1. 2011 Meritage, Rappahannock Cellars
14437 Hume Road, Front Royal, Virginia 22640
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A stunningly complex and subtle “right-bank” styled red blend from the historically challenging 2011 vintage. This medium-bodied jewel begins with aromas dominated by tobacco leaf, leather, and anise, which precede flavors of candied red fruit reminiscent of strawberry-rhubarb pie, all clothed in a thin veil of vanilla, cocoa, and clove, and leading to a lingering finish with soft, enjoyable tannins. Perfect to accompany your favorite veal dish, or try with a saltimbocca venison shank.
2. 2012 Viognier, Pollak Vineyards
330 Newtown Road, Greenwood, Virginia 22943
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This is a fresh, lively, full flavored wine with fragrant notes of creamy apricot and honeysuckle. On the palate one tastes ripe stone fruit balanced by crisp acidity.
3. 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Philip Carter Winery
4366 Stillhouse Road, Hume, Virginia 22639
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The ’12 Cabernet Sauvignon is entirely estate grown, and the definition of a balanced wine. Cherry, reminiscent of sour cherries destined for pie, plum, and violet on the nose lead to darker fruits the like of black cherry and currant on the palate. This wine has a round, weighty mouth-feel, enough tannin to pair nicely with red meats, while equally as pleasant by itself, and a balanced acid to urge on another sip or bite of food. Lastly, dark chocolate from precise oak aging in barrels of various age round out the intricacies of the wine. The winemaker recommends aging through 2015 for the ideal representation.
4. 2010 Mosaic, Sunset Hills Vineyards
38295 Fremont Overlook Lane, Purcellville, Virginia 20132
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This wine is a combination of the absolute best blocks of Sunset Hills’ wine from the 2010 harvest. As they were blending and bottling the other 2010 reds, each time they came across a barrel that really knocked their socks off in terms of expressiveness, bigness, and the ability to age well, they pulled the barrels aside and held them back for this bottling. The real standouts from the vintage were the Merlot and Cab Sauvignon from Vineyard #2. From there, they chose to darken the wine and tighten up the mid-palate with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While this wine is approachable now, it will absolutely gain in complexity for the next five years.
5. 2012 Meritage, King Family Vineyards
6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, Virginia 22932
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The 2012 vintage of their Meritage is a harmonious blend of Merlot (42%), Cabernet Franc (27%), Petit Verdot (25%), and Malbec (6%). The nose of the wine opens with bright cherry and raspberry notes mingled with fresh tea leaves. Flavors of allspice and baked blueberries, as well as a hint of mace come together on the palate while tight tannins and good structure promise to make this wine worthy of bottle aging. Aged for 18 months in French oak. Drink now through 2022.
6. Trump Winery
100 Grand Cru Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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With a beautiful salmon hue, the nose of this brut Sparkling Rosé is of rose petals, blackberry, and light toast. The crisp acidity and minerality are balanced well with the notes of red fruits that are brought by the Pinot Noir in the blend.
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