Cheers to Christmas

Dezel wishes all a ‘Wine-der-ful’ and Merry Christmas - a toast to you and the season.

Happy Sipping!


Weekly Sip: Corcoran Vineyards Chambourcin 2006

Hello Friends,

Let’s talk a little about a reliable French-American hybrid variety that finds itself popular among East coast growers, as well as drinkers like me. The grape variety, Chambourcin, is used in blends and stands tall on its own as a varietal wine here in the Commonwealth. Chambourcin was first introduced by French hybridist Joannes Seyve in 1963. The grape’s true origins and parentage are all but a question mark, as Seyve passed away without leaving much documentation on his serendipitous discovery. What we do know, however, is that at its best, Chambourcin is capable of producing silky smooth, full- flavored wines with lovely deep colors and inviting aromatics.

Chambourcin Grapes

It is worth noting that these hardy, high yield French-American hybrids, which include popular varieties like Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc, were for the most part created by the French. In the mid 1800’s these varieties were encouraged as part of a government regulated program aimed at identifying vines that were both pest and disease resistant. This was a must following the phylloxera outbreak, which devastated French vineyards in the 1860’s. Most French-American hybrids are resistant to the phylloxera louse, as well as other pests, and adaptable to climatic variations, hence the Mid-Atlantic popularity. Oddly enough, these grapes the French once produced during troubled times are discouraged by the French AOC and only used in their lower grade of wines. All that said, many locals have come to appreciate a well- made wine, whether it is vinified from French-American hybrids or not.

Corcoran Vineyards Chambourcin 2006

This leads me to Corcoran Vineyards, formerly known as Waterford Vineyards, Chambourcin 2006. I have really enjoyed their past offerings, so let’s pop the cork on their most recent release and see what’s inside.

Review: The Corcoran Vineyards Chambourcin 2006 is an easy drinking and expressive wine clocking in at 13% alcohol by volume with a synthetic cork enclosure. Visually, the wine is an attractive and well-defined garnet color with nice fruity aromas and a hint of spice. This light bodied Chambourcin has a splash of Merlot added for complexity and offers notes of cherry, blackberry, spice, and subtle oak flavors. The wine wraps up with a clean medium length finish, yet this is another good Chambourcin offering from Corcoran Vineyards. Enjoy this wine with grilled dishes, chicken, pork, barbeque, or on its very own. Price: $18

Other local Chambourcin wines to seek out in my opinion would be Old House Vineyard's Wicked Bottom - a barrel aged Chambourcin that is one of the winery’s most popular wines. For those seeking out a ‘sweet ending’, try Marterella Winery’s Sweet Nothings – an off dry fruit forward Chambourcin wine with a pinch of sweetness that pairs well with dark chocolate. Yummy!

  • Happy Holidays friends !!! Stay tuned ...more to come !!!

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      Stadium Sip: Sunset Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006

      Hello Friends,

      This past Sunday your Washington Redskins played with heavy hearts as they took to the field to honor their slain teammate, Sean Taylor - #21. In the end the Redskins could not withstand a late 4th quarter surge by a youthful and resilient Buffalo Bills team, which may have ended their post season playoff hopes. Under the circumstances, however, the Redskins played commendably, and the crowd was definitely the supportive 12th man that the team needed.

      "Wake Up And Stop The Violence"

      Despite the cooler outdoor temperatures, there was a tailgate celebration to be had. So with a package of petit toasts and a delicious truffle mousse (no trans fat by the way), a bottle of Sunset Hill’s award winning Reserve Chardonnay 2006 was uncorked.

      Chardonnay Grapes

      Chardonnay is one of the big six grape varieties of the wine world and is arguably the most popular white wine grape variety. It is very diverse and capable of producing high quality and elegantly styled wines. Virginia produces some great Chardonnay examples, and I find it to be one of the most consistent varietal wines from vintage to vintage. Although solid offering can be found here in Virginia, Chardonnay is as ubiquitous as the sun, and virtually every wine producing region makes a decent to outstanding Chardonnay. Some people say the best examples can be found in Burgundy (Montrachet and Meursault in particular in my opinion) and California (Sonoma Valley); however, if you have a chance, tilt your glass to what Virginia has to offer. You may just find a new wine region to add to your Chardonnay list. With that, let’s move on to the Sunset Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006.

      Sunset Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006

      Review: The Sunset Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006 is a deliciously pleasing wine that clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and has a real cork enclosure. The nose is inviting with buttery toast, vanilla custard, and spice aromas. The aromas follow through to the palate with a nice integration of soft tropical fruit flavors and an attractive, yet moderate creamy mouth feel in this enjoyable young wine. Try this wine with smoked white meats, creamy sauce or rich seafood dishes, and not to mention, a little truffle mousse and petit toasts. Price $24

      For further winery information and to purchase Sunset Hill's wines, visit their web site or give the winery a call at 703.725.3546.

      • Stay tuned friends, I have more local wine news to deliver!

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      Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !


      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

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