Port of Leonardtown
Vineyards is not really a winery, as much as it is a collective of vineyards.
There are 14 vineyards in the region who have banded together, and formed a kind
of collective, whose rapes go into the wines of Port of Leonardtown Winery.
Their slogan is, “Local Wines from Local Vines! We bring you the best wine from
the best Southern Maryland Wine Growers.”
contributing vineyards include:
Farm and Orchard
Looked For, Come At Last
Gabriel’s Blackberry Manor Vineyard
Michael’s Manor Vineyard
became aware of Port of Leonardtown when I went to the Eastern Wineries
Exposition 2012. At the Grand Tasting I tasted their Chardonnay and a
Chambourcin and was wowed. So I was thrilled when I saw that they would be a
very real presence in the tastings during the Drink Local Winery Conference
winery is located in Leonardtown, Maryland and is part of the Port of
Leonardtown. The winery is near the start of McIntosh Run’s 3 mile canoe and
kayak trail that leads to the Leonardtown Wharf. McIntosh Run winds through a
58 acre Forest Interior Dwelling Species Habitat—home to bald eagles, Baltimore
Orioles, wild turkeys and many other birds. At the end of the trail is the
beautiful new Leonardtown Wharf Public Park. The park is the perfect place for
a picnic. Leonardtown Square is a short walk from the wharf park and hosts many
wines I tasted were from the premium black label collection.
wine that I tasted from Port of Leonardtown and the one that has made the most
lasting impression on me is the Chambourcin 2010 Reserve. The wine is made from
80% Chambourcin, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, and 1% Norton. It was aged in
American oak for 18 months. This is a big, complex, dry red wine. The folks
from Leonardtown say that “This wine is a refined expression of Chambourcin.”
And I quite agree. The wine is a deep garnet color with tinges of purple. Plum,
prune, fig, all come across on the nose and the palate, as well as promised floral
notes, with herbs and spice notes also coming though. Nice big ripe fruit comes
through, with acidity and tannins well balanced, for a nice, long finish. We had this wine paired with lamb chops, and
it was in fact the perfect accompaniment. Fantastic.
I also had
the Cabernet Franc Reserve 2009. This is 100% Cabernet Franc, aged in French
oak. The grapes are actually from Virginia. Big notes of raspberry, mixed
berries, grass, and pencil, making it a classic version of this varietal. Nice
fruit upfront, a whiff of vanilla, with low acidity and soft tannins. A very
pretty medium to dark dry red wine.
certainly not least is the 1634 Chardonnay 2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay.
Their 2010 Barrel-Fermented Maryland Chardonnay is proudly named “1634” to
commemorate the St. Mary’s County winery’s first steps in this historic region.
The Kent County-grown Chardonnay grapes were carefully harvested,
barrel-fermented and aged in French oak barrels. In 1634, two ships—the Ark and
the Dove—landed at St. Clement’s Island. The passengers established St. Mary’s
City in the Maryland province within the New World. Centuries later, the Port
Our 1634 is
a full-bodied, richly layered wine dry white wine. I am always leery of whites
done in oak. They can be over done in less experienced hands. This is a lovely
wine with green apple, honeysuckle, tropical fruits, and vanilla all wafting
out of the glass. On the palate the green apple comes through nicely, with a
hint if minerality, and a nice, smooth, creamy finish. Very, very lovely.
label collection is an excellent representation of the new quality wines coming
out of the Maryland region, and an impressive debit line for Port of