It’s that time again, time for another Virginia Wine Chat! This month our friend Frank Morgan visited Trump Winery and sat down with their winemaker, Jonathan Wheeler, to taste some wines, talk about their approach, and to get his thoughts on the Virginia wine industry as a whole. As usual, I’ve embedded the video below so you can check it out for yourself and we can get to my thoughts on the wines. This month we tasted 4 different wines – 3 whites and a red.
2009 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc – $24
The Sparkling Blanc de Blanc is always a favorite at my house, in no small part because it’s a great value at $24. Made with 100% Chardonnay grapes in the Methode Champenoise, the wine featured green apple and brioche both on the nose and in the mouth, with just a touch of minerality on the finish. I like the Blanc de Blanc thanks to the small to medium-sized bubbles, making it easy to sip with a meal (scallops), with a cheese plate, or just by itself – because you never need a reason for bubbles.
2008 Sparkling Reserve – $45
Our second sparkling wine of the night, the 2008 Reserve is also made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. Aged 25 percent in French Oak. I got flavors of baked apples and toffee. It was interesting seeing how changing the style of winemaking could take crisp, refreshing apples in the Blanc de Blanc and give them more body and a richer mouthfeel. Yay for science and wine.
2013 Viognier – $24
Pale yellow in color, I mostly picked up white peach in the mouth, though some honeysuckle did come out as the wine warmed a bit. This Viognier has been aged 1/3 in neutral French oak barrels. I know some people don’t like oaked Viognier (my wife chief among them), but I enjoy it. I will admit that I’d hoped the barrel aging would have added some more body to the wine though, as it felt like it fell somewhere between unoaked and oaked, without really being either.
2012 New World Reserve – $28
If the Blanc de Blanc was my favorite of the sparklings, this may have taken the cake as my favorite – along with some friends that joined us for the tasting. A Bordeaux-style blend of 42% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot, the Cab Franc is what really shined through for me. The wine was complex, with notes of toasted oak, black cherry, and a hint of vanilla. I really liked this wine, and at $28 it’s a great value.
Thanks again to Frank Morgan for hosting another fun tasting, and to Trump Winery for allowing us to pepper you with questions and try some of your amazing wines. If you’ve never visited their tasting room I highly recommend it – it’s a great spot to stop and try some wines and have a picnic lunch when the weather is in.