5/27/2010

Sweet Ending: King Family Vineyards Loreley 2008


Hello Friends,

Dessert wines come in many different styles, from Late Harvest and Noble Rot, to tasty Ice Wines from our friends up north. Typically, dessert wines are enjoyed after a hearty meal, either paired with a delicious dessert or as the dessert itself. The most technically correct method of making a dessert wine is to stop fermentation so there are natural residual sugars left in the finished wine. It is also important that dessert wines have good natural acidity to balance the natural sugars so that the wine does not come across as too cloying. I emphasize natural, since some producers add cane sugar and/or artificial flavoring extracts to a dry base wine, which, for me, detracts a bit from the finished product.

King Family Vineyard Loreley 2008


Matthieu Finot, winegrower at King Family Vineyards and a French native, has crafted a delectable and complex dessert wine in the French vin de paille method. This method is suitable to warm climates (like here in Virginia) and refers to a method where grape clusters are dried out on mats or racks resulting in raisin-like berries that contain droplets of highly concentrated, sweet juice. Wines made using this method are sometimes refered to as "straw wines", since grape clusters were traditionally spread out on straw mats for drying. The King Family Vineyard’s Loreley 2008 is a blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Petit Manseng and barrel fermented in new oak barrels. In the glass, the wine displays a clear medium yellow-gold color. The swirl and sniff offers mandarin orange, tropical fruits, roasted hazelnuts, and sweet toasty notes. On the sip, the Loreley 2008 is complex, round, and rich with a smooth mouth-feel and good acidity to balance the natural sugars, finishing long with a lingering trail of fruitiness laced with soft oak. This lip-smacking liquid gem comes packaged in an attractive 375ml bottle and clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume with a real cork enclosure. This wine retails for $24.94, which is a fair price for a wine of this style and quality and can be found at the tasting room. Enjoy this wine with rich foods like foie gras and pâté, or do like me, and savor it on its own. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: King Family Vineyards, 6550 Roseland Farm Crozet, Virginia 22932

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Vin De Paille

Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/25/2010

Quick Sip: Calling Governor Williamsburg!

Hello Friends,

Those of you who know me well and follow the blog know that one of my favorite restaurants in Loudoun County is Tuscarora Mill and my favorite dish is their “shrimp and truffled grits” entrée. I say “yummy” twice just thinking about it! I recently put my chef hat on and fixed my own Cajun version of the shrimp and grits dish. Being a New Orleans native, my recipe required an extra pinch or two of spicy seasoning to make it right. The extra heat in my dish called for a balanced wine with good bright acidity and a soft kiss of sweetness. My initial thought was to reach for a Riesling or Chenin Blanc – that’s until I spotted a ‘08 Williamsburg Winery Governor’s White in the wine fridge. When I saw that, I called on Governor Williamsburg!

Williamsburg Winery Governor’s White 2008


The Williamsburg Winery Governor’s White 2008 is a simple, yet satisfying off-dry white wine blend that won’t break the bank first and foremost, retailing for $8 in the tasting room and most local wine shops and grocers. The Williamsburg Winery Governor’s White is bright and crisp with delicate citrus and stone fruit flavors and a hint of underlining sweetness with a slightly sweet and refreshing finish. The Governor’s White sips nicely on its own on and is a good accompaniment to mildly spicy cuisine. It is also a good quaffer on a warm summer day and a pleasant addition to any picnic basket. Virginia producers do an overall good job with off-dry summer white wine blends at affordable prices, so seek and you shall find. The Governor’s White is easy to find and under $10, so grab a bottle or two, even three, and enjoy it this summer! Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Williamsburg Winery, 5800 Wessex Hundred,Williamsburg,VA 23185, (757) 258-0899

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5/21/2010

Vine Spot Visuals: Pollak Vineyards


Hello Friends,

This week’s Vine Spot Visuals feature highlights a fairly young producer on the Monticello Wine Trail that is getting it right across the board. I had the pleasure of visiting Pollak Vineyards last fall with a few fellow wine bloggers and the last thing I scribbled in my notepad about my experience was that “Jefferson would be proud.” That phrase later made it as the title of my blog post about my tasting and touring experience at Pollak Vineyards. Pollak’s entire portfolio of limited-production wines, especially the 2007 red wines, impressed us all and the barrel samples we tasted indicated a bright future.

