Industry tasting at Zephaniah Farm Vineyard, Leesburg Virginia Wine Country.
Zephaniah vineyard locates in Leesburg, one of Virginia’s many viticulture areas. Loose-gravel windy road eventually leads to the vineyard and its historic tasting room, not too long ago it was a farmhouse. It couldn’t get any more personal tasting wine at Zephaniah, Bill runs this place with his wife and daughter. He tends the vineyard, makes the wines and of course hosts the tastings. Asides from a few quick notes about his wines, Bill is equally enthusiastic on sharing stories about his vineyard, the neighborhood and perhaps most interesting of all, he adores the guests with stories that took place here decades ago.
Now let’s get to the wines:
Cabernet Franc is a relatively thin skinned grapes with aromatic perfume of red berry, spice and dried tea-leaf; this can add flavors and dimension to a wine. Cabernet Franc is grown world wide and can be made into wine by itself or by blending with other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. In Loire Valley, France, Cabernet Franc can be made into very good wine by itself, such as those from Chinon and Saumur-Champigny. Cabernet Franc ripens early and grows well under cooler climate, no wonder it is the state red grape of Virginia; and a taste of the 2010 Zephaniah Cabernet Franc justified why it should be.
Zephaniah Cabernet Franc 2010 – If you’re tired of over oaked and over-ripe fruit bomb, this would make your day. A very refreshing approach to Cabernet Franc, this medium-bodied wine displays beautiful notes of blackberry, soft fruit, dried herb and just a dust of spice. Silky tannins laced with an effervescence of Oak round off an elegant finish. Clean acidity and lower alcohol also make for very good food pairings. (17/20 points)
Zephaniah Chardonnay Sur Lie 2012 – Viognier might be the state white grape of Virginia, but at Zephaniah Vineyard, it is all about the Sur Lie Chardonnay. Nice wine showcases delicate fruit flavors of citrus, orange zest and green apple. The mid palate finds silky texture and a touch of nuttiness; aging on its lees (Sur Lie) lays structure for this beautifully crafted wine. Crisp acidity leads for juicy mouthfeel followed by a lingering scent of lime and subtle oak on the finish. Lacking minerality, otherwise it would be a good reminiscent of Chablis. (17.5/20 points)