Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Whitehall Touriga a Tremendous Find

So, it was a lovely summer night, and we had our option of having a nice red with a salad my wife made of spring greens, grilled chicken, and a fabulous bluecheese vinigrette dressing. We sat on the deck, looking out over the lawn. There was a slight breeze and I decided to try something new.

I had been in Washington DC in May for the BEA (the publishing trde show) and I found a local wine shop that sells Virginia wines. I went home with a half case of numerous wines. One of the recoomendations of the wine stewards there was a Whitehall Vineyrds Touriga.

White Hall Vineyards quickly established itself as a producer of fine wine in Virginia, winning the industry’s most significant competition-the Governor’s cup- twice in succession: 1997 & 1998. Owners Tony and Edith Champ set the tone for the winery’s signature style: a fruit-forward richer style is typical in Virginia. The Champs’ preferences were influenced by exploring the California wine industry from its evolutionary stages in the 1960’s through the ‘90’s. White Hall wines, however, are all Virginia.

And the 2004 Touriga is no exception. It won a Gold medal at the 2006 Dallas Morning News Competition and scored 87 points in the Virginia Wine Guide.

White Hall's first vintage of the Portuguese varietal, Touriga Nacional, was harvested on September 15, 2004. It was fermented in a combination of small bins and using the French Delestage method. The wine was then aged for ten months in French and American oak. Blended with some Tannat.

The wife was a little spurious of the offering. She wasn't familiar with Touriga, and inquired if we had a back up bottle of red just in case this one didn't work. There was no need.

According to the winery, "the 2004 Touriga is deeply colored, smooth and rich in dark fruit flavors...Deep color with intense aromas of black cherries, and spice with a rich smooth palate of plums, black currants, and well integrated oak and tannins."

They only produced 308 cases...and if you missed it, believe me you missed something special.

This is everything they say it is. A nicely made, medium bodied red, long on deep berry flavors and enough acidity for blance.

Easilly one of the better red wines of Virginia. With a fresh loaf of garlic bread bread made on the grill and the salad with the fresh grilled chicken, it was a tremendous experience.