What better way to begin May then by visiting a new winery. My good friend Melissa and I had been to Tarara the previous weekend and were told we had to check out Delaplane Cellars. Saturday was a gorgeous summer day. VA was due to hit 90 but with the cool breeze it was delightful to be outside.
It was an easy drive to the winery and we were already admiring the view while parking. Walking in we were greeted immediately and it’s one of the prettiest, yet most comfortable tasting rooms I’ve been in. I loved the simplicity but it was an elegant space as well. The views from inside were gorgeous and we were excited to learn the winery is still in the midst of building another outdoor deck. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. We had a great time chatting with them as well as Jim Dolphin, the winemaker.
We decided on the reserve tasting and got started. Our first wine was the 08 Glen Manor Sauvignon Blanc, which surprised us but also thrilled us since it isn’t a short trek to that winery. The nose was all grapefruit and reminded me of Kim Crawford, which is one of my all time favorite Sauvignon Blancs. It was just as delicious on the palate. I loved how crisp and refreshing this wine was and the finish was the perfect balance of grapefruit with some minerality. I am all about visiting Glen Manor now. We moved on to the 08 Delaplane Cellars Barrel Fermented Chardonnay. This wine was aged in 2 &3 year old French barrels for ten months. I am not a Chardonnay girl but I really enjoyed it. The balance of fruit with a touch of vanilla was perfect and the finish was smooth. I loved that it was a lighter bodied Chardonnay. Next up was the 08 Honah Lee Viognier. This was aged in neutral oak and had a fruity nose. On the palate it was elegant, smooth, medium bodied with hints of tropical fruit. The finish was clean and this was a wonderfully refreshing wine. We tasted two more Viogniers but the Honah Lee was my favorite.
We started the reds off with the 07 Old World Cab Franc and there was no question when smelling this wine that it was old world. It brought me back to so many of the French wines I’ve tasted. I have to admit, I’m more of a new world girl when it comes to this varietal. With that said, I really enjoyed this wine. On the nose I got earthiness with cherries. On the palate it was smooth, had a slight peppery taste that balanced out nicely with the black cherries. I was surprised to learn this is a blend of 86% Cab Franc, 7% Syrah and 7% Cab Sav. Up next was the 07 Left Bank Bordeaux Blend. I was in love at the name as I am a left bank Bordeaux girl. The color was a deep ruby and it was gorgeous in the glass. I got coffee on the nose but the palate was a whole different world. The complexity was delightful. On the first sip I tasted blackberries with an earthy component followed by black cherries and a velevety finish. We also tasted the 07 Shirland Syrah and 07 Springlot Reserve. Both wines were good and I recommend trying them but I really fell in love with the 07 Left Bank Bordeaux Blend. We finished the tasting with the 07 Pink Rose and this has to be the darkest pink rose I’ve seen yet. It wasn’t what we expected especially when told it had 3% residual sugar. It was actually very refreshing and wasn’t overly sweet.
We decided to get a bottle of 07 Left Bank Bordeaux to go with the picnic Melissa brought and hang out for a bit. I noticed when going outside everyone tasting bought a bottle to enjoy at the winery. We had a great time on the patio talking to the other guests. The people were so friendly and it was a fun afternoon filled with good conversation, beautiful views and toppling umbrellas thanks to the weather. We had to actually catch one as the wind knocked the table over.
In talking to the winemaker I learned this winery did a soft opening in November but held its grand opening at the end of March. On the property they are growing Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng and Petite Verdot. I was excited when he said the vines only had frost at the root and should be ok following the cold weather that hit Virginia last week. You’d better believe I’ll be coming back to this winery. The atmosphere alone is worth it but so are the wines. While the grapes are coming from other sources throughout Virginia, this winemaker is making some delicious wines and will have a small harvest this year. Next time I’ll have to give the bread and cheese plate a try as it looked wonderful. Of course the day didn’t stop here…