Beautiful Tasting Room


Along with very good wine selections, many of which are estate-bottled, the attractive tasting room has a modern flair with tall ceilings, a warm fireplace, large picture windows with stunning views, and comfortable furnishings. As you can see from the picture I snapped above, the tasting room is a wonderful location to enjoy a glass of wine along with a cheese platter with friends.

Enjoy a bottle of wine & relax on the deck


With the seasonal warmth of spring upon us and summer on the horizon, enjoy vineyard and sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the expanded front porch or beautiful views of the pond and surrounding countryside from the rear deck. Pollak Vineyard’s award winning wines, excellent service, attention to detail, and picturesque setting makes them this week’s featured Virginia winery. If you have not visited yet, there's no time like the present to make a date with Pollak Vineyards and swirl, sniff, and sip the day away. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Pollak Vineyards, 330 Newtown Road, Greenwood, VA 22943-1701, (540) 456-8844

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Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/18/2010

Quick Sip: Say Hooray for Mary’s Cuvée


Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Mary’s Cuvée 2007 from Corcoran Vineyards. Mary’s Cuvée is a joint effort by Virginia wine superstar Mary Watson of Benchmark Hospitality and Corcoran Vineyard’s proprietor and winemaker, Lori Corcoran. I call them the Dynamic Duo! Mary’s Cuvée is a red wine blend consisting of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Tannat. If you know Mary and Lori, then you know this wine. Much like their attractive personalities, this red wine blend is bright, charming, and easy to get along with from first to last sip.

Mary's Cuvée 2007


The Mary’s Cuvée 2007 is an easy drinking, fruit-forward wine, filled with good fruit flavors and soft tannins. In the glass, Mary’s Cuvee 2007 displays a garnet-cranberry color with good clarity. The swirl and sniff offers expressive aromas of bright cherry, raspberry, graham cracker touches, and a light sprinkling of spice. On the sip, the wine is smooth and balanced, medium-bodied, with moderate acidity and a nice lingering finish with white pepper nuances. The Corcoran Vineyards Mary’s Cuvée 2007 clocks in at 13.0% alcohol by volume and has a synthetic cork enclosure. This wine is drinking well right now so grab a bottle and enjoy! This limited production, handcrafted wine can be found at Corcoran Vineyard’s tasting room. When you visit, you’ll probably see Lori behind the tasting bar and Mary in the herb garden. If you see one or both, let them know I enjoyed the wine and that read about it on Dezel’s My Vine Spot wine blog!

Lori Corcoran & Mary Watson aka Dynamic Duo!


Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Corcoran Vineyards, 14635 Corkys Farm Lane • Waterford, Virginia 20197 • 540-882-9073

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Cuvée (Wine) on FoodistaCuvée (Wine)


Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/13/2010

Quick Sip: King Family Vineyards Meritage 2007


Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the King Family Vineyard’s 2007 Meritage, winner of the esteemed 2010 Virginia Governor’s Cup competition. In November of 2009, a few of my wine blogging friends and I had the pleasure of visiting King Family Vineyards and meeting with winegrower Matthieu Finot. I identify Matthieu as a winegrower, as opposed to a winemaker, because he is as involved and intimate with the vineyard side of the operation as he is with making wine. It’s the job of the winegrower to best reflect the vineyard and vintage in the finished wine – I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Good wine is made in the vineyard.” The 2007 growing season was generally good for Virginia grape growers and the King Family Vineyard’s estate-bottled Meritage captures the true essence of King Family Vineyard’s unique terroir and meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery.

