Virginia Wine Country: Beautiful, Spacious, Untouched. Complex and yet simple, like the wines produced from its land. Meet Virginia.
“She doesn’t own a dress; her hair is always a mess, you catch her stealin’ she won’t confess…She’s Beautiful. She never compromises; loves babies and surprises; wears high heels when she exercises; ain’t it beautiful….Meet Virginia.” (lyrics by Train)
I met Virginia a few weeks ago in a Twitter/Ustream live tasting with #VAWineChat. Myself and several other wine bloggers had the fortunate opportunity to taste through three beautiful 2012 Virginia Viogniers by Keswick Vineyards. I want to over emphasize the word “fortunate” because for me, this was my very first experience in not only tasting a Virginia wine, but a Virginia Viognier; what’s known to be the “State Grape”. It’s not easy for a California girl to get ahold of Virginia wines, so fortunate I was. Keswick Vineyards Vioginer…. in one word…AMAZING. Exclusive style and taste to Virginia and worth seeking out if you are a Viognier lover, like myself.
KESWICK VINEYARDS VIOGNIER 2012 – This Viognier was probably my favorite of the three, although it’s hard to really tell you one was better than another one. The style on this Viognier was what drew me into it. A nose of banana leaves and light citrus was intoxicating. A smooth, creaminess from 30% fermentation in oak barrels instead of all stainless steel is what lends the texture here and it’s wonderful in a viognier. Do not be alarmed when I use the word “creamy” – this is not like a chardonnay in any way or form. The Keswick Vineyards 2012 Viognier has a light acidity and balanced fruits of pineapple, apricots and a note of honey. This is a beautiful wine to simply drink, but would pair wonderfully with many light foods, such as a goat cheese crostini.
KESWICK VINEYARDS RESERVE VIOGNIER 2012 – 100% Viognier, 100% delicious. The Keswick Vineyards 2012 Viognier is light and citrusy. A nose full of honeysuckle and a taste explosion of chamomile tea, lemon and grapefruit. This viognier is classic and one of the best I have had. Fermentation in neutral french oak barrels, but you would never really have guessed it. All of the fruit shines in this viognier and not a trace of oak on the taste buds. The oak gives this one the body and structure the wine needs, without you knowing it spent time in barrels. The 2012 Reserve Viognier is nothing like the 2012 Viognier and it needs not be. It stands out of the crowd and in a good way. (remember the song….”Meet Virginia”.)
KESWICK VINEYARDS SIGNATURE SERIES VIOGNIER – 2012 A terrific Viognier and Keswick Vineyards’ winemaker’s favorite of the three…Keswick Vineyards Signature Series 2012 Viognier. I enjoyed this wine very much. To me, it was a balanced mix of both 2012 Viognier and Viognier Reserve. A little bit of oak and a balance of bright fruit. Wonderful in every way. This wine is full of rich pineapple and white peach with the right amount of acidity to keep it bouncy on your tongue. The Signature Series Viognier paired seamlessly with a macadamia crusted chicken breast and orange ginger sauce. A must try.
The state of Virginia and its beauty are represented by many fine wineries and wines, Viognier being only one of many varietals. I would say that Keswick Vineyards represents well. Some of the best Viogniers’ I’ve had in many years of wine drinking. I’m giving all three of the Keswick Vineyards Viogniers a FIVE BOTTLE Rating. They are food pairing, patio sipping, special occasion or just anytime wines. When listening to Trains’ “Meet Virginia”, I’m often reminded of the unusual and yet picturesque. In a weird way, the words to this song speak the language of the wines and the winemakers of the “The Old Dominion” state…it’s beautiful. Meet Virginia.
** Samples received courtesy of Keswick Vineyards and #VAWineChat **