Posted by: runningwinegirl | April 22, 2010

Girls day at Chrysalis Vineyards

In celebration of officially getting back into PR, I joined two good friends for my last “free” weekday at a VA winery. We decided on Chrysalis because my good friend Debbie was worried their Albarino would be gone. This was odd to me as Debbie and I both have a huge love for big reds. But she told me to give this white wine a chance and well, she was the reason I tasted Tannat and grew to love that wine, so I trusted her. Nicole, another friend, joined us for a gorgeous day at a winery I’d never been to.

We did the tasting which consisted of all 12 wines. Debbie and I are true believers that when you go to a winery you might as well taste it all. The Estate wines came first and I really enjoyed the Mariposa, the vineyards Rose which is made from a blend of European grapes and a small percentage of Norton. I loved this Rose and truth be told, I’m not a Rose drinker. This didn’t have the bitter bite I tend to associate with many and left me feeling refreshed. It was a hot day so this was a perfect wine for the weather. This wine had the perfect balance of fruit and acidity with strawberries and a smooth finish. I was impressed with Sarah’s Patio Red and White. I’m not a fan of sweet wines but these were delicious and we were pouring out ideas on what to do with each one. I know I have two friends who will love them! The 05 Norton was fantastic. I got lots of dark fruit on the nose and on the palate the plum took over with a smooth finish.

The Reserve wines were the true treat. I was surprised to see the 03 Norton Estate on the list. It’s well known that 03 was a horrible season here in Virginia. But this bottle would never let you know that. I was so surprised at how smooth this wine was and the dark fruit was delicious. The nose had me wanting to sip it right away. It’s a unique wine in a great way. Another pleasant surprise was seeing Tannat on the list. Chateau O’Brien introduced me to the Tannat varietal and I was excited to see another Virginia winery making this wine. This was delicious and yet it was so different from Chateau O’Brien’s, which I wrote about last month. The color of this Tannat was gorgeous, the nose was dark fruit and a bit of earth. This Tannat was aged in French Oak and I loved the structure. I said it once and I’ll say it again, Uruguay isn’t the only place making a great Tannat.

My favorite of the day is a tie between the last two wines we tasted. I really loved the 06 Papillon, which I brought a bottle home of and the 05 Norton Locksley Reserve, winner of the Gold Medal in this years VA Governors Cup. I can see why this won and if you haven’t had it, try it because it will sell! I loved how full and smooth this wine tasted and the structure is exactly what I want in a red. It had the perfect balance of a fruit forward wine, actually it was a bit jammy but there was a great balance with earthiness that lead to a wonderful finish. I loved, loved, loved the Papillon. This is a blend of 40 percent Petit Verdot and 60 percent Tannat. Delicious is what came out of my mouth and well, we had two bottles on the patio following the tasting. This is full, with lots of dark fruit, perfect amount of tannins and a touch of pepper. Elegant is what I remember and I couldn’t leave without a bottle.

I can’t forget the Albarino, which I have only had from Spain. This was delicious! I only had a sip but I tasted almond and vanilla in this medium bodied, smooth wine. Nicole enjoyed this while Debbie and I had the Papillon. However, this is a wine I might have to go back and get. It was that good.

Topping off this awesome girls day, Jennifer McCloud (Jenni), the owner came over to say hello. It was awesome to meet her and hang out for a bit. The day was gorgeous and we had the winery to ourselves. I feel spoiled living in Virginia where I have access to so many wineries that are producing some truly delicious wines.  I can’t wait for the next girls outing.



  1. I just got to taste both the Norton Locksley Reserve and the Albarino at the Drink Local Wine conference twitter taste-off yesterday. Both were quite impressive, and the Albarino wine the award for the best white wine. Clearly we need to get ourselves back to Chrysalis soon.

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