Pinot Noir is one of the more challenging grapes to grow well in Virginia; summers are too hot and humid for proper growth, late ripening increases likelihood for rot. However, Rockbridge founder “Shep” Rouse knew his Shenandoah Valley location with its cooler than average temps more closely mirror Bordeaux than the balance of the state. He planted a majority of his new vineyard to Pinot Noir.
Dark violet in the glass the color runs form rim to rim. A nose filled with plum and raisin leads to a sharper than anticipated attack. The earthy midpalate has baked strawberry notes, an undercurrent of blueberries and a touch of leather. The slightly smoky finish lingers nicely with continued plum themes and round, light tannins.
The bottle aging makes this Pinot Noir sturdier than the average Pinot. I would not hesitate to pair this wine with braised beef or even lamb. It would pair equally well with grilled zucchini. If you serve with spicy fare try chilling the wine slightly before serving.
This wine is drinking exceedingly well now and will not increase in complexity with additional bottle aging. This wine is the perfect to be enjoyed along with the falling snow of a mid winters storm (despite today’s January temp of 70°)