Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend of wine tasting

Last Saturday we decided to meet our friends Stephanie and Russell out in the Afton mountain region for a fun day of wine tasting.

First on the day was Afton Mountain Vineyards which Megan and I had not been to. Driving up they have a beautiful setting, with great views of both the mountains and the vineyard. They have 12 acres of vines and grow everything they produce except for the Riesling. On the white side our favorites were the unwooded Chardonnay showing flavors of tropical fruit and coconut and was nicely crisp and tart, also the Gewurztraminer was very impressive with a rose and apricot aroma with a rich, smooth and barely sweet finish. On the red side our favorites were the '05 Sangiovese with chocolate, raspberry, nice tannic structure and a great finish, as well as the 04 Cabernet Sauvignon displaying raspberry, cherry, slightly vegetal on the taste and a nice smooth finish. Afton was great, beautiful setting, nice wines and a informative staff. If you haven't been I definitely recommend it.

Second on the day was Cardinal Point, always a favorite of ours. In the past our favorite has been the Barrel Select Chardonnay and the Cab Franc this time we found a new favorite, the A6. A6 is a perfect blend of Viognier and Chardonnay combining the floral fruity nice with tart crisp fruit of chardonnay, with hints of toasted oak on the finish. The tasting room was bustling with activity and we discussed the harvest which was weighing heavy on their minds with recent rains that have struck the area, ending an almost perfect season of weather. Cardinal Point always has good wines and we always recommend this one as well.

Third, and last on the day was King Family Vineyards who was also a bustle of activity setting up for a polo match later that day. All of us we very excited to tasting the new vintages since it had been a year since we last visited King Family. The 2005 Viognier was great, slightly effervescent with floral notes on the nose and apricot and honeysuckle on the taste. The 2004 Meritage was also great with raspberry, chocolate, cinammon and earth on the nose with raspberry and bell pepper preceeding the long finish. The 2004 was definitely different from the 2003 but still delicious. Something else that we found great was the Late Harvest Cab Franc with 3% residual sugar and 17% alcohol. The Late Harvest is not fortified, and the high alcohol is acheived from hand selecting and raisining the grapes. Very yummy!! For lunch we decided to have Cab Franc to start and finished up with the Viognier. The Cab Franc went great with our rosemary manchego, pita, hummus and mixed nuts along with a nicely toasted baguettes.

Check out the pictures below of the wonderful day of wine tasting with our friends Stephanie and Russell.

John at Afton with Chardonnay in the background

Megan at Afton with a beautiful of the Mountains and of the Vineyard

Tasting the reds at Afton Mountain

Tasting at Cardinal Point

Stephanie and Russell discussing the wine

Getting an explanation of this years harvest and how it was going.

MMM, that is some fine Viognier

Enjoying some fine cheese, hummus and pita








2 comments:

Dezel said...

Hello John,

Was that Late Harvest Cab Franc at King Family delicious or what, we really enjoyed it when we visited.
We have not had the chance to visit Afton or Cardinal Point yet, but moving into the Fall that Afton Sangiovese 2005 certainly does sound good.

Nice review and pictures, looks like you guys had a wonderful day of touring VA wineries.

Have a nice weekend and I will note the recommendations for when we visit those places.

Happy Sipping!

Dezel

Warren said...

Hi, John

King Family makes great wines; the Cabernet Franc was my fave---did you detect the Merlot in there? I've since had a Bourgeuil from France that is Cab Franc based, and it tastes very similar. I also enjoyed their Chardonnay.

Looks like a fun afternoon of wine and food---can't beat it!