Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Truth About Veritas Vineyards (VA)

I first got turned onto Veritas when I had a bottle of it at Dave McIntyre's house in suburban Maryland. It was among the east coast wines he was most eager to pour for me. And I was excite to try it. As usual, Dave was right about the wine, and I was impressed. So I was especially thrilled to see them at the first Grand Tasting of TasteCamp 2012!

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 Pelton, 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.

Obviously, their name derives from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder's observation: “In Vino Veritas” ~ “In Wine There Is Truth,” they believe that the truth in our wine is in their grapes.

Patricia takes responsibility for the year-round cultivation and care of the vines. Youngest daughter Chloe graduated from the University of Virginia and joined the family to manage our weddings and special events and now also manages the tastingroom.

Veritas has three main vineyards: Veritas (the namesake vineyard), Ivy Creek, and Veritas Top Meadow.

Now for the tasting notes....

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 - This was a big, aromatic fruit bomb! An exotic nose that exploded out the of the glass. Citrus, exotic tropical fruits. Gooseberry and passion fruit came through as promised. This light, crisp dry white was incredibly refreshing and fantastic.

Viognier 2011 - I was excited to taste this wine, since this is the one I first tried with Dave M. One can only guess that this comes from the Wingfield and Ivy Creek vineyards. Another fruit bomb of a nose, with orange-blossom, peaches, and apricot all coming through as promised. I love Vignonier, and this one has become one of my favorites. Apricot, and mango come across clearly with whisps of ornage and something spicy. A light, delicious white dry wine with beautiful fruit and incredible youth, vitality, and a delicateness I cannot describe. A fantastic wine. One of my favorite Virginia wines.

VR 2010
The Veritas VR 2009 was selected as one of the Governor's 12 at the 2012 Virginia Governor's Cup Wine Competition. The Veritas VR 2010 is a blend of different grapes. A lovely garnet color, with big lush fruit up front. Dark stewed berries up front with low acids and medium-to-low tannins. Whiffs of vanilla and mocha. This is a beautiful, easy drinking red wine. Wonderful!

Petite Verdot 2010 Paul Shaeffer 4th Edition
Again, I am a big Petite Verdot freak. It's one of the reasons I love Virginia. This wine comes from the Veritas Vineyard, comes from the Wingfield and Hodson vineyard blocks of the Veritas vineyard. 2010 Petit Verdot “Paul Shaffer 4th Edition” is made using 100% Petit Verdot. Small lot fermented. Punched down several times daily through fermentation and once a day during extended maceration helping to extract deeper color and soft tannins. 100% ML fermentation. Unfiltered and unfined. 14 months of aging in French oak barrels. This wine too had a big, exotic nose with violets and dark stewed berries on the nose. Smelled like a flowery dark cobbler. On the palate it delivered plum, blackberries, currants, and finished with a little black pepper and vanilla. I thought this was one of the truly star wines I drank the entire TasteCamp 2012. An absolutely steps forward right away.

In Vino Vertitas? There is truth in wine? You want the truth? You can;t handle the truth! Here it is: After tasting a much larger portion of the line-up, I can now see whay Dave McIntyre was so excited. This winery is trying to be one of the best wineries in the entire state. And a case can now be made that they are among the top ten for sure. And their wines are consistently good across the whole range. Absolutely stellar stuff. These are wines you have to start drinking. That's the truth!

Fantastic job, Hodson family! Great job to Emily Pelton and her dad....wonderful stuff. Incredible!