October brought another exciting edition of Virginia Wine Chat as we explored four wineries on the Colonial Wine Trail: James River Cellars, Saude Creek Winery, New Kent Winery, and Williamsburg Winery. I continue to feel so honored to participate in #VAWinechat. Although I am fairly new to the Virginia wine scene (I have now tasted and enjoyed 10 different wines from Virginia wineries), each time I am offered an opportunity to taste Virginia wines I continue to be thoroughly impressed with the wine being produced there. It is my hope that as the wine industry continues to grow in Virginia these high quality wines will grow in production and distribution; until that time I encourage you to please seek out or order direct Virginia wines. You will NOT be disappointed!
#VAWinechat is hosted each month by Frank Morgan of Drink What YOU Like. Additionally, Frank is responsible for determining the content, inviting wineries to participate, inviting wine writers to participate and keeping us all in line during while the session is simulcasted on UStream each month. This was my second opportunity to participate in the #VAWinechat fun!
Wines tasted and discussed:
New Kent Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2012: This wine poured a translucent golden yellow into the glass. It opened with a bright bouquet of citrus, orchard fruit and toasted oak; on the palate those aromas delivered flavors of lemon custard, crisp apples and pears with a touch of peaches followed by caramel, toasted oak and a hint of nutmeg on the back of the palate. This classically crafted Chardonnay offered crisp acidity that rounded out its buttery texture. It was described as “elegance with muscle behind it.” This reserve Chardonnay was barrel fermented and aged sur-lie (on the yeast lees) in small, premium oak barrels for more than a year. This Chardonnay would be thoroughly enjoyed by those who like a buttery, oaky Chardonnay that is well made and sophisticated. It would pair beautifully with seafood, chicken, veal and creamy pasta dishes. SRP $24.95. It contained 13.5% alcohol. New Kent Winery is a beautiful, unique winery and is the center piece of the Viniterra environmentally sustainable golf and living community. New Kent planted their first vines in 2001 and after many years of planning and building they opened the doors to their exquisite winery in 2008. New Kent Winery currently produces 7 varietals that you can enjoy at a tasting, tour or special event. To learn more about New Kent Winery, to purchase their wine and see their entire portfolio of wines please visit their web site.
James River Gewurztraminer 2013: This poured a translucent straw-yellow into the glass and opened with invigorating aromas of lychee, citrus, melon, stone fruit and honeysuckle. It delivered on the palate a bushel of fruit flavors including: lychee, grapefruit, and lemon zest on the back of the palate that led to a lingering acidity on the back of the palate. This Gewurztraminer was a complex wine with a creaminess to it that was balanced with a slightly-sweet mouth feel followed by high acidity, leaving the mouth in a pucker and desiring another sip. This wine would please Gewurtz lovers: traditional flavor profile wrapped in slightly sweet, slightly dry style; it was a true palate and crowd pleaser! It would pair well with poultry and seafood as well as multiple cuisines such as Indian, Thai and Ethiopian. SRP $20; only 83 cases produced. From the James River Cellars web site: “James River Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery offering award-winning wines from Virginia grown grapes. A blend of urban convenience and quaint rural appeal, James River Cellars is conveniently accessible to major highways and is the perfect stop on your way to or from the city.” To learn more about James River Cellars, to purchase wine as well as view their entire portfolio of wines visit their web site.
Saude Creek Vineyards Traminette Reserve 2013: This wine poured a translucent golden yellow into the glass. It met the nose with lively floral notes, citrus and stone fruit. On the palate, this Traminette dazzled with flavors of honey crisp apples, apricots, lemon zest and honey. This wine was slightly sweet with a creamy texture and nice acidity. It offered bright crispness beautifully balanced with tart acidity that left the mouth wanting more. This Traminette was aged in stainless steel for 8 months; 225 cases produced. This wine would make a lovely aperitif with creamy white cheeses, a classy dessert wine with fruit tarts or cheesecake or a nice dinner wine with a light chicken or seafood salad. Saude Creek offers great afternoons of live music and barbeque on Saturdays and Sundays plus their tasting room is open Wednesdays through Mondays from 11-6pm. Furthermore, they are a great location for private events including weddings! To learn more about Saude Creek Vineyards, purchase wine as well as view their entire portfolio of wines visit their web site.
Williamsburg Winery 2012 Virginia Trianon: This opaque Cabernet Franc was crafted from 75% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot and poured a lovely light garnet with sexy viscosity into the glass. The Trianon seduced the nose with aromas of red fruit, tea, vanilla and toasted cedar. It pleased the palate with refined flavors of red cherries, strawberries, black raspberries and pomegranate; along with black pepper, smoke and damp tobacco that reminded me of an old leather, cedar lined, cigar box. This wine was light and lively, packed with flavors that were bound in round tannins and balanced acidity. Each vintage was aged independently in oak then blended to produce this elegant wine. It contained 11.96% alcohol. SRP $32. This wine would pair beautifully with a steak, spaghetti Bolognese, lamb or bison burger. Williamsburg Winery is rich in history, tradition and high quality wines. From their web site: “Blending a winemaker’s passion for allowing varietals to express themselves in each vintage with the art of gracious hospitality, the Winery celebrates the best of food and wine. Here, we share our enjoyment of wines, our stewardship of the land, our love of family and friends. You are invited to join us in our tasting room, our restaurants, our inn and our lives.” To learn more about Williamsburg Winery, purchase wine as well as view the winery’s events and the variety of tastings they offer; as well as view their entire portfolio of wines visit their web site.
From the Colonial Virginia Wine Trail web site:
The Colonial Virginia Wine Trail features four of Virginia’s best wineries all within a one hour drive. No matter where you start or finish your wine trail adventure, you are sure to enjoy great wines, great food and lots of fun along the way. Take the scenic drive along I-64 sampling wines from the Williamsburg Winery, Saude Creek Vineyards, New Kent Winery and James River Cellars, all within a day’s adventure. Plan a day or weekend to visit the wineries on the Colonial Virginia Wine trail, where history and wine come together.
Friends, I am sincere when I share the high quality wines being produced in Virginia. I strongly encourage you to visit if you are able; if not, go online and buy some Virginia wines. These four Colonial Wine Trail wineries are producing very good wines and great prices. Place an order with your friends to share shipping and enjoy a Virginia wine party!
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with these four Virginia Colonial Wine Trail wines is What’d I Say by Ray Charles. I have been on my Virginia Wines are awesome drum beat for some time now…yep that’s what I say! So please go buy some and enjoy it while listening to the late, great Ray Charles!
Get your own bottles of these four wines from these Colonial Wine Trail winemakers and let me know what song you would pair with them. Cheers!