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Posts Tagged ‘Keswick Vineyards’

Keswick Vineyards, and Winemaker, Stephen Barnard

Wednesday, July 14th, from 6p-8p,  the Frenchman’s Corner in Culpeper will feature Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards

This in-store event is an opportunity to have a casual tasting of Keswick Vineyard’s wines and a one-on-one with Stephen.  If you have not yet discovered the KV wines, than I suggest that you make your way to downtown Culpeper on Wednesday.  Make a night of it.  Foti’s Restaurant is just a block away.  It’s About Thyme is just across the street! 

The Frenchman’s Corner, 129 E. Davis Street, Culpeper.  540.825.8025.

See you there!

Cheers,

Anita

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Claude Thibaut

June 9th, from 6pm to 8pm at The Frenchman’s Corner, 129 E. Davis Street, Culpeper.  An opportunity to meet Virginia wine-maker (by way of Champagne…yes, I mean France) Claude Thibaut of Thibaut-Janisson Winery.  As you may already know, Claude is a renowned Master of Champagne, and as good fate has it, he has made his home in Central Virginia.  So tell your friends and get your wine-loving selves there!

The Winemaker Wednesday series of complimentary tastings, which I cooked up with Jeffery Mitchell, owner of the wine & cheese shop portion of The Frenchman’s Corner, is a great casual way to meet the winemaker.  Let’s face it, they aren’t hanging out in their tasting rooms…well very much anyway.  And in the case of Claude, who doesn’t have a tasting room, this is a perfect opportunity to meet him and find out what goes into the making of his Sparkling wines.

The wine menu for the evening, paired with fine French cheeses, will be the Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay,

Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay

and Claude’s newest releases, Brut Rosé and Virginia Fizz.  I wrote about Virginia Fizz in my article about Claude in the Spring issue of the Virginia Wine Gazette.  But, don’t rely entirely on what I have to say, show up on June 9th and taste for yourself.   Did I tell you that the TJ Blanc de Chardonnay was served at the Obama’s first State Dinner last November?!   (oh, we just don’t tire of this story!)  Well, it was, and Claude did not have to crash it. (Don’t get me started on the two Bozos who did crash.)   The wine-powers-that-be in the State Department have chosen Claude’s Sparklings on a few occasions, when he was working for California wineries.  But since they were not his own label….the Obama State Dinner makes it that much more special!

Here is the upcoming star-studded schedule of Winemaker Wednesdays! 

WED, JUNE 9TH THIBAUT-JANISSON WINERY CLAUDE THIBAUT
WED, JUNE 23RD OLD HOUSE VINEYARDS DAMIEN BLANCHON
WED, JULY 14TH KESWICK VINEYARDS STEPHEN BARNARD
WED, JULY 28TH GADINO CELLARS BILL GADINO
WED, AUG 11TH CHESTER GAP CELLARS BERND JUNG
WED, AUG 25TH KING FAMILY VINEYARDS MATTHIEU FINOT
WED, SEPT 15TH BARBOURSVILLE  VINEYARD LUCA PASCHINA
WED, SEPT 29TH TBA  

A nod of thanks to the winemakers who have participated thus far:  Bree Ann Moore for Unicorn Winery, Gabriele Rausse for Gabriele Rausse Wines, Al Kellert for Gray Ghost Winery.  And a big kudos to Jeffery Mitchell for making this commitment to promote Virginia wines and their winemakers!

See you there!

Cheers,

Anita

“No government could survive without champagne. In the throat of our diplomatic people [it] is like oil in the wheels of an engine.”

Joseph Dargent quote

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This posting is a tad later than I intended, so by now you know that the 2010 Governor’s Cup went to King Family Vineyard’s 2007 Meritage.  It could not have happened to a more deserving winery and winemaker!   Matthieu Finot, Winemaker, ascended the stage last Friday evening at the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond, to accept the Cup along with David King.  Here is Matthieu’s notes on this wine:

A blend of 56% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Malbec. The wine has been aged in French oak for 18 months. There are dark fruits, especially black cherry and raisin, on the nose with a hint of toast. Full mouth of black cherry, smoke and clove. Perfect structure with firm, balanced tannins. The finish is smooth and lingering. A wine that will make you discover something new and enjoy more with every sip! Double Gold Medal Monticello Cup 2009, Gold Medal Governor’s Cup 2010. Drink now through 2015. 615 cases produced.  Retails for $25.95.

While cruising through the Grand Tasting on Friday evening, I tasted, nibbled and chatted.  It was fun being on the other side of the tasting table.  The following wines (listed alphabetically by winery) stood out for me because they expressed the classic expression of the varietals, and all showed balance and flawless structure.  I urge you to click through to the wineries’ websites for further notes and pricing.   There were many food stations, and I was not able to sample from them all,  so my notes are just on those that I did.

Barboursville Vineyards – Winemaker: Luca Paschina

2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve

Jefferson Vineyards  – Winemaker: Andy Reagan

2006 & 2007 Meritage

Keswick Vineyards – Winemaker: Stephen Barnard

2009 Les Vents d’Anges Viognier

King Family Vineyards – Winemaker: Matthieu Finot

2008 Viognier

2007 Meritage

Pollak Vineyards – Winemaker: Jake Busching

 2007 Cabernet Franc – unfined & unfiltered

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Sweely Estate Winery – Winemaker: Frantz Venture

2007 Cabernet Franc

Tarara Winery – Winemaker: Jordan Harris

2007 Cabernet Franc

2007 Meritage

Since I was driving back to Madison from Richmond that evening, I am sure that I missed some other outstanding wines…but, better to be safe than sorry!

Food highlights…..

Chef Melissa Close of Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards – Melt-in-your-mouth Brisket  served over Polenta, with Barboursville 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve .  Chef Melissa has been nominated, once again, in the 2010 James Beard Awards.   If you have not eaten at Palladio, drop whatever you are doing now, call and make a reservation.  The food is divine, the service impeccable and wine list exemplary.

Gearharts Chocolates – I had the Pistachio Toffee Orange with the Pollak 2007 Cab Sauvignon…if I wasn’t typing this right now, I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven! 

Lollipop Lamb Chops in a blueberry reduction, compliments of The Bull & Bear, Chef Michael L. Hall – OMIGOD these were so yummy.   I had some of Pollak’s Cab Sauvignon still in my glass…perfection.

Cassoulet by Millie’s of Richmond – one of my favorite winter comfort foods and it paired perfectly with the Sweely Estate 2007 Cab Franc.

It was a wonderful evening and had just enough attendees so that it was possible to taste and chat without too much elbowing. 

Here are some photos.

Cheers,

Anita

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