Category Archives: Tasting Notes

December Sweet Wine – Rapidan River Blackberry

Rapidan River, a secondary label for Prince Michel Vineyards, has a little known but rich history.  The house on the original Rapidan property was used as a civil war hospital; cannonballs and personal artifacts were routinely discovered as the vineyard … Continue reading

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Vincabulary – Méthode Champenoise (Champagne Method)

First Fermentation: Still wines are blended for Champagne. Cuveé is allowed to ferment from 2 weeks up to 5 months. Second Fermentation: A bottling Dosage (spirits and sugar) and special yeasts are added and are immediately bottled and corked. Disgorging … Continue reading

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Trump Winery 2008 Brut Blanc de Blanc

Without question, this wine is the most highly acclaimed vintage we have shipped since I have been editor of the Virginia Wine Journal.  The most well known awards include: Gold, San Francisco International Wine Competition 2013 Jefferson Cup ‘Best in … Continue reading

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Roundabout Cellars Arc De Triomphe 2011

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris France.  In taking this name Roundabout Cellars, much like France, is stating this as their signature wine. Unlike its namesake, I would not call Roundabout … Continue reading

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Roundabout Cellars Crossroads 2011

Virginia is clearly making a name for itself with blended red wines.  The vast majority of the Gold Medalists in the 2013 Governor’s Cup competition were red wine blends. Roundabout Cellars 2011 Crossroads is a slightly different take on blended … Continue reading

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November Sweet Wine Shenandoah Vineyards Lot 11 Shenandoah Valley Sweet Serenade N.V.

In building this sweet white wine Shenandoah Vineyards smartly kept the sweetness balanced with acidity.  In the glass, this wine presents a goldenrod yellow hue.  The floral nose includes elements of citrus.  The balanced attack leads to a viscose midpalate … Continue reading

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Shenandoah Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc

Once exclusively a blending grape, Cabernet Franc has come of age as an independent varietal.  One of two red grapes seeking to be Virginia’s red wine (Norton being the other), Cabernet Franc grows exceedingly well in the Old Dominion and … Continue reading

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Elk Island 2012 Sweet Naked Norton

Elk Island Winery is named for the 1,300 acre island in the James River, originally part of Thomas Jefferson’s Elk Hill farm, adjacent to the vineyard.  Paul and Sue Anne Klinefelter believe strongly in rural life, agriculture and wine.  Their … Continue reading

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Church Creek Cabernet Franc 2011 Produced by Chatham Vineyards

One of the delights to living in Virginia is the changing of the seasons.  Along with the brisk mornings and the changing leaves, red wine sales tend to pick up markedly in the autumn. Cabernet Franc is another Virginian delight. … Continue reading

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Church Creek Merlot 2011 Produced by Chatham Vineyards

Section 4.23 of the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) wine law specifies that to use the name of a single grape variety on a wine label, the wine must contain 75% of that grape type.  While … Continue reading

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