12/26/2009

Quick Sip: Breaux Vineyards Lafayette 2004


Hello Friends,

This week’s quick sip is the Breaux Vineyards Lafayette 2004. My mother was in town this week and we planned on visiting several Virginia tasting-rooms. That is before the 22 inches of snow put a crimp in our winery hopping plans. Instead, we moved to plan B and enjoyed a number of good wines from several reliable and consistent Virginia producers that I had at home. Of the delicious wines we tasted through, the Lafayette (Cabernet Franc) wine from Breaux Vineyards was her favorite. Not only did she find the wine to be fantastic, but she noted that she tasted more than just fruit, hinting at added complexity. She also loved the label and Cajun theme – we are from New Orleans you know. With that being said, Breaux is one of my personal favorite producers in Loudoun County for their reliability, consistency and delicious wines from vintage to vintage. If you have not visited the tasting-room or tried their wines, click here and plan a visit soon.

Breaux Vineyards Lafayette Cabernet Franc 2004

In the glass, the Breaux Vineyards Lafayette Cabernet Franc 2004 is medium dark ruby in color with lighter edges. The swirl & sniff offers attractive aromas of red fruit and spice, infused with soft toasty notes, vanilla undertones, and a smidgen of leafiness. On the sip, the wine is easy drinking and filled with dark red fruit with nuances of herb and spice. The wine is nicely balanced with good acidity, soft tannins, and a pleasant lingering finish. Enjoy this wine on its own or try pairing it with pork or poultry dishes and even a good bowl of chili. The Breaux Vineyards Lafayette clocks in at 13.0% alcohol by volume and has a real cork enclosure. I’ve had a few of these wines laid down for a tad and think it retailed for $19.00 at time of purchase a few years ago. To learn more about Breaux Vineyards and their tasty Virginia wines CLICK HERE!
When you visit Breaux Vineyards be sure to tell the kind folks you read about them here on Dezel’s http://www.myvinespot.com/ wine blog. As always, Happy Sipping, friends!

Info: Breaux Vineyards, 36888 Breaux Vineyards Ln, Purcellville, VA 20132

Stay tuned friends ...We close out for a Quick Sip at Kluge Estate Vineyard!


Please Click Here to vote Dezel's Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

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12/24/2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Dezel wishes all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! May your days be filled with joy & happiness and your glasses filled with Virginia wine or something just as delicious this holiday season.

Happy Sipping, friends!

12/17/2009

Blenheim Vineyards: Yet Another Rocking Good Time!


Hello Friends,

Our next winery visit on the Monticello Wine Trail was to a “rocking” good winery that I had the pleasure of visiting back in February of this year – click here to read about that visit. As with that first visit, the previous night I again enjoyed a delicious dinner at the C&O Restaurant on Charlottesville’s downtown mall. As you can probably tell, I love the ambience and food there quite a bit. However, when it comes to enjoying warm ambience and tasty Virginia wine, Blenheim Vineyards is one of the destinations in Charlottesville that is doing it right. Joining me were fellow wine-blogging friends John Witherspoon of Anything Wine and Frank Morgan of DrinkWhatYouLike.

Blenheim Vneyards

For those who do not know, Blenheim Vineyards is owned by popular rock artist Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band. The winery and tasting-room is housed in an attractive timber-framed structure boasting large picture windows, sky lights providing an abundance of natural lighting, three tasting bars to facilitate Virginia wine lovers, and beautiful views of the surrounding Piedmont landscape and vineyard. There is also a glass paneled floor that gives visitors a view into the wine-making facility on the first floor. Truly a setting fit for a rock-star, and of course, Virginia wine lovers like you and me!

Winemaker Kirsty Harmon

On this visit, we had the pleasure of meeting with winemaker Kirsty Harmon, who took over wine-making duties last year. Kirsty is no stranger to Virginia wine though. She got her start at Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard, making wine with award-winning winemaker Gabriele Rausse. Following that successful stint, Kirsty attended the famed UC Davis viticulture program earning an MS Degree. Kirsty also worked in France (Burgundy), as well as and New Zealand, and now brings her passion, talents, and knowledge to Blenheim Vineyards – and I’m sure I speak for John and Frank when I say we like the direction in which she is taking Blenheim Vineyards.

Reviewing the Tasting Sheet

During my last visit with Kirsty in February, many of her wines were still in barrel and tank, so on this visit I had the pleasure of tasting some of her finished wines, as well as several barrel and tank samples. One change I noted from last time was the move to a screw-cap closure system for the entire wine portfolio. Currently, Blenheim, along with Tarara Vineyards in Leesburg, are the only two producers in Virginia I know of that have moved to 100% screw-cap closures for all of their wines. From chatting with Kirsty, the winery feels the screw-caps create a better closure than cork and it reserves the freshness and flavor of the wine. It is also more cost effective and there is no fear of TCA or other undesirables or contaminates into the wine from bad cork. The jury is still out on what has become a great cork debate in the wine world. This is a subject of its own and a story worth following – both sides have valid reasons for their worth and longevity, but natural cork has been around since the Roman period. If you look at statistics, most wines in the U.S. are consumed within 24 hours of purchase. That being said, the wines at Blenheim are made in an easy-drinking, accessible style and are meant to be consumed in their youth.

Pouring a Splash of Joy in the Glass

Moving to the tasting, the following wines were poured at the tasting bar: the Blenheim Chardonnay 2008 (fruit sourced from two nearby vineyards & estate fruit), the Blenheim Farm Chardonnay 2008 (100% estate fruit), the floral and nicely scented Viognier 2008, the herbal and dark fruit-scented Seven Oaks Merlot 2008, and the fruit forward and spiced Blenheim Farms Cabernet Franc 2008 (100% estate fruit). The Chardonnay wines poured were both well done. The Blenheim Farm was rounder and done in a more elegant style, while the Blenheim Chardonnay made my “Quick Sips”, so click here for the review. All the finished wines that we tasted were nicely done and competitively priced. A “tip of the hat” to Kirsty for a job well done!

Barrel Sampling

Following our tasting, Kirsty was kind enough to take us down to the winery to taste barrel and tank samples. Of note was her Petit Verdot 2008, showing blueberry, fig, and toasted notes, and a youthful, yet promising estate Petit Verdot 2009 sample. We also tasted a gamey, dark fruit, and minty Syrah 2009 that is showing a lot of promise – and really impressed us. Based on our overall barrel samples look for some very nice selections from Blenheim in the near future. In the vineyard, Kirsty also informed us that she is growing Pinot Noir, which, in my opinion is not well-suited for our warm climate, but I’m curious to taste this when the time comes. Kirsty is using a clone that she seems quite confident in, so I look forward to revisiting the Pinot Noir in the glass since it is a wine I thoroughly enjoy from cooler climate regions.
Beautiful View from the Tasting Room Deck

In closing, if your destination is the Monticello Wine Trail, Blenheim Vineyards should definitely be on your list of producers to visit. They do a great job in what I call the “Big 3” – the wine, the hospitality, and the atmosphere. New winemaker Kirsty Harmon is all about the wine and all about making sure you will have an enjoyable and memorable tasting experience. Pack a picnic basket, enjoy Blenheim wines, and waste the day away in their beautiful tasting room. When you visit Blenheim Vineyards be sure to tell the kind folks you read about them here on Dezel’s http://www.myvinespot.com/ wine blog. As always, Happy Sipping, friends!

Info: Blenheim Vineyards, 31 Blenheim Farm Charlottesville, VA 22902


Stay tuned friends ...We close out for a Quick Sip at Kluge Estate Vineyard!

Please Click Here to vote Dezel's Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

12/10/2009

Quick Sip: Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve 2006


Hello Friends,

This week’s quick sip is the Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006. Last week I invited a few friends over, including fellow wine-blogging buddy Frank Morgan of DrinkWhatYouLike, to taste and talk about Pinot Noir wines. Pinot Noir is considered one of the most sensual and seductive wines in the world with amazing finesse and complexity. The best examples of Pinot Noir come from the famed wine producing region of Burgundy, the grape’s homeland. Pinot Noir also thrives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where the cool climate and growing conditions seem like a perfect marriage for the finicky Pinot Noir grape variety. Next to Burgundy in my humble opinion, only a handful of regions can get it right – and the Willamette Valley is one of them. During our tasting, the Elizabeth’s Reserve was a two-thumbs up crowd favorite – the only complaint we had was we wished we had another bottle when the final drop was poured.

Got to Love the Label Artwork by Ginny Adelsheim

The Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006 is a “best of reserve” wine, consisting of the best barrel selection from Adelsheim’s four estate vineyards, as well as premium barrels from three other vineyards in north Willamette Valley. In the glass, the Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006 displays a beautiful deep ruby color. The swirl & sniff offers richness and complexity with black cherry, ripe raspberry, and earthy elements leading the way. As the wine opens up, undertones of cedar, floral notes, and spice-box start to emerge. On the sip, the wine is velvety-smooth with refreshing acidity and soft tannins, heightened by wonderful balance and finesse, ending in a long lingering finish. Enjoy this wine on its own or try pairing it with salmon or pork dishes. This wine clocks in at 14.3% alcohol by volume and has a real cork enclosure. Total Wine carries this wine for $39.99 and since I have enjoyed many Pinot wines in the $20 - $25 range, I feel that the extra money for a wine of this quality is well justified - especially for special occasions or to compliment a home-cooked gourmet dinner. Learn more about Adelsheim, their story, and their tasty Willamette Valley wines by CLICKING HERE.

