June’s Virginia Wine Chat saw Frank at Early Mountain Vineyards in Central Virginia, where he got to spend time with both the outgoing and incoming winemakers as he walked us through three of their selections. We actually have video this month, so be sure to check it out below as there was, as always, a great conversation being had.
Our three wines for the night were: the 2014 Rose’, the 2014 Pinot Gris, and the 2013 Foothills. Before diving into the individual wines I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed all three of these, and they’re all a great value at sub-$30, so it’s definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area to check them out.
Ok, now on to the wines.
2014 Rose’ – $22
A blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Syrah. In the glass the wine was a light orangish/salmon color. On the nose I picked up strawberry. On the palate the wine showed candied strawberries, floral notes, and, as it warmed up, some herbs that I believe the group settled on being Herbs de Provence. This was very much a Provence-style Rose’, with nice dry notes, and one that will pair well with food or by itself on a hot day. A great value for the price, and one that rose’ fans shouldn’t miss out on.
2014 Pinot Gris – $23
100% Pinot Gris, I picked up notes of pear and white flowers on the nose, along with some cotton candy as the wine opened up. The wine showed nice tartness and balanced acid with flavors of granny smith apples being most prominent to me. The finish showed a blend of minerality and briny-ness, and all in all it’s a wine that I’d pair with something fatty or creamy, as the acid will do a great job of balancing it out.
2013 Foothills – $27
A blend of 64% Merlot and 36% Cabernet Franc. Medium-dark garnet in color, I got aromas of oak, berries, and herbs. In the mouth the wine showed a lot as it opened up, starting with cedar, dark berries, and a soft acid, and later showing flavors of black tea, chocolate, and lavender. This is a great burger wine, and in fact I finished off the bottle with burgers on the grill over the weekend. If you’re a fan of Virginia Cabernet Franc this is a good wine as the Cab Franc really shows through in the blend. This is another great value at $27, and a perfect warm weather red for the summer.
Thanks again to Frank Morgan and the team at Early Mountain Vineyards. Virginia Wine Chat is taking off July and August due to shipping wine in the heat and the Wine Bloggers Conference. Frank will be back in September with a visit to North Gate, a personal favorite, and in October we kick off Virginia Wine Month.