Wine Reviews: Virginia

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 06-01-2019

I love Virginia wine, and not just because I live in DC and spend a lot of time there. Virginia wine is such a dynamic scene that it’s grown hard to keep up with. But, I try.

In this report, I tasted a lot of 2018 rosés. It seems like almost everyone in Virginia made some pink wine in 2018, and that makes sense. It was a difficult, historically wet year, but I was surprised at the quality of some of these wines.

I also tasted through a few new releases from Stinson Vineyard, who continues to produce some of my favorite wines from Virginia.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2018 King Family Vineyards Crosé - USA, Virginia
SRP: $21
Watermelon color. Nose shows strawberries, white cherries, lots of nettle, wild herbs, raspberry leaf. Zippy and crisp on the palate, light in weight with bright acidity and subtle white cherry and strawberry fruit. Complex floral and spice tones (rose potpourri, wildflowers, basil, mint), with a nervy, mineral undercurrent. Lovely. An 11% alcohol rosé made from Merlot. (89 points)

2018 Tarara Winery Boneyard Wines Rosé - USA, Virginia, Northern Virginia, Loudoun County
SRP: $20
Deep copper color. Aromas of canned peaches and a lot of spicy/floral elements: tomato leaf, rose hips, magnolia, mint. Medium-bodied, juicy and fresh with slices peaches drizzled with lemon. Some white pepper and nettle, a bit of honey. This is fresh, simple and pleasant. 12.6% alcohol, 39% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 13% Syrah, 9% Chardonnay, 4% Tannat. (85 points)

2018 Bluestone Vineyard Rosé - USA, Virginia, Shenandoah Valley
SRP: $20
Juicy watermelon color. Nose of peaches, apricot, honey pot, lots of sweet yellow flowers. Plump and juicy, slight sweetness, yet bright on the palate, some waxy texture but such fresh acidity. Peaches topped in clover, honeysuckle, cotton candy and sea salt notes. I like the textural dynamics here. Fun, tasty, gluggable yet interesting stuff. 50% Chambourcin, 50% Bordeaux varieties. (86 points)

2018 Williamsburg Winery Wessex Hundred Rosé - USA, Virginia
SRP: $16
Deep copper color. A potpourri of white cherries, white pepper, potpourri, spicy dandelion. Medium-bodied, high acidity, a brisk and steely style with white cherries and tart red apples. Notes of potpourri and baby’s breath. Fun and fresh. Based on Cabernet Franc. (85 points)

2018 Rosemont Rosé - USA, Virginia
SRP: $19
Bright pink color. Nose bursts with peaches and strawberries with yellow flowers, nettle, cucumber slices. Pleasantly plump on the palate yet crisp and fresh. Loaded with peaches, watermelon, strawberries, juicy yet tangy fruit. Notes of white tea, honey, mint, a chalky/mineral undertone. Really impressive stuff. I’m skeptical of Chambourcin, but this 100% Chambourcin rose has me pleased and intrigued me over the years. (89 points)

thumbnail (9)2018 Stinson Vineyards Tannat Rosé - USA, Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $21
Bright pink color. Gorgeous nose: lots of roses, daisies, dandelion, hay, with watermelon, cherries, peaches, guava. On the palate, this shows deep texture, bright acidity, crisp but punchy fruit — watermelon cherries, raspberries, McIntosh apples. The fruit is balanced out with wildflowers, sea salt, crushed chalk and mint notes. A tingling, exquisite finish. A gem of a Virginia rose, and an outrageous bargain. (91 points)

2017 Stinson Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc - USA, Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $23
Light yellow colored. Nose shows lemon and lime, along with a really cool blend of floral and green tones (like honeysuckle and sliced cucumber). Crisp acidity on the palate, smooth and juicy and salty, with flavors of guava, peach and lemon. There’s an interesting mix of chalk dust, white tea, green onion tones, but no one element dominates, which I find really refreshing. Fermented in concrete and stainless steel. (89 points)

2015 Stinson Vineyards Meritage - USA, Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $32
Dark ruby colored. The nose shows a complex host of spicy elements (pepper, paprika, anise, bay leaf with earth and coffee tones on top of black cherries. Full but fresh on the palate, smooth yet structured with medium tannins and crisp acidity. Tangy dark plums, red and black currants and cherries, the fruit is crunchy and fresh and mixed well with elements of leather, anise, bell pepper, bay leaf, coffee. Spicy, fresh, earthy, complex, this is very pretty stuff that deserves a good decant or some time in the cellar. 43% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 21% Petit Verdot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 20 months in French oak, 35% new. (90 points)

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