King Family Vineyard’s Meritage 2007


The King Family Vineyard's 2007 Meritage is a harmonious and complex wine that’s rich, yet elegant, with a velvety texture and good structure. In the glass, the King Family Vineyard’s Meritage displays a deep and intense garnet color. The swirl and sniff offers inviting aromas of dark cherry, currant, anis, and a dash of spice with gentle smoke and cedar hints. On the sip, the wine is mouth-filling, round, and smooth with succulent fruit flavors, complexity, and silky refined tannins, ending in a pleasing and lengthy finish. The King Family Vineyard’s Meritage 2007 clocks in at 14.0% alcohol by volume and has a real cork enclosure. This wine is drinking well right now and will develop added complexities with proper cellaring. Indeed, an excellent job by the King family and winegrower Matthieu Finot. Unfortunately, you may not be able to find the 2007 vintage any more, but the 2008 vintage is available in the tasting room and some wine shops and said to be consistent with the 2007 vintage. If you do find the 2007 vintage please drop me an e-mail and let me know the location. The 2007 vintage retailed for $25.95 and is a liquid expression of what passionate and dedicated Virginia winegrowers can achieve in good growing seasons – a Virginia red wine blend that would rival any at similar price points. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: King Family Vineyards, 6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, VA 22932-3336, (434) 823-7800

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Meritage


Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/10/2010

By the Glass: Tuscarora Mill Restaurant


Hello Friends,

After a day of tasting and traipsing through the popular Loudoun County wine trail, one of my favorite “go to” spots to visit before heading back home, is Tuscarora Mill Restaurant. Tuskie’s, as the locals call it, is located in the heart of historic downtown Leesburg amongst a variety of charming boutiques, cafes, and shops. Ever since my first trip to Tuskie’s in 2006 and falling in love with the zucchini fries and sweet curry mustard dipping sauce appetizer, followed by a delicious shrimp and country truffled grits dish, I have enjoyed many satisfying return visits.

The Shrimp & Grits is one of many delicious items on the menu.


Tuskie’s specializes in seasonal American cuisine and is housed in an attractively restored historic grain mill. The bar area and café, my favorite spot to dine, is rustic with all-around great character, maintaining some of the inner workings of the mill such as overhead pulleys, belts, etc. The main dining area is elegant and stylish with bright skylights, very nice décor, and a relaxed atmosphere. Tuskie’s is a farm-to-table restaurant, offering a seasonal menu that highlights many local food items grown and raised within 100 miles of the restaurant. Tuskie’s is also a big supporter of the local wine industry with an extensive wine list that features a large number of Virginia labels served by the glass or bottle. During a wine dinner I attended at Tuskie’s a few weeks ago, Chris Pearmund, owner of Pearmund Cellars, and, as one attendee joked, “A half dozen other Virginia wineries”, cited that years ago when no other restaurant carried local wine, Tuskie’s was one of the first to carry Virginia wine by the glass or bottle. Tuscarora Mill Restaurant makes this week’s “By the Glass” feature because you can get locally sourced seasonal dishes and enjoy Virginia wine by the glass or bottle. Their focus on high quality food, friendly service, and an inviting ambience makes Tuskie’s a local favorite and a destination restaurant for people like me who live outside of Loudoun County. If you haven’t visited Tuskie’s yet, a memorable dining experience awaits you! Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Tuscarora Mill Restaurant, 203 Harrison Street Southeast Leesburg, VA 20175 - (703) 771-9300

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Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/07/2010

Napa Valley Cab Flight: California Dreamin'


Hello Friends,

One of my wine pals, an avid collector of Napa Valley wines, contacted me to taste through a few aged Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines last week. Being a relative newcomer to the wonderful world of wine, I missed a period of time when Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was said to be more European in style in comparison to the wines produced today. In 1976, at what is known as the Judgment of Paris tasting, French wine experts could not differentiate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay from renowned French examples, resulting in the 1973 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag‘s Leap Wine Cellars and the 1973 vintage of Chardonnay from  Chateau Montelena both winning first place among top French wines. Based on what I read, those who reviewed Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the mid 1970’s through the early 1990’s cite distinct stylistic differences from today's style of Napa Valley Cabernet. Clearly today’s style is riper and has higher alcohol levels, but today’s style appeals to a large number of consumers too.

