I was excited when @myvinespot invited me to join a crew for the “Discover Monticello” first ever Virginia Taste Live event this past Monday. Up until then, the only wine from the Monticello region I’d had was from Stone Mountain, one of my favorites in VA. The wineries participating in this event were Afton Mountain, Mountfair, Blenheim Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, Keswick Vineyard and Kluge Estate. I’d been tweeting on and off with both Afton and Keswick for a while but still haven’t made it to any of these wineries. I was thrilled to join fellow VA winos @alleigh, @winecompass, @elizabethdehoff and @grapevine4wine. We were also lucky to have the wineries online to answer questions throughout the night about the wines.
@myvinespot was a wonderful host and gave us some fun details on Monticello including: “Monticello consists of 22 wineries — overall we have 160+ — these guys in Central VA (Monticello AVA) are rocking premium wines!”
The night began with the 07 SP Rosé from Kluge Estate and it was a gorgeous pink in the glass. The nose didn’t win me over but I was impressed when sipping as I found this to have some body and complexity to it. It was a doughy wine with plenty of red fruit and while crisp it wasn’t as light as so many others. I’ve said it before I’m not a Rosé fan but this sparkling Rosé is one I’d take home for the holidays or open to enjoy on a hot summer day.
The second wine of the night was the 09 Viognier from Keswick Vineyards. I got a lot of pear on the nose and on the palate tasted apple and lemon. For me this is a food wine and I can think of a number of chicken and fish entrées that would pair wonderfully with this wine.
Keswick Wine Tweet:
@Keswickvineyard @robwineconsigliere We wanted to keep the wine crisp and clean but still get the richness that the barrel imparts
The 09 Reserve Chardonnay was wine #3 for the night from Jefferson Vineyards. I was curious about this wine but cautious asking for a small pour due to being tired of Chardonnay. However, this had a toasty nose with apple and the smell was amazing. When sipping I tasted apple pie with cinnamon and loved that it was medium body with a delicious finish. This was a pleasant surprise for me and I asked for a second pour while time allotted.
Onto the 09 Gewürztraminer from Afton Mountain and I was super excited to finally taste a wine from this vineyard. I tweeted immediately that I could smell this wine all night it was so yummy. I got kiwi on the nose and on the palate tasted a touch of spice with fruit and some lemon. This was delicious and I will get a bottle before it’s all gone, which means a trip to the winery. No doubt this is a great Thanksgiving wine but I’d drink it year round.
Afton Wine Tweet:
@AftonMountain: Three different harvests of Gewurz in ’09, separate harvests to ensure acidity, flavor, and ripeness across the board
That was the last of the whites and onto the reds we went for wine #5, which was the 09 Seven Oaks Merlot from Blenheim Vineyards. This has a lovely nose of dark fruit and I was thrilled to discover it was a fuller bodied Merlot than most. I tasted black cherry and loved the structure and intensity of this wine. I tweeted that it had me craving red meat, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. A bottle or two will find its way into my wine fridge at some point.
Blenheim Wine Tweet:
@BlenheimWines: 100% Merlot from a vineyard called Seven Oaks in Crozet, VA, 75% aged in older french barrels for 9 months
The last wine of the night was one I’ve wanted to taste and have been hearing about for a while. I love saying the name and a bunch of us tweeted how fun and sexy it is for a wine. Of course I’m talking about the Mountfair WooLooMooLoo, a full-bodied red wine that was gorgeous in the glass. On the nose I got lots of dark fruit and tea. It made me want to sip immediately. On the palate I tasted plum, currant and a little raspberry. I loved the dark fruit and complexity of this wine. It was decanted beforehand although I’m not sure for how long and will have to find out.
The participation for this event was great and the local CBS channel in Charlottesville covered it. Viognier trended on Twitter while tasting the Keswick Viognier and I think many of those who aren’t familiar with Virginia are seeing that great wines are made in this state. A huge thank you to all the participating wineries and to @myvinespot for being an awesome host and providing us with some tasty treats to end the night. I can’t wait for the next taste live event.