I feel like La Grange really is my guilty pleasure.
Yes, I know they use Washington, Oregon, and California fruit.
Yes, they are high-intervention wines.
But I love them just the same.
We went through a streak of mediocre club package pickups and now I feel like we are back on track. Today, Amazing Alexandra Scadden guided us through six wines:
2016 Harrison House Red
All were pretty pleasant. The 2018 Rose was not as solid and crisp as the 2017 rose. It edged up to sweet actually. Alex agreed with me that it wasn’t quite as great. I found the fruit was clear in it, but it lacked the acidity and clarity of the 2017, which I drank many bottles of… while 2017 was a serious rose summer, 2018 is also shaping up to have a significant consumption of rose. This is all estate cab sauv, which is exciting. It edged up to off-dry without actually making it there.
Despite the tagging of the Albarino as being banana in front, I rather liked it. I didn’t get banana from it as much as the soft and pleasant fruit flavors with relatively low acidity. It didn’t quite rock as much as the 2016 Albarino, but it was solid. I’m going to enjoy this bottle. This is Washington fruit.
Alex advised holding the merlot for one more year, which I plan to do. It was decent, but needs a little more depth, which it will hopefully develop in that time. Their merlot is sourced from Washington also.
Barbera – I haven’t had Barbera in years. This is an interesting wine, and I suspect it will continue to develop in bottle. It had more depth and character to it than the merlot did. Again, this is Washington state fruit. This is the first year La Grange will release this varietal.
The meritage… one of my early wine loves. This wine mixes Virginia and west coast fruit, and is pretty consistent across each vintage in its quality. This will be another good bottle. I’m still holding my 2014 Meritage Reserve for a special occasion….. oh favorite brother in law…. where are you when I need you?
Finally the 2016 Harrison House Red, which is Petit Verdot dominated – I like this one, probably because of the Virginia PV in it. Solid, a good bottle for a cooler evening or by a fire.
Dad and I ambled over to the outdoor bar. Winery at La Grange was offering an additional 5% off this weekend – so the regular club discount is 20% for 1-2 bottles, 30% for 3-12 and 40% for 12+. A case would have gotten us 45% off!!! Given that a case in addition to club package could also have gotten me divorced, I passed on that amazing deal. But we did enjoy a glass of their Carmenere while chatting with some nice folks at the bar about Virginia Wineries. RdV came up as a topic and we talked about the amazing taste of the high-intervention, high price point wines, and that it really was a special occasion type of place. I’m still holding three bottles for Sister and Favorite Brother-in-Law’s visit…. so stay tuned for a review. I wonder if we’ll be able to video blog the tasting of it? Hmmmmm.
Alex was a great host in the barrel room, and we chatted about Virginia wine and her upcoming Rose video. I plan to tune in on her facebook page and provide plenty of comments, and maybe a little snark, but mostly plug my favorite va roses right now – Arterra and Walsh, and maybe plug Early Mountain’s rose too. I just got notified about that club pickup in June, and did the three-bottle add on of their rose. I think sister will enjoy a wide selection of va rose during the visit in June.
So that was pretty stream of consciousness, but it was a nice afternoon at La Grange with dad. The current tasting menus are solid, and they have great food trucks lined up for most weekends of the summer, so get out there. The prices are pretty reasonable and good value, and the setting is great. La Grange remains kid and dog friendly, and there is plenty of shade for the warmer, sunnier summer days. I haven’t figured out their release schedule, but I expect that there are lots of white wines on the way for summer!