a low blow by losing their right to self distribute. Well, it is a new year and Senator John Watkins and Delegate Chris Saxman have proposed a bill that would allow Virginia wineries to self distribute up to 3000 cases per year. This would be very good news for local wineries and especially benefits the majority, which are smaller family run operations.

One of the consumer benefits of this, which Vine Spot looks forward to, should be improved price stability for the Virginia juice we so enjoy. Also, as a consumer who loves good food and wine, this should assist in getting Virginia Wines in some of those nearby local restaurants we all enjoy dining at. This move would greatly help an upcoming Virginia Wine industry, which in turn is good for agriculture, tourism, and the consumer. Virginia wineries have positive influence over nearby restaurants, hotels, Inns, B&B’s, stores, etc., thus I hope to see a sweet and happy ending here.

One cloudy area is the mention by Senator Watkins that this is merely a break for Virginia Wineries until they can become a large enough producer to need and/or afford the services of a distributor. Only problem here is that from talking with some of the owners and growers at these wineries, the vision and scope of their operation was to produce a finite number of cases per year with no plans for near future growth spurts. Most of these talented people turned passion into reality and developed their plan around the laws that were intact at that time and what happened in 2006 appeared to catch a great many off guard. Do not get me wrong, this is indeed a move in the right direction, but it will be interesting to see how it forms around the Virginia Wine industry.

So what can we do as consumers? We can contact our legislators and press the need to support Virginia’s farm wineries.

Also, fellow blogger Allan, at Cellar Blog has posted an interview with Delegate Chris Saxman that I am sure you will find interesting. In addition, Sonadora, over at the Wannabe Wino blog site offers her views on this, as well as some nice food pairings and wine reviews, including Virginia Wines.

Also, a big Thanks to Ryan over at CalWineries blog site for sending me the following 2 links that discusses this story: link1 link2

Happy Sipping!



Dr. Frank Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003

Dr. Frank Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003

The last time I seared some prime tuna fillets, I enjoyed the Loudon Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2004. This time a visit to ‘wine row’ finds the Dr. Frank Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003 to pair with my meal. When Vine Spot visited the Finger Lakes last year in July, we exited Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars with a number of their nicely done wines and enjoyed our visit to the winery. Outside of the great wines, Doctor Konstantin Frank, the man, is an interesting read that can be found here.

Review: The Dr. Frank Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003 bottling displays a nice lemon yellow color and is on the lighter side of medium bodied. The bouquet offers tree and tropical fruit aromas with mild notes of buttery toast. The wine is not overly oaky, allowing the fruit and bright acidity to shine through on the taste with flutters of vanilla and spice. This wine has great fruit concentration and a nice integration of fruit, malolactic qualities and oak influence.

Needless to say, Vine Spot will be visiting several local shops to find the Dr. Frank Chardonnay 2004.

Happy Sipping!


Village Winery Cabernet Franc 2005

Village Winery Cabernet Franc 2005

The last time we visited Village Winery, we enjoyed and adopted a few bottles of the nicely done Cabernet Franc 2005. After whipping up some seasoned basmati rice, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and Italian styled meatballs, it was off to the wine fridge to find a friendly match. As you might have guessed, the Village Winery 2005 was taken off the now famous ‘wine row’ and uncorked.

Review: The Village Winery Cabernet Franc 2005 is a medium bodied wine that displays a nice deep garnet color. On the nose are aromas of red fruit, spice and subtle herbs. Flavors of red fruit, pepper and spice, with herbal nuances follow through on the palate. The wine is nicely balanced with a good level of acidity and friendly tannins. The Village Cabernet Franc 2005 paired quite well with my quick toss-up meal and would pair well with chicken, roasted lamb, red sauce and beef dishes.

Vine Spot recommends a visit to this young winery located in Waterford , VA. Besides the nicely done Cabernet Franc, Village Winery offers a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend, Merlot, an Apple wine made from local fruit and an interesting and tasty Elderberry wine.

Happy Sipping!



Meet the Wine Connoisseur

The Vino Bear

Not quite the Wine Connoisseur you were expecting, but allow Vine Spot to introduce you to the Vino Bear. I received this little handsome fellow as a stocking stuffer of sorts from my kind hearted coworkers for Christmas. The Vino Bear comes with a wine bottle in one hand and a glass in the other. He also comes with a noteworthy message worth mention:

“Wine Connoisseur” – Suave and debonair, this guy has a nose like a hound for great wines. His appreciation for the finer things in life are easily seen, but he’s no snob and loves to share his good taste with family and friends alike!

The last sentence speaks volumes, hence ‘we’ wine enthusiasts, hobbyists and connoisseurs should very well align in thought with the Vino Bear. Here's to 2007, let’s enjoy wine, learn more about wine, and offer some great suggestions along the way!

Happy Sipping!

Dezel & the Vino Bear


It’s a New Vintage!

The Gingerbread Express

Greetings Friends,

Vine Spot wishes all a Happy New Year full of love, peace, happiness, prosperity, fun, and Fine Wine!!!!

The picture above is of a tasty little Gingerbread Village I snapped while out on the High Seas. One of these days Vine Spot will have to take a ride on the Gingerbread Express to find out what type of wine the locals enjoy; I bet you it is a sweet wine.

  • Stay tuned, I have a visit to the ever popular Barboursville Vineyard to tell you all about!

Happy Sipping and Best Wishes in 2007!

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