Monday, October 07, 2013

Let Them Eat Lamb - Lunch At Black Ankle Vineyards

It’s difficult to have to write about Black Ankle Vineyard yet again. I know it must seem repetitive that I am writing about them again. But every time I am there I have a great time and taste fabulous wine. It hasn’t gotten tiresome yet for me, but I do worry that some might think I am running out of ideas or wineries to write about. But that is not so.

This last April I visited Black Ankle again, along with dozens of wine writers and bloggers. It was during the DLW 2013 trip to Maryland. We were all herded into the tasting room to taste the wines and try them out with local ingredients.  
What did I think was going to happen? Exactly what did happen - I fell in love with Back Ankle all over again.  
To start off with, there were tons of people from far and wide. Dave McIntyre from the Washington Post, Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report, the Virginia Wine Mafia, Michael Wangbuckler and Tom Mansell, and many others. 

The afternoon started off with a lovely white wine and raw oysters!! What's not to love?! Bedlam 2011 was the white wine blend we had with the oysters. A blend of Viognier, Gruner Veltliner, Albarino and Chardonnay, this was an exceptional austere white wine with an incredibly floral nose and a lovely bright lip-smacking acidity. Fantastic!


The next course was Maryland Suffolk local lamb. Grilled lamb. And grilled lamb sausage. And grilled vegetables. Giants platters of it. And I cannot lie - we gorged on it. Amazing.
And the Black Ankle Vineyards, Leaf-Stone Syrah 2010 went beautifully with it. Not too big, but strong enough n both character and balance. The wine is named for the stone in the vineyard where it is grown that carry the fossils of leaves on their round faces. The wine was 100% Syrah. It was aged 18 months in 65% new French oak.  Alcohol 14.6%.  Cherry and cassis and strawberry. A nice medium-bodied red wine with lovely, lovely dark fruit with nice acidity and good tannins. Well balanced. Fantastic! 


Passggiata 2011 came next. Actually it wasn't on the tasting course - I went off menu. Sorry. But it was a beautiful red wine that instantly made me thrilled. A medium to light bodied red, the nose was a wallop of ripe, deep raspberry with hints of vanilla and spice. This is a dry red blend with a lovely hint of French oak. Cedar and other dark hints. A lovely, lovely drinking wine.

Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post, posed here with the owners, Ed Boyce and Sarah O'Herron. They are always great hosts and great all round folks.

Here's Sarah with Kevin Atticks, Exec. Director of the Maryland Wineries Association and an Affiliate Professor of Communication at Loyola.
Rolling Hill 2010 was another one of the wines that was served with the menu. As I devoured more succulent grilled lamb (along with my cohorts) I tried the Rolling Hills 2010. Hills is a bigger wine. A more sophisticated, Bordeaux-styled blend. Traditionally the Cabernet Sauvignon has made up almost half the blend, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot chipping in another 20% each, with small additions of Malbec and Petit Verdot. Black currant, black cherry, and toasty vanilla spice all come through as promised. A gorgeous, gorgeous wine. Fantastic!

A fantastic time was had by all. We all called for more Maryland lamb, and got it! Luckily, we had a lot of great Black Ankle wine to wash it down with. One of the best wineries on the east coast. What an absolutely fantastic experience.