To see what Frank had to say about this wine and others we sipped CLICK HERE.

Stay tuned friends ...Next winery review: Blenheim Vinyards & Winery!


Please Click Here to vote Dezel's Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !


Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

12/04/2009

DelFosse Vineyards & Winery: A Fine Symphony of Nature & Wine



Hello Friends,

Following an exceptional and delicious dining experience at the C&O Restaurant on Charlottesville’s downtown mall, we rose bright and early the following morning ready to jump back on the Monticello Wine Trail. Our next stop was to a popular Virginia winery that I have seen at a number of Virginia wine events, but had never visited (I know, shame on me). After visiting with owner Claude DelFosse at the very successful and fun-filled Old Town Alexandria Wine Festival a few months ago, plans were made for a bloggers visit to DeflFosse Vineyards and Winery to do a tasting, tour, and of course, talk a little Virginia wine! Joining me were fellow wine bloggers and friends John Witherspoon of Anything Wine and Frank Morgan of DrinkWhatYouLike.

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery is located in Faber, Virginia, less than twenty-five minutes south of Charlottesville. DelFosse Vineyards and Winery sits at the end of a long winding country road surrounded by gently rolling hills, tall trees, and majestic views. DelFosse Vineyards and Winery reflects the passion of owners Claude and Genevieve DelFosse. Claude hails from Paris, France, but, during time spent out West, he fell in love with California wine country. Yet it was Virginia, in particular the Monticello AVA of Central Virginia, where he found the greatest potential for producing small batches of quality hand-crafted wines. The site Claude selected was a former apple and peach orchard that was also suitable for growing wine grapes. The site is also a fine syphony of nature, suitable for hosting Virginia wine lovers like you and me!

Inside the Tasting Room

The new DelFosse tasting-room is stunning to say the least. The exterior is ultra-modern and light-filled, while the interior is comfortable, boasting double-tall picture windows, a long tasting bar, and natural illumination from the skylights. The tasting-room is back-dropped by European-style terraced vineyards overlooking a tranquil pond, lush greens, and panoramic vistas. Truly, DelFosse is one of the most well thought out and beautiful tasting-room settings in the state, in my humble opinion.

Pours of Joy at the Tasting Bar!

In the tasting-room, we were warmly greeted by winemaker Paul Mierzejewski and vineyard manager Grayson Poats. DelFosse produces about 18 different wines, so there is certainly something for every palate preference - even the pickiest. The wines produced are made from almost 100% estate-grown fruit. DelFosse’s goal is to produce only 100% estate wines. All things considered, DelFosse is a fairly young winery, opening its doors to the public in 2004. Currently they have over 20 acres of vine plantings, and though young, DelFosse wines have garnered many top awards and have a faithful following at Virginia wine events. I suppose it is safe to say that the duo of Paul and Grayson is off to a positive start.

At the Tasting bar w/ John of AnythingWine

Moving to the tasting bar, we were led by Grayson through DelFosse’s full line-up of red and white wine selections. While at the tasting bar, we learned that Grayson uses (some) sustainable farming practices and has implemented other practices to reduce the spraying of insecticides with the end goal of better fruit quality. While talking “wine & vine” with Grayson, we enjoyed swirling, sniffing, and sipping the wines as he poured them. Some of my favorite pours were the round, rich, and mildly toasty Chardonnay Reserve 2006. Another favorite was the Reserve d'Oriane 2007, a nicely scented, bright, and delicious blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng, and Viognier. Of the reds, I enjoyed both the Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and the Merlot 2006. Both wines display good varietal definition while offering complexity, balance, and structure. Of the two, the Cabernet is what I would call the “red meat” wine, while the Merlot sips nicely with lighter foods or on its own. One of the highlights during our tasting was chatting with Grayson – he is very passionate about growing great wine as shown in the conversation we had with him and the fruit he poured for us (Thanks for sharing your passion!).

One of many Beautiful Views @ DelFosse


In closing, we had a wonderful time at DelFosse Vineyards and Winery and look forward to returning some time soon. The setting is breathtaking and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine & fine nibbles. The property also features a charming historic log cabin that is available for weekly and weekend rentals. The cozy log home sits high atop a hill overlooking the tranquil valley, the family pond, and terraced vineyards. DelFosse’s 330 sweeping acres also offers hiking and biking trails and historically preserved buildings. Be sure to make a date with DelFosse soon and let the kind folks know you read about them here on Dezel’s Vine Spot wine blog.

Stay tuned friends ...Next winery review: Blenheim Vinyards & Winery!

Please Click Here to vote Dezel's Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day! Many Thanks :)

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !


Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

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