I need to start this review off with a rule. Before you taste wine, be cognizant of your surroundings. The aromas in the air will affect your tasting. So, if you’re next to someone who has doused themselves in perfume or cologne, casually step aside. When you are sniffing wine, position your head in the opposite direction from the “walking perfume counter”, place your nose deep in the glass and inhale. If you are lucky the tasting room associate may have coffee beans to cleanse your senses.
Sniff at least couple times to capture the true aromas. The second, even the third inhale will bring on aromas that were not recognizable the first time. Your senses will begin to build with anticipation and you will find yourself salivating before you have taken the first sip (pay attention to your body language, you will see).
We know that our sense of smell and sense of taste are correlated and it creates a picture of what to expect. What is amazing about wine, due to the chemistry, the aromas may not match the taste and that picture changes with the first sip and may change again with the second sip; this is why wine is so intriguing. The essence of a wine will have your eyes closed, head swaying back and forth, and your body filled with pleasure or tensed-up from dislike.
The multiple facets of a grape: affected by its environment, continuously changing and developing into something magnificent (depending on the winemaker). Most importantly, tasting a wine can become an unforgettable-sensual experience. For me, it was the first time having a bold Bordeaux with big black fruit flavors, Ridge Vineyards Montebello Zinfandel, Castle Rock and Robin K Pinot Noir, Yalumba Viognier, Chrysalis Vineyards Albarino and Pearmund Cellars dry Petit Manseng, just to name a few – AMAZING! LIP-LICKING! (Ok, I just had an outer body experience).
Bottom line, when you are tasting wine, do not gulp, use your mind and allow your senses to play; trust me you will have a pleasurable experience.
Well, this review has taken an unexpected turn. I will venture forward and continue.
Chrysalis Vineyards 2007 Papillon
As previously stated, be aware of your surroundings when tasting wine. In my case, DO NOT HAVE SCENTED CANDLES BURNING, especially “Buttered Popcorn” scented candles. GEESH! And, DO NOT HAVE SCENTED LOTION ON YOUR HANDS (washed my hands). Just as the environment affects the grapes, our environment will affect our tasting (you like how I joined the previous rambling).
On this beautiful spring day, I will be opening a 2007 Chrysalis Vineyards Papillon, which means “butterfly” in French; there is a butterfly theme at Chrysalis, hence the name. Papillon is a Bordeaux blend of Tannat, a French varietal from the Madiran region of France and Petit Verdot, a Bordeaux variety that is typically used as a blending wine. However, Petit Verdot grows very well in Virginia that it is bottled as a single varietal. One day, I will do a review on Chrysalis wines and share the wines wonderful stories, to include the story of the Norton Grape, which I enjoyed sharing with customers.
I will never forget doing a tasting for a group of men from Greece. I was pushing the Locksley (a blend of Tannat, Petit Verdot and Norton). I explained Locksley is the Vineyard’s flagship red wine and it has won many awards. The Greek men tasted the Papillon and loved it! They predicted that the Vineyard’s prize will not be the Locksley, but the Papillon.
Well, it is claimed that Papillon will last 15 plus years. I’m at the six year mark, let see how well it has aged in the bottle. Color – beautiful garnet color; aromas – spicy, peppery, earthy and a slight cocoa; taste – blackberries, pepper and earthy flavors, long smooth finish and firm tannins. DELICIOUS! This wine has aged very well! The Greek Guys were right!
I doubt there are any 2007 Papillon remaining at Chrysalis Vineyard. Nevertheless, call and place an order or take a visit to taste the 2009 Papillon; you will not be disappointed.
Pairing: steak, grilled and roasted meats and chocolate! Cost: $35
Chrysalis Vineyards, 23876 Champe Ford Rd, Middleburg, VA 20117, (540) 687-8222, http://www.chrysaliswine.com