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Tasting Wine At the Williamsburg Winery


After our Independence Day holiday at Colonial Williamsburg we stopped by The Williamsburg Winery.  The 320 acre estate is located only several miles from Colonial Williamsburg next to the James River.  Purchased in 1983 by Patrick and Peggy Duffeler planted Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon from 1985-1988.  In the early 2000s those vines were pulled up to allow planting in 2003 of different clones of Merlot, Vidal Blanc, Petit Verdot, and Traminette.  Most recently Viognier was planted in 2009 with Cabernet Franc and Malbec in 2010.  There are now some 50 acres of vineyards.  The estate produces wine from mostly estate fruit but also sources from 12 vineyards in Monticello and Loudon County.

With the Reserve Tasting fully booked we decided to do the basic tasting.  At the low-end the 2009 Arundel,Cabernet Sauvignon is both approachable and affordable.  In the mid-range the 2010 Acte 12, Chardonnay gets a floral boost from the addition of Traminette and should appeal to many.  The 2006 Gabriel Archer Reserve reveals tangy, cranberry flavors which are focused and chewy.

2011 Williamsburg Winery, Dry Rose – $12
This wine is a blend of 94% Merlot, 3% Traminette, and 3% Vidal Blanc.  There was a very berry nose.  In the mouth the tart red fruit flavors were very dry with high acidity, perhaps a touch of tannins, and a decent finish.

2010 Williamsburg Winery, Acte 12, Chardonnay – $18
This is a blend of 97% Chardonnay and 3% Traminette which includes non-estate fruit.  It was primarily barrel-fermented and aged.  The richer yellow nose contained some floral hints and ripeness.  In the mouth it was moderately fresh with some tart fruit, some wood notes, and a bit of weight.

2010 Williamsburg Winery, Traminette – $18
This is 100% Traminette which was sourced from estate vineyards.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged in French oak barrels.  The nose was very floral with tropical aromas and sweet honey.  There is a touch of residual sugar followed by tea notes mixed with yellow fruit.  The black tea aspect is a bit heavy.

2009 Williamsburg Winery, Arundel, Cabernet Sauvignon – $11
This wine is blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% Cabernet Franc, and 12.5% Petit Verdot which was aged for 6-9 months in American and French oak barrels.  The nose reveals greenhouse aromas with pepper notes.  In the mouth the tight red berries make way to some blue notes.  This is very approachable with mild tannins and a slightly racy aftertaste.

2007 Williamsburg Winery, Burgesses’ Measure, Merlot – $15
This is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon which was aged primarily in wood.  The nose reveals greenhouse aromas with perhaps clove.  In the mouth the tart red fruit shows more focus with obvious but nice tannins.  There is old-school perfume in the dry finish.

2006 Williamsburg Winery, Gabriel Archer Reserve – $26
This is a blend of 34% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot.  The nose is light but reveals darker fruit.  In the mouth the cranberry and tart red fruit flavors are integrated with acidity.  The wine is tangy and a little bit chewy.  This showed the most focus.

NV Williamsburg Winery, Vin Licoreaux de Framboise – $18
This is a blend of red wine and raspberry juice.  The raspberry nose works well. In the mouth the are tart, pure raspberry flavors which are completely puckering.  Interesting but very hard to drink.  As suggested, best drizzled on things.

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