Goodness, this place is “hopping”. Confusedly, I ask, “Are they having a festival?” clearly another well-liked Virginia vineyard in the beautiful Clifton, VA. The tasting room is large with leather lounge chairs, a beautiful glass barrel room and outdoor sitting area with a large stone fireplace where patrons are entertained with live music on the weekends.
We stroll up to the tasting room counter. I’m smiling from ear to ear, seeing a long-lost friend colleague, who is now an employee of Paradise Springs Winery. The infamous “Mr. Ed” and no this is not a talking horse reference. I’m then graced with another friendly face and another, a handsome “French” fellow; excitement fills the tasting room. Apparently, V’s (name intentionally not mentioned) refugees have migrated to Paradise Springs and enjoying the good life. Pleasantries are shared, “Come join the team.” “It’s great here!” For an instant, the thought crossed my mind, until reality hit me. I’m way too busy.
The tasting room clerk begins the tasting until she is told, “She knows everything about wine.” All I saw was fear and confusion on the tasting room clerk’s face and the tasting comes to a halt. Nervously, she explained that she is new and only has months experience at pouring wine. I replied trying to reassure her, “It’s been a long time since I had your wines.” She was not buying it and pours the wine without any description. Thank goodness for tasting notes.Stars rating system: one = ok two = good three = a must buy
2011 Chardonnay – 100% Chardonnay – crisp apples flavors with toasty oaky finish. I love the combination. The Chardonnay is fermented and aged “sur lie” (leaving the wine in the sediment, instead of racking off to create a complex and full-flavored wine) in French oak for 8 months. (2 stars) Cost: $29
2011 Petit Manseng – 100% Petit Manseng – dry aromatic white wine with bold raspberry flavors and a slight nutty finish. 0% residual sugar. Second sip – the wine changed; a unique fun wine – DELICIOUS! Silver Medal winner at the San Francisco International Wine Competition (3 stars) Cost: $27
2012 Sommet Blanc – Released May 2013 – 65% Vidal Blanc, 16% Traminette, 14% Riesling, and 5% Chardonnay – very aromatic – fruity and hint of oranges. The flavors match the aromas, citrusy, pears and hint of grapefruit flavors. 1.2% residual sugar. (2 stars) Cost: $24
2012 Nana’s Rose – 100% Merlot – Released May 2013. 0% residual sugar. Bold grapefruit aromas and flavors with a creamy finish. Perfect for brunch and makes great Sangria. (1 star) Cost: $22
2011 Melange – 53% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot, 15% Cab Sauvignon, and 8% Petit Verdot – Melange means mixture in French. Noticeably thin texture, cherry aromas; medium-bodied with soft tannins. Don’t judge a book by its cover; this is a good everyday drinking wine. (3 stars) Cost: $27
2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon – released June 2013. Shoot! I sipped before sniffing and the aromas hit me hard. Big fruity aromas, fruit-forward. Aged 12 months in French and American oak. This is great! (3 stars) Cost: $32
2011 Norton – 100% Norton – They receive their grapes from Chrysalis. Rich, ink-like color, jammy, black fruit with soft clove flavors. Aged in American and Hungarian oak for 10 months. (2.5 stars) Cost: $28
My special French friend gave us a taste of the Albarino, which is AMAZING! The best description is “Sweet Tarts.” The Albarino wasn’t for sale, but this is most definitely A MUST BUY!
Then Viognier flowed and the tasting ended with a port (Swagger), aged in bourbon barrels Tasty and Tasty!
Well, you know what happened next, I joined the wine club:). Kudos to the head winemaker Rob Cox, GREAT JOB!
For more information visit:Paradise Springs Winery 13219 Yates Ford Rd, Clifton, VA 20124
(703) 830-9463 www.paradisespringswinery.com
Tip: Don’t follow the Apple map directions.