Re-post from my old personal blog. Written 10/23/2006
This past Saturday the weather was gorgeous, and the trees were displaying their best fall colors, so we decided to get out of D.C. and head west to our favorite Virginia winery, Linden Vineyards.
We were fortunate to have arrived early, because we were able to sign up for the final “cellar tasting” of the day. All visitors to the winery can taste 5-7 of the wines at any time in the upstairs tasting room, but the cellar tastings are first-come first serve for a maximum of 6 people. We’ve done several cellar tastings before, and we were always lucky to have Jim Law, the owner and winemaker for Linden, lead the tastings. This past Saturday Jim featured two different vintages of his Chardonnay, two older red wines from his library (all the new reds are sold out), and his 2004 Late Harvest [Vidal].
We were more than pleasantly surprised by the 1999 Hardscrabble Chardonnay. Jim described it as “very reminiscent of a Burgundian chardonnay,” and we agreed – it has great complexity and beautiful flavor. The 2001 Hardscrabble Chardonnay that we tried alongside of the ’99 vintage was more akin to the buttery chardonnays of California.
The 2004 Late Harvest, made from the Vidal grape was a delightful medley of flavors with a beautiful finish. We really enjoy Jim’s cellar tastings because he discusses the wines in greater detail, and tasters are able to ask questions. Jim’s passion for wine making is evident not only in the quality of the wines produced, but in his voice as he discusses the differences between different vintages or even his different vineyards (he has three that grow the Linden grapes).
After completing the cellar tasting, we tried the rest of the wines available upstairs. If you’ve never been there, you must check it out. For the warm days there is a deck you can sit on as you enjoy a bottle of Linden wine, and on the colder winter days you can enjoy the view from the inside tasting area.
If you’re ever visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Greater Washington, DC area, you must check out Linden Vineyards. It’s definitely the best winery in Virginia, if not on the East Coast.