Last night I had the chance to participate in a Twitter tasting of several white wines from Virginia. These wines were geared towards the summer (and if you’re not from Virginia believe me, it’s getting hot), and for those participating from outside Virginia, were a small hint of what to expect in July during the 2011 Wine Blogger’s Conference being held in Charlottesville. Here’s what I thought.
2010 Keswick Vineyards Verdejo
I’d never had a Verdejo before (at least that I remember), and I wasn’t aware that anybody in Virginia was making one. The wine was very light in the glass, nearly clear, with a little bit of citrus on the nose and a nice subtle citrus flavor on the palate with just the tiniest bit of petrol on the finish, though I think I was the only person that got that so maybe I was just hallucinating. I didn’t pair it with anything, but a few people during the tasting recommended pairing it with goat cheese which I could definitely see being a good pairing. This would make a great deck wine thank to how light it is and while $18 is a little more than I usually pay for a wine that I just sip on the deck, it’s not outrageous either.
2010 Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
As a fan of both Sauvignon Blanc and Veritas Winery I was ready to try this one. Light yellow in the glass with a hint of sweetness on the nose which fortunately did not carry through to the palate. In the mouth the wine was a nice blend of citrus and tropical notes but without the hard acid bite on the finish that I sometimes associate with Sauvignon Blanc. $25 is a bit much for me to pay for a Sauvignon Blanc, but it is a Reserve and it was very good, so it’s certainly not a waste if you spend the money on it.
2010 Boxwood Topiary Rose’
I had the chance to taste Boxwood for the first time back in February at a dinner for Taste of Loudon and so I was pleased to see them in this selection as I enjoyed them in my previous experience. The 2010 Topiary Rose’ was a medium-dark pink in the glass with a hint of an almost orange color running through. I didn’t get too much nose from it, though there was some strawberry and dried fruit. In the mouth the strawberry and dried fruit carried through with a touch of mineralality – a trait in light wines I’m coming to enjoy the more I experience it. This was one of my two favorites for the evening (the other being the Veritas Sauvignon Blanc), and at a price of around $14 it’s a great value for a summer wine.
2010 Jefferson Vineyards Viognier
Our first Viognier of the night was bright yellow in the glass (I mean it looked like a yellow highlighter). I got mostly apple on the nose and in the mouth a lot of honeysuckle and tropical flavors that gave it the feeling of sweetness. Mind you the wine only has .65 residual sugar, but I got that impression either way. This was definitely a wine that I wanted to pair with spicy food to help cut the sweetness of the wine. This was probably my least favorite wine of the night, especially when you factor in that it costs $25 a bottle.
2010 Chrysalis Viognier
Ever since Taste of Loudon I’d been wanting to visit Chrysalis and while I haven’t had the chance yet, I was happy to get to try the newest vintage of their Viognier that I enjoyed so much at that dinner. The wine was light yellow in the glass with a subtle floral aroma that carried through to the palate with a subtle lavender note on the finish coupled with a hint of sweetness. I liked this one better than the Jefferson Vineyards Viognier and it’s certainly what I would call a more “typical” Virginia Viognier. My only complaint is that at $29 it’s kinda pricey.
2010 Lovingston Petit Manseng
Our final wine of the night. The 2010 Petit Manseng from Lovingston was bright yellow in the glass with a waxy, footy aroma that I’ll admit was a bit odd. However, this didn’t carry over into the palate where the wine had notes of pineapple, some effervescence, and a sweetness that wasn’t syrupy, but would have made me guess that the wine had more than 1% residual sugar if I hadn’t had the tasting notes. That said, this would be a good pairing with some curry or other spicy food and is a great value at around $14 for anybody that prefers sweeter wines.
I want to thank John at the Wine Cellar for hosting, and all of the organizers for putting together another great event. This tasting made me even more ready for the Wine Blogger’s Conference in July. If you’re on Twitter and want to learn more about Virginia Wine, you should check out the hashtag #vawine and #wbc11 as you’ll be seeing those pop up more and more in the coming months.