This was quite the plan, and a long time coming. Wine Friend 1, Wine Friend 2 , WF2 Wife, and two of their friends zoomed out to Front Royal in a caravan to check out Glen Manor. WF2 and wife had been in the past, and they own a cabin not too far away in the mountains for relaxing weekends. It was well worth the drive.
The tasting room is beautiful with incredible views all around. The property is set up for really pleasant afternoons with friends, and this didn’t disappoint.
We had a great tasting of seven wines, priced at $13. That’s a decent value and the pours are generous at the tasting bar. The wines themselves are reasonably priced too.
First up, their 2018 Dry Petit Manseng. It was characteristic of petit manseng with good acidity and that up front grapefruit taste that lets you know what it is. I found the mixing of barrel and tank fermented unusual – I’m not seeing a lot of that right now. We enjoyed this one a lot.
Next up, 2018 Morales Rose. The strong element of Petit Verdot contributed a nice flavor to this wine. It was drier and definitely had a unique taste – it’s not like some of the cloying, almost sweet rose that abounds at this time of year. It was refreshing on the hot, sunny day. WF 2 and the crew had a bottle, which they thoroughly enjoyed. It had good fruit, and the PV added some depth to it.
Third wine – the 2015 Vin Rouge red blend. It had a strong smell, and despite the introduction telling us that there was lower tannin in this wine, it had more depth and intensity than I expected from a low tannin wine. I found it to have subtle flavors with good fruit in it. WF 1 did not like this one, but I did, and I brought a bottle home.
Up next was the 2015 Cabernet Franc. This was a darker, richer, earthier wine, and it didn’t taste like other cab franc I’ve had. Because of this and the flavors in the merlot blends I started to really wonder about the impact of the soils in the Shehnandoah on the grapes, and how much the impact of the terroir changed the fruit flavors. This was a good wine, but it didn’t taste like cab franc from east of the mountains. It did make this year’s governor’s case.
The fifth wine was the 2015 St. Ruth, released not that long ago. This was musty but pleasant gold medal winner for the winery. I liked this blend, but not quite as much as the Vin Rouge. Again, the merlot flavors here were quite different, and I’m very curious about thata.
The sixth wine was the 2015 Hodder Hill. I loved the smell of this one. Despite the large amount of cabernet sauvignon in it, this had very subdued red fruit flavors, and I think was less intense than the Vin Rouge and St. Ruth. I’m probably wrong in the wine critic’s eyes, but I did really love the smell and the subtler flavors in this wine. It seems to be one of their flagship wines,
The final wine was the 2016 Petit Manseng. They served a dish of wasabi peas with the taste. Unlike the dry petit manseng, this one was mostly regular harvest with a splash of late harvest PM added, raising it to 3-4% residual sugar. It was sweet, and we had fun with the experiment of eating the wasabi pea and then sipping and seeing the impact of spicy food on the wine. This definitely would be great with an awesome plate of chicken basil, as the spicy flavors would mellow the sweetness.
We ended up sitting outside with a rose, dry petit manseng and half-bottle of sauvignon blanc. While it wasn’t on the tasting menu, we took the risk and it was worth it. Lots of floral notes up front, followed by characteristic acidity. Since we were relatively close to where Linden grows, I figured the sauvignon blanc had a shot at being similar, and this didn’t let down.
Like I said earlier, the scenery here is everything, and we had an incredible and relaxing time sipping our wine and taking in the outdoors. The gorgeous breeze and adirondack chairs under umbrellas made for a great day. This is a highly recommend from me, and from all of us. Have you been? What did you think?