Napa Valley Wine Flight Night


What I find interesting is that well-made Virginia red wines have a similar style to some of the early Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Typically made using Bordeaux varieties, the Virginia wines I speak of are dry, supple, balanced, and oak aged for maturity, with moderate alcohol and good acidity levels. This style of wine is versatile and extremely food-friendly too. Whether supple and elegant or rich and concentrated, some of the best examples of Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine world are grown in the Napa Valley. Take a look at the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wine flight we enjoyed below from old to young.

  • 1986 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards – Soft aromas of olive, herbs, leather, and toasty notes. Lean in body with moderate acidity and muted red fruit flavors, touches of cedar and a medium length tart finish. This wine lacked structure, but for twenty-four years old it’s still kicking and tastes as good as some younger examples I have tasted. If I had any of these cellared I would think about consuming them soon. (13.5% ALC/VOL)
  • 1989 Steltzner Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District – Pleasant aromas of dark cherry fruit, spice, currant, mint, stewed vegetables, and floral scents. Medium bodied with moderate acidity, offering subtle dark fruit flavors and a slight green integrated edge with spice components. This was an enjoyable wine with soft tannins and a slightly astringent finish. (13% ALC/VOL)
  • 1992 Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Mount Veeder - Medium-intense aromas of mixed dark berry fruit and toasty overtones. Medium bodied wine that’s still showing good fruit on the palate framed in soft sweet oak with a smooth mouth feel. (13% ALC/VOL)
  • 2005 Cavus Stags Leap District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Powerful aromas of ripe currant, sweet plum, blueberry cobbler, and baking spice with cocoa and sweet oak notes. On the palate this wine is rich, concentrated, and full bodied with succulent fruit flavors and soft tannins. This wine is high-octane, but balanced and drinking nicely now. (15.5% ALC/VOL)
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

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Cabernet Sauvignon


Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

5/03/2010

Reach for Rosé on a Warm Spring Day


Hello Friends,

Even though it is still spring, the temperature in Virginia this weekend felt more like summer. The seasonal warmth had me reaching for something chilled, bright, and dry. One of the first wines that ran across my mind was a dry Rosé. Believe it or not, many people stray away from Rosé, thinking that they all are overly sweet. This probably has a lot to do with White Zinfandel, but I’m not knocking White Zin since this was many peoples introduction into the wonderful world of wine and the reason why there are so many old vine Zinfandel vineyards in California today.

Springtime Sipping!


Rosé wines typically range from off-dry to dry and Virginia has some of both to offer. Slightly off-dry, and I mean a smidgen of “natural” residual sugar, and dry Rosé wines are food friendly, versatile, and can be found at good price points. On a warm spring or summer day there is nothing better than a well-chilled, refreshing and light Rosé full of bright fruitiness and crisp acidity. I recently enjoyed several local selections and recommend you try these too if you haven’t already:  Breaux Vineyards Dry Syrah Rosé and off-dry Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Tarara Winery Rosé, Fabbioli Cellars Rosa Luna Dry Rose, Boxwood Cabernet Franc Dry Rose and Kluge Estate Sparkling Rosé and Albemarle Rosé. I know I’m missing some other good local examples so please add a comment or e-mail me some of your favorites. Also, some other wine producing regions you should look to for Rosé wines are Rioja and Navarra (Spain), the Southern Rhone – especially Tavel (France), Provence in southeast France, and Anjou (Loire Valley). In closing, just about every wine producing region does a Rosé, so give pink a try and let me know what you are enjoying so I can try it out too. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

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Rosé Wine

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