On Saturday we headed out to Front Royal, Virginia to visit Glen Manor Vineyards. We were attending the December 2018 Cellar Tasting. We always enjoy tasting wines from the barrel to see how they are developing.
We started with the 2018 Dry Petit Manseng. It’s 100% petit manseng. Being so fresh in the barrel it’s obvious that it needs more time. However, we did note a nice level of acidity. We know when its released it will be a nice dry version of petit manseng.
The second wine was the 2017 St. Ruth. It’s a blend of 43% merlot, 35% cabernet franc and 22% petit verdot. The blend for 2017 is a bit different then it is for the current release, 2014. There is less merlot and more petit verdot. We think the blend is perfect and would easily enjoy a glass right now. But we’ll wait until it is released in the future.
The final wine we tasted from the barrel was the 2017 Hodder Hill. The 2017 Hodder Hill is a blend of 63% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot and 16% petit verdot. This may not even be the final blend. They will go through more blending trials to get to the final blend. The Hodder Hill has always been one of our favorites and this blend doesn’t disappoint. We know it will be a few years before it will be ready to enjoy but we’ll wait patiently knowing it will be worth the wait.
After the barrel tastings we went upstairs to the tasting room and tasted the other wines on the tasting menu. We then decided to enjoy a glass of the 2015 Cabernet Franc before leaving. We also bought several of our favorite wines. The next time you visit Glen Manor Vineyards, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
October is Virginia Wine Month, and readers may want to consider joining the club at their favorite winery or wineries. Paul and I do belong to a few Virginia wine clubs, and we can attest to some of the benefits of club memberships. Here are some of them:
Flexibility—-Most wineries offer membership levels to make them affordable and/or convenient. For example, I prefer club memberships that offer a one case requirement and then you are “in”! Some wineries offer monthly or quarterly purchase requirements while others offer options that include all of the above.
Benefits—-The best memberships offer exclusive benefits such as the use members’ only (and usually quieter) quarters, exclusive members’ only wines, discounts on tastings, wine purchases and winery events such as barrel tastings, dinners, and concerts.
Experience—-Wine club members usually get to sample club wines poured by an educator who is dedicated to providing a quality experience. We appreciate the extra time given to us by educators who can answer our pesky questions about vineyard sites, microclimates, harvest experiences, etc. We are even treated to mini-verticals at times, and these allow us to know whether to drink now or hold on the wine rack!
Warren: I renewed my case club membership to Slater Run Winery. The winery does offer a quarterly option; however, I like the convenience of the “one case a year option.” A case of wine allows me to appreciate the excellent skills of winemaker Katel Giraud whenever I like. I enjoy free tastings and discounts on purchases; furthermore, I get ample notice of winemaker’s dinners and other winery events. My recent case included the excellent dry Rose, old-world style Chardonnay, and the complex Bordeaux blend called Roots!
Paul: I’ve been a club member at Breaux Vineyards since 2006. I appreciate getting sneak peaks of wines that are released to club members first. Each quarter we get three wines that represent a the best of Breaux wines. Breaux has several vertical wine tasting events each year and we always enjoy attending a few of them. And the wine club pick-up parties are always fun!