If I had to sum up our day tasting with three Charlottesville area wineries yesterday, disappointment would be the key word. I guess that we are very spoiled and very, very fortunate to have such awesome winegrowers as Jim Law at Linden, Jeff White at Glen Manor, and Jim Dolphin at Delaplane in our very own backyard.
I was looking forward to getting back to the town where I was born. Sometimes I miss the place. I had been back only twice since I left in 1984 and now having a daughter at UVa has given me the excuse to get back for the third time. Because her college (ahem, party) schedule did not allow her to be available until after 2pm, we decided to visit three wineries (our limit for a day) on our way into town before visiting her.
We dropped in on two wineries whose wines are on our list at the restaurant, Pollak Vineyards and King Family Vineyards, and a third, Veritas, whose wines we carried some years ago. All three of these are within spitting distance of each other to the west of Charlottesville, right on our way into town on US 250.
We went to Pollak first and of the three wineries, they made my favorite wines. Despite the very early hour of our arrival, the counter staff were exceptionally nice and we enjoyed interacting with them. The soaring tasting room overlooking the pond was beautiful and I could have spent a lot more time sitting outside contemplating nothing!
|Pollak Tasting Room|
From Pollak, we backtracked a bit to Veritas passing our supplier of cultivated mushrooms, amFOG, and the Blue Mountain Brewery, as we worked our way up the mountain. During my bike racing years in college, I used to ride my bike along all these deserted country roads, that are now pretty crowded with winery traffic. I remember the old Saddleback Farm way up Afton Mountain Road; it is now the site of Veritas.
|Entry at Veritas|
We were passed off to three staff members during our tasting and it felt like we were interrupting them. I couldn't wait to leave. Mediocre wines in a crazy bar scene is not my cup of tea. It seems to me that contrary to most wineries, the quality has gone down over time at Veritas. Of course, that could also be the result of focusing on all the revenue generating events at a party central winery. The Sauvignon Blanc was the best of a boring lot and it lacks a lot compared to the awesome Sauvignon Blancs in our area.
|Tasting Counter at Veritas|
|Annie Just Outside the Veritas Winery|
We tasted through the line up, again from horrid clunker glasses, and the wines were mostly 2011s. I thought the 2011 Merlot was serviceable but Ann decided she wanted to drink the Meritage even though I found it to have a rose petal lipstick nose.
|King Family: Looking out over the Polo Field; Winery in Background|
|Lunch and 2011 King Family Meritage|
Remember when I was describing the King Family Meritage above, I wrote rose petals and lipstick? Those aren't really compliments and it is about to get worse. With food, especially the duck rillettes, the mid-palate exploded with cocoa and orange which combined in a rather sick way to taste almost like a chocolate covered dreamsicle. We ended up giving the remaining half bottle away to a table near ours.
|Great Day with my Best Girl|