The wonderful thing about teaming up with your spouse on a wine blog is being able to compare tasting notes. At the Williamsburg Winery it was fairly easy to agree on a top three list. John has a preference for smooth red blends and I love discovering robust, locally sourced wines. Together we selected three wines we would consider pantry staples. A few excellent reds and a sweet white wine for porch sipping with house guests.
Virginia being the birthplace of American wine, I had high expectations for this winery. We were not at all disappointed. With the historical significance of the Williamsburg area, it brought to mind Thomas Jefferson, bringing his love of fine French wine back to the United States, raising the bar and our expectations. My favorite article about Jefferson’s taste in wine is here. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson include quotes from him such as,
“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”
Williamsburg Winery is steeped in historical heritage and they have made a point to offer a minimalist shaker style tasting room.
2015 Gabriel Archer Reserve is John’s top choice, an oak aged dry red blend that was made for a juicy, peppery steak. Notes of berries, cherries, and earthy cocoa powder. This is an excellent choice to buy and store for a future occasion. $42
2016 Wessex Hundred Petite Verdot is an exceptional earthy red with notes of figs, coffee, cocoa, and dark rich berries. By far my favorite dry red wine I have tasted all week, even more so than the critically acclaimed Adagio. $32
2017 Petite Fleur was my top choice at Williamsburg Winery. You can read the full review and pairing notes here. A sophisticated and complex sweet wine with notes of white florals, peach, bananas, and cream brûlée. $27
If you enjoy reading about grape varietals, Wine Enthusiast has an excellent article about the quality and complexity of the grapes that thrive in the Virginia climate. The pinotage is a favorite of mine because of its tendency to hint of coco powder and freshly ground coffee. Virginia also has the hearty petit manseng grapes. As I noted in the article on 2017 Petite Fleur, there is such a thing as a high quality sweet wine. For those of us living in the Southeast, I would highly recommend a wine tour of Virginia to grow your appreciation of local wines and for an opportunity to branch out and try some grapes you haven’t been exposed to.