The first time I went to Va La Vineyards, I didn't really know what to expect. We were driving through the Brandywine wine trail, and we had spent the night before in Kennett Square. From there, we wandered down to Avondale, PA, to try this place we knew very little of at the time, Va La Vineyards.
So I have three of the four wines, and a singular wine (four wines in all), but I didn't want to gulp down all four just to write a review. These are wines to savor!!! But I did pour two for a mixed grill dinner we had about two or three weeks ago, before someone turned the thermostat up to 100 freakin' degrees!
First we had Silk 2009. According to Anthony's notes, "This dry rosato was produced from the soils
of the eastern slopes of the hill." The wine is a blend of Corvina Veronese, Barbera, Nebbiolo,
Carmine, and Petit Verdot. I brought the bottle up straight from the cellar, so it was a touch cool, but not cold, which was perfect. After all this is rosato, and it is summer. But we had it at about 55 to 60 degrees. The wine was beautiful! A lovely, light, light red wine. The color of a light re wine. Purple and red, but translucent. Big deep flavors of dark raspberry and plum. Wonderful acidity kept it bright and lively on the palate, which made the cool aspect of it just perfect. A great way to start the dinner.
Next came Siranetta. According to Anthony, "The Siranetta vintage was 07; it is not mentioned on the site as it was just a small side project to our four wines that we make ... that we did while awaiting for the vineyard to mature -- the last vintage was the 08." Mahogany and Cedar are two of my favorite east coast wines, but Siranetta was an experience! This was a big, huge red blend, with dark cherry, dark blackberry, and cassis on the nose and palate with hints of mocha, vanilla, spices, and fallen leaves. The tannins were nice but not too strong, and the acidity was not as big as one sometimes expects from an east coast red. This was very much a big red wine, more rich and intense like California, but with a very heavy French/Italian, European influence. Very reminiscent of Boxwood or Black Ankle vineyards further to the south! An incredible wine.
A testament to the evening, there were only three adults at the table on a Friday night, but the two bottles were drained, with nary a drop left. Absolutely amazing.
And that was the poetic touch at the end too. The beautiful night, with a lovely sunset, and the glass of wine to watch the pink/orange/yellow/blue sky. Nature was almost as pretty in the sky as what she had put in the glass. Anthony had taken something as simple as a grape, and made two things, so beautifully, that we were sad when they were gone. He had set those grapes like jewels. That's what he does. He's a poet that works with grapes. Amazing!