Monday, May 30, 2005

Breaux Merlot (2001)

Miles Raymond, the Merlot-loathing protagonist in Sideways, must never have tried this offering from Breaux Vineyards, located in western Loudoun County.

My wife and I visited Breaux two years ago and we made a return visit this past weekend, this time with our young daughter. This is by far the most kid-friendly winery we've ever visited. The complimentary coloring book, much like you see in some restaurants to keep the little one occupied, is a great idea but the patio area is adjacent to a large field where the kids can run around to their heart's delight. Word must have gotten around because the day we were there, plenty of families brought their children for a nice lunch and some play time on what turned out to be a fabulous sunny day.

After lunch, we brought home some of their highly regarded 2001 Merlot to have with our dinner of grilled orange beef kabobs. Merlot is one of Virginia's most promising varietals and Breaux's is one of the best we've ever had. It is medium bodied with supple tannins and a nice smooth finish. Smoky nose with cherry and plum flavors, this paired well with the kabobs. Spicier dishes would also be well complimented. Grade: A-

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Loudoun Valley Vinifera White (2002)

I’ve never been particularly fond of white blends. Notable exceptions are Sokol Blosser’s Evolution and Ca’del Solo’s Big House White, which are each amalgams of nine grape varieties. In general, the ones with more varieties turn out better than those with just two, which is the case with Loudoun Valley’s 2002 Vinifera White. It’s a 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Riesling, which, while fine by themselves, put in the same bottle they seem to be fighting with each other. The nose is heavily flowery, reminding me of lilacs. On the palette, the usually smooth and buttery Chard continued its battle with the crisper Riesling producing a light pear and citrus taste. We paired this wine with a three mushroom pizza, which may have done better with a light to medium bodied red. Grade: C-