Thursday, April 28, 2011

Veritas Vineyard

Veritas Winery was the last stop on our wine tasting adventure. Veritas is probably the largest and most well-known of all the wineries we visited that day. They have very extensive grounds with lots of gazebos and tables tucked away for you to go and enjoy a glass of wine. In addition to beautiful grounds, they have a very impressive tasting room that is an updated, more contemporary looking lodge.

Veritas’s tasting was the most expensive--$5.00 for six wines. According to the woman doing the tasting, they do more wines earlier in the day, but cut back near the end. The tasting experience was also markedly different in tone. The women who conducted the tastings at Wintergreen and Hill Top were so friendly and hospitable and made you feel connected to their product. Veritas Vineyard was a little busier, and so the woman who did the tasting was a little more reserved and to the purpose. This reserve created a different sense of connection and made the experience a little more systematic.

I’m not sure if it was because it was the last vineyard and our palettes were exhausted, or if it was because the connection to the vineyard wasn’t quite there, but my car wasn’t as blown away by the wines as we expected. The Claret, Merlot, and Vitner’s Reserve were all good, but had a similar finish on the palette that was a little bitter. The Claret was sweeter and bright, the Merlot was chewy and peppery with a dry finish, and the Vitner’s Reserve was a little smokier and dryer.

Although I wasn’t so blown away by the reds, I was a little more excited by the whites. They start with a Scintilla which is a brute sparkling wine that is part Cab Fran and part Chardonnay. I really enjoyed it because it had the tartness and crispness of green apples, but wasn’t sweet. Although I didn’t really care for the Chardonnay “Harlequin” because it was almost pure butter on the finish, I did like their Viognier. We had tried a Viognier at Wintergreen Winery and I was underwhelmed. Veritas’s Viognier had a great apricot nose and tangerine notes on the palette. Whereas Wintergreen’s Viognier was a little too sweet, Veritas brought in more brightness and fruit.

Veritas’s big star for all of us was their Othello. I blogged about Othello in my Staunton Grocery post because this was the Virginia wine they paired with their dessert course. Othello is a ruby-style Port that has vanilla, caramel, plum and black cherries. I normally have a hard time getting into dessert wines, but this one is really satisfying.

Although it was fun visiting Veritas, the experience lacked the welcoming and friendliness of Hill Top and Wintergreen. Because of that, it was harder to develop the connection with Veritas that I had with the other vineyards. I’m thinking that the best way to experience Veritas would be to come during their “Starry Nights,” a summer concert series that combines wine, music, and scenery. Once I test one of those concerts out, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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