Wine Reviews: Virginia

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 08-05-2018

Since my last post on the Virginia Governor’s Cup winners, I’ve received a few samples from Virginia, which I’m always stoked to taste.

Stinson Vineyards has, for me, become such a reliable source of high quality, exciting wines, and when you factor in the easygoing price points, there’s a lot to get excited about here. I also taste some delicious white blends from Muse and Early Mountain.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

2015 Stinson Vineyards Chardonnay- Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
thumbnailSRP: $24
Medium yellow color. Rich yellow apples, apricots and lemon curd on the nose, with buttercream, white flowers, honeyed tea and saline. Plush texture but zesty acidity combine for a creamy but super fresh wine. Buttered biscuits, almond and honey on top of apples and apricot, I also get complex notes of chalk dust, white pepper, saline. A beautiful Chardonnay, sourced from Mount Juliet Vineyards, across from Stinson, this wine is fermented and aged 10 months in 15% new French oak, with 50% maloactic fermentation. (90 points)

2016 Stinson Vineyards Cabernet Franc- Virginia
SRP: $25
Bright ruby color. Juicy red cherries, smoky black cherries and dark plums, this boasts tobacco barn, scorched earth and roasted red pepper notes, with some cedar and coffee. Moderate acidity frames the wine nicely, the tannins are structured but rounded. Lots of ripe red and black cherries and plums, mixed with black pepper, cigar smoke, bell pepper, roasted red pepper, notes of violets and cedar. Lovely stuff as usual from Stinson! From Benevino Vineyards, this is aged nine months in 20% new French oak. (90 points)

2017 Stinson Vineyards Tannat Rosé- Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $21
Deep pink color. Striking aromas of red apples, strawberries, so spicy and herbal with note of sage, pot flowers, rhubarb, incense sticks – this is such an awesome wine to smell. On the palate, this shows some depth and darker fruit (red apple, red cherry, wild raspberry, but crisp and lively with fresh acid. Notes of white pepper, spiced tea, clove, pipe tobacco, this rose shows a wole host of intense, complex, intriguing flavors, but it maintains a crisp profile. So impressive, this is Stinson’s estate Tannat, grown in red clay loam soils. (91 points)

2017 Stinson Vineyards Mourvedre Rosé- Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $21
Rich watermelon color. On the nose I get watermelon, white peaches and red apple, with notes of honey, nettle, spiced white tea. Light-medium-bodied on the palate but not lacking in flavor. Ruby red grapefruit, McIntosh apple, tangy cherries, mixed with notes of sea salt, nettle, honeysuckle. Brisk and spicy, fruity but zesty. Another solid vintage of this reliably delicious Virginia rose. Fruit sourced from Farmer’s Rest and Horton Vineyards. (88 points)

2017 Early Mountain Vineyards Five Forks- Virginia, Central Virginia, Madison County
SRP: $25
Super floral and peach nose with limes and cucumber slices. Crisp and alive on the palate with mouthwatering acidity on a medium-bodied frame. Juicy peach and nectarine play well off of white and yellow flowers. Lively and crisp with a mineral-laden finish. 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 28% Petit Manseng, with some Pinot Gris, Viognier and Malvasia Bianca. (88 points)

2017 Muse Vineyards Thalia- Virginia, Shenandoah Valley
SRP: $25
I love the burst of peach on the nose, with lots of almond and crushed shell notes, some honeycomb. On the palate, the acidity is lovely and vibrant and this wine stays well away from being heavy or cloying like many white Rhone blends can be. Peach, apricot, lemon curd, with raw almond and crushed shells. Loving this style. 50% Roussanne, 43% Marsanne, 7% Viognier. Barrel-fermented, full maloactic, barrel-fermented, yet this is somehow still fresh and vibrant as hell. (90 points)

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