Thursday, March 7, 2013

Virginia Wine Expo

Allie headed to Florida recently to participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon (way to go Allie!).  So I went down to Richmond to spend some time with my old man and we decided to hit up the 2013 Virginia Wine Expo downtown.  Since we have both been to most (if not all) of the Charlottesville-area wineries, we decided to focus our Wine Expo experience on trying wineries that we had never tasted (and in some cases, never even heard of).  This had the added benefit of helping to pace us through the enormous tasting room.  Since there were so, so many wines at the expo, I decided that I would select my 5 favorite wines for this post.

And so, in no particular order, here were my 5 top wines from the 2013 Virginia Wine Expo:

- Holly Grove Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay - I don't normally like Chardonnay, but I must say I really enjoyed this one!  Holly Grove explains that the soil on the Eastern Shore of Virginia imparts a different minerality to the grapes than is normally found.  I have to agree with them!  This particular Chardonnay was crisper and less buttery than most, which I appreciated.

- Wisteria Farm and Vineyard Seyval - I haven't found a lot of Seyval Blancs in Virginia, but I have generally enjoyed the ones I have had.  I found Wisteria's Seyval to have subtle but enticing aromas and flavors of citrus, making for a semi-dry and easily drinkable white wine.

- Bluestone Vineyard 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white varietals, but I have had trouble finding versions of it from Virginia that I have enjoyed.  Bluestone Vineyards surprised me with their estate-grown 2011 Sauvignon, which I found crisp and refreshing with hints of pineapple and grapefruit.

- Williamsburg Winery 2009 Trianon - Cabernet Franc is one of the signature Virginia red wine grapes, and I generally enjoy it though I often find myself wishing that it had a touch less black pepper flavor and finish.  Williamsburg's Trianon is 75% Cab Franc (blended with some Cab Sauv and Petit Verdot) that has just the most subtle of peppery finishes while maintaining the bright, bold, and earthy flavors of the Cabernet Franc.

- Annefield Vineyards 2008 Annefield Red - Composed of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot.  I found Annefield's 2008 Red blend to be full-bodied with well-rounded tannins and a bold flavor.  With hints of dark cherry and cocoa, it begs to be paired with a hearty steak (like C&O restaurant's Cuban ribeye). 

Finally, a few pictures from our visit to the Virginia Wine Expo...


Tasting Sampler from the Homestead Resort

Virginia Wine Expo
2014 Dates: February 18-23, 2014

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