One of our all time favorite people in the wine industry (anywhere in the world, not just Virginia) is Lovingston winemaker Riaan Rossouw. In the season of Thanksgiving he is a person we are thankful for, bringing his passion and unique attitude towards wine and the world, giving us the privilege of selling and describing his wines to our customers. This Insider's Pick represents his most public face, the winery he has been with since its first day and helped the Puckett family grow. On Saturday we will have Riaan in the store to pour and discuss-at GREAT length- his personal label, 'R'. These small batch wines allow him to test theories and push the limits of Virginia winemaking, with much of the small scale successes translating into the production of the larger scale Lovingston wines. These are all wines that exemplify the character and potential of Virginia winemaking; not when they're forced to try and be 'like California', 'like France', or 'like Australia', but simply allowed to be themselves. Today/tomorrow and Saturday are days that Virginia wines will really strut their stuff.
On first pour, there may be a bit of sludge or sediment at the cork, especially when the wine sees time in cooler storage as it is prone to be around here during the Fall and Winter months. If you are not familiar with minimally filtered wines, DO NOT PANIC! These super-fine particles are a sign the wine has been left alone as much as possible before bottling, which allows the wine to retain a better level of texture and fullness in the mouth (without having to replace it with sugar). It requires patience, but it makes for a much more flavorful and nuanced wine. This also sees aging in only neutral multi-use barrels, so all the natural character of the Merlot grape shines through, with loads of cool cherry and old leather on the nose that gains spice and sweeter red berries as it opens up. The palate is extremely polished and silky, with just a fine natural tannin and a pop of natural acidity that brings some earthy tones to the soft fruit and tart cherry skin flavors. Flavorful but not pounding you over the head with intensity or oak, This is an excellent option for pouring for friends and family, with and around the Thanksgiving meal, especially for those that live outside the state. If they are the adventurous sort, perhaps try them on the 'R' wines as well...
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!