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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hello Virgina: Delaplane Cellars Maggie's Vineyard 2010 Viognier

It won't be long before I'm leaving on a big ol' jet plane heading off to see what's going on with the Virgina Wine Scene. What, you've never heard of wines from Virgina? Okay you're right, wine from Virgina may not be on store shelves near you, I've certainly never found one here in San Diego where I live [because some crazy anti-wine law won't let them ship here]. However that is the point of this trip, for me and everyone else we are off to discover Virginia Wine, see what's going and how their wines match up with their counterparts from the rest of the wine world and discover new favorites. I do love exploration.

Even though Virginia may not have the name recognition that many other "established" wine regions presently have. However I think many of my fellow wine-bloggers will be in for a big surprise, as we discover what I am sure will be many fantastic bottles of wine that each of us will want to share with our collective audiences. Well it's almost time to once again grab a seat, lean back, soak in some new tips and tricks, see old friends and make some new ones at what will be my third Wine Bloggers Conference. I can't wait to see everyone, that I only chat with with on FB and Twitter during the course of the year. It's going to be a blast in more ways than one.

As a way to have a preview of coming attractions, a twitter-live tasting was set in motion. I didn't participate directly, I was busy making a dinner while my friend from Wine Harlots was over with her selection of samples for the event. See I wasn't even suppose to be available for this event for which I did get an invite, but plans changed at the last moment and I had opportunity to taste nearly all the Viogniers which had arrived for the event. Sorry to say, like a high-school dance not every girl on the dance floor can be the belle of ball. After tasting nearly all of the wines represented [nearly blind] because I knew nothing of the wines represented [other than it was Viognier], I picked out one that I thought was truly representative of the varietal.  The clear winner and belle of the ball in my book was the Delaplane Cellars. Of course the juvenile in me after seeing the name on the bottle, I launch into the mimicking of a nineteen eighties reference from Fantasy Island, "boss, de-plane, de-plane" which sounded much funnier in my head.

In the glass a beautiful hay colored core. On the nose a wonderful bouquet of peach, nectarine and the tang of citrus. The first sip was an utter delight, off-dry in feel, this is a well defined Viognier, with a creamy texture carrying a bit of brioche, vivid ripe peach, honey and undefined spice notes lingering in the background, framed over the the vibrant acidity. The finish is long and inviting. A bottle which I decided to "bogart" all for myself, yep I laid claim to it and proceeded to slurp down the remaining contents, I was very sad when the rest of the bottle was gone. I scored this wine 92 points and it sells anywhere from $20 to $24.

I was even more sad to find out that this wine is not available here in the state where I live, California. No doubt in whole or part due the arcane three-tier distribution system, which is a whole other discussion. However if you live in one of a handful of states that Delaplane Cellars is allowed to ship to, then I would highly recommend grabbing some of this great tasting juice for yourself. This 100% Viognier was barrel fermented in "neutral oak" and aged "sur-lie" for seven months before bottling, it's in my mind a fantastic representative of the varietal character and flavor associated with well made Viognier. This is what Viognier is all about and will pair with a variety of spicy entrees, I served it along side apricot glazed BBQ pork-chops and a spinach salad festooned with strawberries, feta and red onions drizzled with a chipotle honey dressing. 

The conference is getting closer and closer and I can't wait to see everyone and meet the wonderful folks of Virgina. It's not my first time in the state as I lived close by in North Carolina for a few years and would often make visits to Virgina, normally a quick shot up the I-95. The only downside, visiting this area during this time of the year when the heat will be vexing and the humidity leaving you feeling like you're wearing a sweaty gym-sock instead of a shirt. So Virginia Wine, I will see you soon. Until next time sip long and prosper, cheers!
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