It’s that time again, time for the monthly Virginia Wine Chat, hosted by Frank Morgan of Drink What YOU Like. It’s always a favorite. This month Frank traveled up to Loudon County to Breaux Vineyards where he visited with Jennifer Breaux, daughter of the owner and the Sales Director, and Heather Munden, the winemaker of Breaux.
For those of you unfamiliar with Breaux I have to say that it’s a vineyard that never ceases to impress me, and is always on a list of places I recommend when listing off places not just in Loudon County, but in Virginia as a whole – definitely not a place you’ll regret stopping into.
On top of their gorgeous facilities, they also make some pretty amazing wine. This month we got to try three different reds while Frank chatted with and fielded questions posed by those watching the live stream and following along on Twitter (#VAWineChat). The video is embedded below, but first up, my thoughts on the three wines we tried.
2013 Marquis de LaFayette – $32
100% Cabernet Franc, the 2013 Marquis was light in the mouth, with dry, tart cherry notes that eventually gave way into black tea flavors. Low to middling in alcohol content (13.8%/vol), I very much enjoyed the wine, and think it would make a great warm weather red, thanks to the lighter body and brighter flavors that would avoid being oppressive in too-warm weather.
2007 Meritage – $48
A blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 17% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. I found this wine to be quite juicy in the mouth with dark, ripe berry notes. On the finish I picked up a hint of petrol that I attributed to the slightly higher alcohol level (15.2%/vol), but I will say that the next day, after the wine had some time to open up, that note went away, so I would definitely recommend decanting this wine if you plan to drink it right now. That being said, winemaker Heather Munden expects this wine to cellar well (as do most Breaux wines), so if you have the patience, grab a bottle and stick it on the rack for a few more years and see what it looks like at 10 years old.
That being said, as it currently stands, the wine showed more body than the Cabernet Franc (as one would expect), and made me want BBQ ribs to pair with it.
2002 Merlot Reserve
100% Merlot. I couldn’t resist and decanted this wine before the tasting even started, confirming with my wife that this would be the bottle that we finished that evening (as is our tradition). In the mouth the wine was incredibly smooth, and I picked up notes of bright berry, cherry, and found the wine, as was best put by Paul and Warren of Virginia Wine Time, to be “raisiny”.
On the nose I noticed notes of olive, and as the wine had even more time to open up I found a spice note begin to emerge. This wine was excellent, and easily one that I’d buy again and again if given the opportunity.
Next month VA Wine Chat is off while Frank takes a family vacation to France (we all feel really bad for him to have to do that), but once he returns it’ll be a look at the wines of the Northern Neck of Virginia, and then the very first VA Wine Chat Craft Beer Chat (which I am very much looking forward to).
Thanks again to Frank and Breaux Vineyards for including me in this great tasting, and don’t forget to check out the video below for the great conversation. Also, feel free to chime in on your thoughts of the most underrated grape in Virginia is.