Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pollak Vineyards

I want to say from the very start that Pollak is a fabulous vineyard.  That way, if you don’t read any further than this opening paragraph, you will come away with that knowledge.  If you are planning a wine tasting adventure in the Nelson/Crozet area, go to Pollak.  You won’t regret it. 

Fortune brought us there because the vineyard gods knew we would be fools not to go.   Our wine tasting group originally planned to go to Afton Winery, but found out from Melissa at Cardinal Point that they are actually closed on Tuesdays.  Instead, she recommended we go to Pollak. 

Pollak has everything you could want from a trip to the vineyard.  It is a beautiful piece of property with a great seating area that overlooks a pond.  It has a grand, open tasting room that offers wide views and gorgeous sunlight.  There are about nine wines (5 whites and 4 reds for $5) and the option of getting a cheese plate with homemade jam (with ½ baguette for $14, and a whole for $16, so go with the whole).  Plus, our tasting was conducted by a delightfully cheeky woman, Casey, who not only told us about the wine, but entertained and sassed us as well.   

The wines at Pollak were my favorite of the day, too.  I gave most of them 4 or more stars.  There are playfully tart scents and full fruits; hints of apricots, citrus, orange blossom, and quince dapple your taste buds; and rich, full colors of purples and cherry red splash around twinkling glasses.  Why would you want to be anywhere else? 

The car favorite white was the ’09 Durant White.  It is 60% Chardonnay, 30% Viognier, and 10% Pinot Gris.  The tasting notes call it “crisp and elegant,” and I would agree.  It has hints of lime, pear, quince, and passion fruit which give it that crispness while also helping give it smoother and deeper notes.  

The two favorite reds were the ’08 Cab Franc (90 point California Cabernet Shootout) and the ’08 Meritage (another 90 Points California Cabernet Shootout).  The Cab Franc has black pepper, blackberries, and dark cocoa and fulfills its promise of a “velvety texture.”  The Meritage, which is 44% Cab Fran, 43% Merlot, and 13% Petit Verdot, also is “smooth, rich, and silky.”  The color is deep purple, a perfect shade of lovely.  The nose is full and I got hints of cherry and raspberry.  It is also somewhat chewy and has “spice, cedar, and earth notes” which make it a marvelous balance of full, bright, and earthy.  

If just great wine and perfect scenery isn’t enough, on the last Friday of every month (May through November) Pollak has free concerts with food and wine available to purchase.  Free music + Great wine = the Friday night scene.  If I were a more outspoken blogger, I’d say why go to Veritas and pay $15 for the music when the wine and scenery are just as great at Pollack and it is free.  But, I won’t say that because I am not that kind of person.  

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