Taste Camp 2012: The Wine Stand Outs, Part 2

In The Wine Stand Outs, Part 1, I covered five of the eleven stand out wines from Taste Camp 2012, focusing on wineries I was tasting for the first time. Now let’s take a look at the six wines from wineries I’ve tasted and/or covered before.

Boxwood Winery Boxwood 2007

  • Variety: 42.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42.5% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot
  • Aroma: Dark red fruit with hints of spice
  • Taste: Nice concentrated spicy cassis
  • Price: No longer available
  • My thoughts: 2007 was a very good year for their signature wines, Boxwood and Topiary. I like this Left Bank Bordeaux-style blend (Topiary is a Right Bank style). Adam McTaggart told us this was a huge turning point vintage for them…it set their style for going forward. I loved the big fruitiness of this wine. Rachel told us there may still be a few bottles out there to find. For more on Boxwood and our time Taste Camp visit, see Loudoun County, DC’s Wine Country.

Blenheim Vineyards Rosé 2011

  • Variety: Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Mourvedre
  • Aroma: Big bouquet of strawberry, honey and a touch of cinnamon
  • Taste: Refreshing red fruits with a watermelon finish
  • Price: $14
  • My thoughts: Regular readers know I love Rosé and I love Kirsty Harmon, the fabulous winemaker at Blenheim. I’m always thrilled when I see Kristy and Greg Hirson, assistant winemaker, pouring their wines at events or in their gorgeous tasting room in the country outside Charlottesville. Every wine they make is approachable, easy to drink and delicious. On by BEST of Virginia wine list!!

Veritas Winery Vintner’s Reserve Meritage Blend 2010

  • Variety: 42% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petit Verdot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aroma: Cherry, chocolate and cedar
  • Taste: Cherry with a hint of pepper finished with vanilla and caramel
  • Price: $35
  • My thoughts: I tasted this 2012 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold winner back in late February at the Virginia Wine Expo and it was even better this tasting! It’s really opened up nicely…a great Meritage blend with chocolate, red fruit, vanilla and caramel hints. What more could you ask for! This again is one of my Virginia winery favorites… Emily is a fabulous winemaker and she is doing amazing work at her winery in red and white! Located outside of Charlottesville.

Breaux Vineyards Nebbiolo 2007

  • Variety: 100% Nebbiolo
  • Aroma: Red fruits with hints of tobacco
  • Taste: Spicy dried red fruits
  • Price: Coming 2014
  • My thoughts: Another 2007 wine shaping up very nicely and it’s not even bottled yet. We were lucky enough to have a barrel sample during our Friday evening dinner at Breaux. They will bottle it this year and then hold for two years before selling. This was a grape Paul Breaux really wanted to grow after his visit to Piemonte, Italy. As Jen Breaux Blosser told us over dinner, “it’s a hard grape to grow and always changing.” Breaux is another one of my Virginia favorites…with their breadth and variety, they have a wine for everyone and their 475-acres are worth the visit for a sip on their patio. For more on our time Taste Camp visit, see Loudoun County, DC’s Wine Country.

Tarara Winery Petit Manseng 2011

  • Variety: 100% Petit Manseng
  • Aroma: Pineapple & citrus
  • Taste: Refreshing crisp citrus and pineapple notes
  • Price: $20
  • My thoughts: This grape is becoming a specialty of Virginia. Most versions I’ve tasted are sweet but this one was perfect! As we boarded the wagon at the winery for a ride into vineyards with winemaker Jordan Harris, he poured us a glass of this. It hit the spot…crisp and refreshing…as we rode in the sun! Jordan said they don’t usually do this wine but with the conditions of 2011 (cloudy & wet September), they decided to try it. Great results! I brought home a bottle and its chilling in the fridge. You can buy it on their website. Located in Loudoun County.

Linden Vineyards Avenius Chardonnay 2009

  • Variety: 100% Chardonnay
  • Aroma: Tropical bouquet with hint of oak
  • Taste: Peach, pear with hints of white pepper
  • Price: $28
  • My thoughts: We had the great pleasure of tasting five wines with Jim Linden, owner/winemaker and one of Virginia’s greats, on his crush pad after our vineyard walk. They were all fabulous and really demonstrate the terroir in which they are growing. I really like this Chablis-style, nice balance of fruit with hints of pepper which Jim said is due to the Avenius vineyard it comes from. Bottled August 2010. This wine should plateau from 2013 to 2017. Guess I’ll have to cellar the bottle I bought. 🙂 Located in Fauquier County.
  • Cheers to some of Virginia’s best wineries and winemakers showing Taste Camp writers everything Virginia wine has to offer!