Home > Fair, Good, ModGood, Not Rated, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > A Close Look at the Wines of The Williamsburg Winery

A Close Look at the Wines of The Williamsburg Winery


The Author at the Winery with the Wines

Last year we celebrated Independence Day by attending the Blues, Brews, and BBQ Party at the Williamsburg Lodge.  Rather thunderstorms rolled in, everything was cancelled, and then we returned to our hotel rooms.  It was not a complete disaster as I was surprised by the wines poured: 2006 Williamsburg Winery, Governor’s White and 2003 Williamsburg Winery, Arundell, Cabernet Sauvignon.  They were actually rather decent!  Thus on my inaugural visit to The Williamsburg Winery I knew I had to purchase some older vintages to try along with more current selections.

After participating in a Basic Tasting I stopped by the wine store to purchase six bottles.  Both the online and winery stores maintain an extensive list of older vintages.  There are bottles of Chardonnay back to 1988 which one may buy and Cabernet Sauvignon back to 1989.  I tried to balance vintage strength against affordability in coming up with my six bottle selection.  The 1994 and 1995 vintages were produced by former winemaker Steve Warner.  The 2005 and 2007 vintages were produced by current winemaker Matthew Meyer.

2007 – The best year I have witnessed in Virginia so far.  The growing conditions were perfect with little to no rain during harvest.  The total rain fall for August-October was approximately 9.5 inches.  Rating – Exceptional

2005 – An excellent year for both red and whites.  The rains held off during crush and we had consistent temperatures throughout the growing season.  Rating – Excellent

1995 – A dry, hot summer.  Bold ripe fruit.  Not as complex as 1997.  Rating – Excellent

1994 – Some rain through summer.  elegant Whites.  Well-structured Reds.  Rating – Very Good

Excerpted from A Review Of Past Vintages, The Williamsburg Winery

This week we gathered at Lou’s house to taste the wines and I suppose to also swim in the pool and eat.  Lou is curious so he promptly agreed to let me provide the red wines blind.  The 2005s and 2007s were double-decanted at my house and had 1.5 hours of air before tasting.  The 1994 and 1995 were decanted at Lou’s house  and had 15 minutes of air before they were tasted.

The 1994 and 1995 were completely past prime and barely drinkable which is a shame given the price of the 1995.  The 2007 vintage with its increased flavors does appear to be a step above the 2005.  Both of these vintages improved with air and I believe smelled their best on the second day.  My favorite wine was the 2007 Trianon which struck the best balance of dark fruit, acidity, and structure for near term development.  The flavors of the 2007 Merlot Reserve are richer than the 2005, but the 2007 has ample tannic structure requiring short-term aging.

While we got settled in we started off with a white wine which Lou poured blind.  Weygandt Wines had a few bottles of this so Lou picked one up to try.  Amazingly, Adriene guessed it was made of Roussanne!  I thought it was a Chardonnay from Jura.

2004 Alban Vineyards, Roussanne, Edna Valley – $30
The color was vibrant golden straw.  The nose was oxidative at first then it blew off to reveal finely textured apple orchard notes with underlying aromas of delicate tropical fruit.  In the mouth there was good texture, lightly creamy at first then oily, with some tannic notes.  The flavors expand in the mouth with a refreshing finish.  There was lots of salivating acidity in this balanced,  fully mature wine.  This opened up nicely over an hour.  *** Now-2014.

1994 Williamsburg Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon – (375 mL) $6
This wine was aged for 12 months in oak.  This was a light+ brick color which looked aged!  The nose was minty fresh, a touch underripe.  In the mouth the hard red fruit was dried out followed by a minty aspect.  There was a little bit of watery acidity and some texture.  Not Rated, Past.

1995 Williamsburg Winery, Merlot Reserve – $48
This wine was aged for 12 months in oak.  The color was lighter than the 1994 and was tawny.  There was an old, musty nose.  Perhaps a bit more body but musty flavors with old perfume in the aftertaste.  Not Rated, Past.

2005 Williamsburg Winery, Merlot Reserve – $28
This wine is 100% Merlot which was fermented in stainless steel with a proportion undergoing malolactic fermentation.  It was aged for 18 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 12.8% vol, pH 3.61, TA 6.07 g/L.  The color is a medium, ruby purple.  The tight nose starts off a little foxy then eventually takes on higher-toned red fruit.  In the mouth there is a good smooth body which is a little racy.  The flavors are a bit mouthfilling with flavors of cherry and some wood.  There was a little bit of heat on the first night in the aftertaste.  This shows structure at this point with fine+ grippy tannins which are starting to resolve. ** Now-2015.

2005 Williamsburg Winery, Trianon – $36
This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petite Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon which was fermented in stainless steel with a proportion undergoing malolactic fermentation.  It was aged for 18 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 12.7% vol, pH 3.59, TA 5.55 g/L.  The color is a light to medium ruby.  The light fresh nose reveals greenhouse aromas and a pepper note.  In the mouth the drier red fruit follows the nose with more tannins and some dark red fruit.  With air the red berries take on brighter and higher-toned flavors.  There is a fair amount of structure and fine drying tannins. * Now-2015.

2007 Williamsburg Winery, Merlot Reserve – $28
This wine is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot which was fermented in stainless steel with a proportion undergoing malolactic fermentation.  It was aged for 18 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 12.7% vol, pH 3.72, TA 5.66 g/L.  The color is a medium+ purple ruby.  The light nose has more berry nose and with air fresh-cut grass.  In the mouth there is an old perfume note, greenhouse notes, and a touch more concentration than the 2005.  It is a somewhat savory with a bit more richness, plenty of structure along with ample fine drying tannins and wood box notes in the aftertaste.  With air the flavors tilt towards cranberry.  ** Now-2017.

2007 Williamsburg Winery, Trianon – $32
This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot which was fermented in stainless steel with a proportion undergoing malolactic fermentation.  It was aged for 18 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 13.7% vol, pH 3.83, TA 5.96 g/L. The color is a medium ruby purple.  The light to medium nose has a strange scent at first but then takes on red berries and oak.  The mouth follows the nose and is a touch savory with good flavors which expand in the mouth.  The dark fruit, wood box, and a drying aftertaste. ** Now-2018.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: