Friday, March 29, 2013

Ingleside Vineyards: Keep Heading East!

First let me start by saying that Anthony from Virginia Pour House has been trying to get me to Ingleside Vineyards for about a year now. After our visit this month it was clear why, I wish I would have listened and visited this hidden gem sooner! Several of us Virginia wine bloggers meet up at Ingleside earlier this month thanks to Anthony, who coordinated the visit for us with their marketing director and part of the winery family, Chris Flemer.

Ingleside is about 1.5 hours south east of DC via Maryland, east of Fredericksburg on the Chesapeake Bay. It is one of the 5 oldest vineyards in the state and has a modest history museum on site. The first vines were planted on the 1970s and in 1980 began their commercial sales.  The museum includes wine bottles from George Washington's era and several Native American relics found on or near the property.  After viewing the museum, event space, tank and bottling rooms we headed into the barrel room for our tasting.

The team at Ingleside selected 10 wines for us including three for a vertical tasting (the typical tasting includes 12 wines).We began with their 2 whites. The 2012 Pinot Grigio was a young, blend of Pinot Grigio, Chardonel and Petit Manseng with a hint of citrus on the finish. The second white was the 2012 AlbariƱo to be released later this spring. Of the two whites I think the group favored the AlbariƱo with its peach and banana nose, it went down smoothly, a nice summer wine.

The next seven wines were the reds, my favorites. We kicked things off with the 2009 Sangiovese that had a nice oak nose and smooth pepper finish. The 2007 Merlot followed, a lighter Merlot, not very dry at all, this could be an effect of the sandy soil it grows in.  The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve that had 12% Petit Verdot blended in was a deep rich red; while most tasted cherry I found hints of strawberry. Someone had the brilliant idea to try this wine with chocolate and the result was like eating a dark chocolate raspberry truffle! Amazing! Next up was the 2007 Virginia Gold, a Meritage blend with Cab Sav, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cab Franc and Touriga Nacional. This blend was dry and spicy the kind that makes you say, "where's my steak?!"

Then it was time for the vertical, we had Petit Verdot from 2005, 2007, and 2009. The 2007 and 2009 were booth ages for 32 months in a variety of oak barrels. The 2009 was obviously the youngster in the bunch, it was slightly lighter and the driest of the three. The 2007 was a bit smoky and drier than the 2009. The 2005 was very smoky and rich. Most of the group favored the 2005, but I preferred the 2007. We were all disappointed to learn that Ingleside is sold out of both the 2007 and 2005! We finished with a NV Virginia Brut made from 100% Chardonnay, a nice dry bubbly. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Ingleside and walked away with much heavier trunks than when we had arrived!

Many of us were on the hunt for some sustenance and were directed to Denson's Grocery in Colonial Beach. This place was a perfect stop on such a nice day, they were serving up grilled oysters and crawfish at a couple of picnic tables outside. Unfortunately the oysters were in high demand and short supply so I failed to get my hands on any, but I'm sure there will chances in the future as this was a great way to wrap op our trip. Denson's was a nice local stop with fresh produce and local wines on hand too.
Awaiting Spring!