Many wine critics and writers tend to specialize, or at least lean toward the more high stakes games (the big houses in the big regions). But Dave, while he knows, undertsands, and appreciates those, is also fascinated by local wines.
"If you're not willing to splurge - and miss - once in a while, you can sit out this revolution. You'll do just fine drinking French wine, and I will be right there with you most of the time. But I will still be trying to persuade you to try something new."
I had a trunk full of Virginia wines, but Dave said no, he'd pull up a few from his cellar. And boy was I glad he did.
The first thing Dave poured me was a Veritas Sauvignon Blanc 2009.
Veritas Winery, based in Afton, Virginia, is a family business owned by Andrew and Patricia Hodson, which they opened in June 2002. With the help of their daughter Emily, the winemaker, they have succeeded in consistently producing a range of complex and elegant wines. The winery is located just off I-64 at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Veritas makes high quality wines. They use almost exclusively vitis vinifera vines with the exception of one French hybrid. Their philosophy is to make wine with the classic, old-style principles of Viticulture and Vinification, at the same time using state of the art technology to capture varietal and regional character. Wine-making is the domain of Andrew and daughter Emily, who are committed to capturing the varietal character of the grapes.
It was amazing! It was bright, crisp, and clean, with a light whiff of melon, some floral notes, and a hint of tangerine. I am not usually a white wine drinker, but this was amazing. I had the wine with two local cheeses Dave and Lilly had served with the wine. A semi-soft rind cheese, and a goat cheese with a hint of ash. I would have drank the whole bottle, except for the fact that we had to move nto the actual meal, which would require different wines.
Next was the Glenn Manor Hodder Hill 2007 is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot and 7 % Cabernet Franc. This was a fascinating wine, filled with dark blackberries, cassis and cedar. A touch of saddle? This was a full-bodied, concentrated, complex deep red, with great acidity, nice tannins. A tremendous wine. Glen Mannor Hodder HIll is located in on the west slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, around 1,100 feet above sea level. This planting consists of 4.3 acres of 4 to 12 year old vines growing in deep and well drained soils. This is made by winemaker Jeff White. Fabulous!
Anna Rae married Alpheus Lee White and the portion of her parent's farm in Front Royal that Anna Rae inherited is where the vineyards and winery are now established. The Whites have three sons and together own the winery business. It is managed and operated by their youngest son, Jeffrey Raymond White, who developed an interest in and an appreciation for fine wines while working for a nearby Virginia winery. He established our original vineyards in 1995 and envisioned what is today Glen Manor Vineyards. This was a tremendous wine, and just really, really impressive.