A Virginia Red that Merits a Look

I will be the first to say that I have tasted red wines at a good handful of Virginia Wineries. And usually, I’m not all the impressed. We don’t have a fantastic climate here for some red grapes, it’s hard to get some to ripen before the cold sets in. However, I have recently had a few Virginia Pinot Noirs, and I must say, they are really coming along.

Last night I served Roz of Beadimous‘ Zuppa Toscana (Matt really loved it and requested it again this soon!). Last time, we drank a Roederer Pinot Noir with it one night and I thought it was a good match. I figured I’d try again with this bottle of 2005 Pinot Noir from Swedenburg Winery. We picked this up at Swedenburg a few weeks ago for $18, it has a real cork closure and is 12% alcohol by volume.

I found ripe raspberries in the nose and mouth of this wine. It also had undertones of strawberries and spices (mostly black pepper) in the mouth. It was smooth and delicate and I thought it paired very well with the creamy and slightly spicy soup. A very light wine in the mouth and a great effort for a red from Virginia. Overall, it had flavors kind of like a subtle (if that’s possible) raspberry jolly rancher.

Matt wasn’t such a fan, he found it sharp, which I thought was odd, the flavors seemed very smooth to me and the finish was simple and easy

3 Responses

  1. It is nice to find local wines even when you don’t come from one of the major wine states. There are actually a couple good vineyards here in New England too. Westport Rivers for instance does great sparklers.

  2. Sparklers from New England? Interesting! We’re heading up to CT to visit my folks fairly soon and with inspiration from Dr. Debs over at Good Wine Under $20, I think I will be hunting down a CT wine or two. I also love having local vineyards here that we can visit fairly easily. It always makes for a nice day trip!

  3. Hello Sonadora,

    It has been a year since I last visited Swedenburg but you are going to motivate me to visit that Middleburg area faster than planned : )

    I’m still not a believer of Pinot in VA however; all the examples I have tasted have been thin and lacking, really lacking, unless blended with 25% of something else that was not clearly named on the bottle.

    Was this 100% Pinot and do they grow it there (just curious). Some wineries do source grapes from CA. At any rate I will have to get out there and try the wines you have enjoyed. You guys have a great way of pairing them.

    Happy Sipping!


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