Today I decided to finally stop at Delaplane Cellars. I’ve driven past it a million times, and now it was time to check out their tasting menu. Dad and I grabbed a quick lunch at the Thai place in Haymarket (a nice stop on the way to wine!) and headed out.
First off, while I love being able to caravan to a winery with 20 or so beloved friends and/or co-workers, I loved that they limit their groups like this. The tasting room really couldn’t accommodate much more than this either, although there appears to be an upstairs members only space (I couldn’t go). The views from the tasting room are completely stunning, as it sits well above the vineyard and property.
This is why I love Virginia wine country – the views of the mountains while you sit outside and sip. There really isn’t much like it. The tasting room itself was bright and open – there were so many people I felt awkward taking a picture inside, but it is a nice space that would make Chip and Joanna Gaines proud. They also had a pretty good acoustic guitar player in the corner, and the live music was a nice, classy touch.
So the tasting menu had seven wines for $14 per person, a pretty reasonable tasting fee. The tasting bar employee was pretty knowledgeable about the wine and winery, which I enjoy – the conversation with staff is a big part of the experience for me. She shared that 50% of the grapes they use in their wine they grow themselves, and 50% are sourced from elsewhere in Virginia – between Fauquier, Loudoun, Warren and Clark counties.
The menu starting with their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. This was a good example of the grape. I totally got the green pear flavors the tasting notes mention and just a little of the lemon. The wildflower aromas were solid on the nose. It was a good taste, and at $28 a bottle for non-club members, a decent value.
Next up, their 2017 Reserve Chardonnay. The tasting notes mentioned that it was fermented in French Oak for 7 months…. so I steeled myself for an oaky and buttery chardonnay, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was very smooth without being creamy or buttery. It wasn’t quite as crisp and clean as I tend to like, but it definitely didn’t fall into what I refer to as “Grocery Store Chardonnay.”
The last white wine of their tasting menu was the 2017 Reserve Viognier. This Viognier was very different from many I am used to – dad described it as “perfumey” and I got the floral notes pretty strong in my early sips. There was some melon mixed in, but I didn’t get the peaches, pears, and apricots the tasting notes mentioned. We found it very different from most Viognier, and quite pleasant. For that reason alone, I recommend checking this wine out – to see how different Viognier can be based on where its grown and how its made.
We moved to the reds with a nice splash in the glass to rinse it. All the reds were blends, which I did not expect – I thought everyone in Virginia HAD to do a Cab Franc single varietal, like it was a law or something. 🙂
First off – the 2015 Cinq 6. This was a blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. The cabs were much stronger in the flavor of this blend, but it had a nice balance that kept it from having the heaviness that cabs often have. We enjoyed this and again found it to be a tremendous value wine at $28 per bottle. This is clearly their “Gateway Red.”
Second red – the 2015 Williams Gap. Bordeaux style, featuring equal parts cab franc and merlot (36% each) and then 21% cab sauv and 7% petit verdot. This one was fuller and deeper, and I really liked it – you got more of the cab franc pepper and depth in it. It was smooth with very low tannin/ acidity and so very drinkable. I was really liking it at this point.
Third red – 2015 Piedmont Station. I loved the name, so I knew I’d love the wine 🙂 Cab Sauv heavy too (68%) with merlot, cab franc and a little bit of petit verdot in it. Dad and I loved the smoothness and velvety quality of this wine. The smell test revealed strong raspberry scents, and that dark fruit flavor carried throughout the wine. This bottle is a little more pricey at $52 for non-club members, but it seems like a solid flagship wine for them. I would see this being fantastic with any red meat, especially rarer prep, and of course with some good goat cheese and even gouda.
Final wine on the tasting menu – the 2016 Rusticity – a new creation for them that is 56% Cab Franc and 44% Petit Verdot. Despite being the junior partner, the Petit Verdot claims control in this wine, and its darkness and depth come shining through. We like this one a lot too.
We wound up on the porch in the sun and 55 degrees enjoying a glass from a bottle of Piedmont Station, because that was our overall favorite here. This was a very nice stop, and I can see coming back with a small group to enjoy a cheese plate and a bottle. The patio and deck have such great views that they simply should not be passed up, and the wines are solid, especially the reds.
Have you been here? What were your thoughts?