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Virginia Wines: Ready to Take Off … But Where To?

A modern wine industry that started with a handful of estates in the late 1970s has exploded to nearly 200 wineries covering every corner of the state, including six AVAs. According to the Virginia Wine Board, the state ranks fifth in the country in wine grape production, and produces more than 500,000 cases of wine per year. Clearly Virginia is already a player in the East Coast wine community, but can it go further?
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Et Fille Deux Vert Vineyard Viognier

Clear, medium intensity straw yellow. Clean nose with medium intensity aromas of honeysuckle, orange zest, baked yellow apples, pear, and clean linen sheets. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, full body, and flavors of apple, pear, white flowers, sweet hay, honeycomb and orange tea. Long finish. Pair with a summer salad dressed in an orange-fennel vinaigrette. Highly recommended.
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2009 Et Fille Deux Vert Vineyard Viognier

Cear, medium intensity straw yellow. Clean nose with medium intensity aromas of honeysuckle, orange zest, baked yellow apples, pear, and clean linen sheets. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, full body, and flavors of apple, pear, white flowers, sweet hay, honeycomb and orange tea. Long finish. Pair with a summer salad dressed in an orange-fennel vinaigrette.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2008 Whitman Cellars Viognier

Clear, bright, medium straw yellow; Clean nose with medium intensity white flowers, candied citrus rind, apricot, sweet hay, yellow apple, and hotdog water (not bad! this is a classic Viognier marker for me!); Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium acid, medium alcohol, medium flavors of yellow apple, peach skin, honeysuckle, candied lemon; rich texture and a medium-long finish. Pair with pan seared tofu glazed with spicy peach preserves. Highly recommended.
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2008 Whitman Cellars Viognier

Clear, bright, medium straw yellow; Clean nose with medium intensity white flowers, candied citrus rind, apricot, sweet hay, yellow apple, and hotdog water (not bad! this is a classic Viognier marker for me!); Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium acid, medium alcohol, medium flavors of yellow apple, peach skin, honeysuckle, candied lemon; rich texture and a medium-long finish. Pair with pan seared tofu glazed with spicy peach preserves.
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Texas Needs More Wine

Russ Kane and Steve Krueger (Sommelier at the Westin La Cantera) recently hosted the Culinaria Texas Two-Sip tasting at San Antonio’s Hilton Palacios Del Rio. The tasting pitted carefully selected Texas wines against comparable wines from around the world. Six pairs of wines were tasted blind, with one wine in each pair hailing from a Texas producer. The audience and panel were then invited to vote on their favorites and to guess which wine was made in Texas. The results were, to say the least, eye-opening.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Inspiration Vineyards Viognier

This is an excellent, balanced expression of Viognier that is a pleasure to drink. Medium yellow straw, vibrant, clear in the glass. The nose is as fragrant as a Viognier should be, but not overpowering with notes of white peach, lime zest, hint of guava. Great viscosity and weight on the palate, but not cloying as some of this varietal can be with accents of peach, stone fruits, and citrus. Pair with seafood (crab) and grilled chicken, amongst others. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2009 Inspiration Vineyards Viognier

This is an excellent, balanced expression of Viognier that is a pleasure to drink. Medium yellow straw, vibrant, clear in the glass. The nose is as fragrant as a Viognier should be, but not overpowering with notes of white peach, lime zest, hint of guava. Great viscosity and weight on the palate, but not cloying as some of this varietal can be with accents of peach, stone fruits, and citrus. Pair with seafood (crab) and grilled chicken, amongst others. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.