Daily Archives: June 20, 2008

Upcoming Tastings Around Richmond

Tastings Around Richmond


The Wine Cellar in Midlothian from 5:00 – 8:00

Bryon from the Country Vintner will be pouring the below selection at the Wine Cellar this evening

1. Pazo San Mauro Albarino (White)

2. Marques de Caceres Rose Rioja

3. Via Terre Garnache (Great light Red)

4. Primicia Crianza Rioja (Great Value)

5. Soliterra Priorat (Full-Bodied)

River City Cellars in Carytown from 5:00 – 7:00

La Cappuccina 2007 Soave DOC:

 The “calling card” of the winery, the estate Soave from La Cappuccina is made from 100% Garganega and is characterized by floral notes, delicate fruity elements and a classic bitterness on the finish.
La Cappuccina 2006 Soave DOC “Fontego”:  The single vineyard “Fontego” Soave is made from 90% Garganega and 10% Trebbiano di Soave. Rounder and more persistent than the estate bottling, this dry white wine is elegant and has a long finish.
La Cappuccina 2006 Sauvignon Veneto IGT:  Dry yet aromatic, this white wine is made from the Sauvignon Blanc varietal and is characterized by citrus skin flavors and sweet herbal notes.
La Cappuccina 2006 Rosso Veneto IGT “Madego”:   This single-vineyard dry red is made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Fresh berries mesh with cedary notes in this vibrant, smoothly textured red.
La Cappuccina 2004 Rosso Veneto IGT “Campo Buri”:  Carmenere, an old varietal from Bordeaux, was once planted extensively in the north and north east reaches of Italy, but is now quite rare.  Combined with a small amount of the ancient Veronese varietal, Oseleta,  Carmenere from the single-vineyard “Campo Buri” produces this richer, structured red with impressions of black currants, cigarbox and  spice.ps: Don’t forget to bring your own glass (unless you like plastic)!



Bella Vino Stony Point from 3:00 until the shop closes

Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon #2 2006                  Touraine, France              $15.99/bottle

Those of you who drink Sancerre or almost any other French Sauvignon Blanc will no doubt have noticed that prices have been creeping up over the past year.  That’s what makes this wine such a great deal:  it’s addictive Sauvignon Blanc that tastes distinctly of its region for a relative song.  On the nose it has a citrus aromas and on the palate it has nice weight, grapefruit, and this lovable tangerine note that makes the wine a real pleasure to drink.  Give it a try with a cold goat’s cheese tart.

Schloss Lieser Riesling Estate 2006                          Mosel, Germany              $17.99/bottle

From an excellent producer in the central Mosel Valley, the Schloss Lieser is everything a basic Riesling should be.  It is crisp, clean and focused with apple-pear fruit, a core of minerality and just a hint of sweetness. This is a nervy, racy wine that makes an impression without being heavy or loaded with fruit.  This wine has quite a bit of acidity, and it would be good to let it sit for a few years to calm down a bit.  But, if you’re drinking now, try it with something uber-rich.  Go by Belmont Butcher (http://www.belmontbutchery.com) and get their morel pate and have it with this wine.  Thank me later.

Casa Solar Tempranillo 2005                       Vina de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain           $8.99/bottle

Here’s another great little house red from Spain.  It’s a fruit-forward wine that spends a few months on oak to give it hints of vanillin and mocha.  It has plum fruit and a soft texture and it’s not overly heavy.  You could even put a bit of a chill on it if you wanted to.  Try it at your next casual cook out.

Chateau d’Oupia Minervois 2006             Minervois, France                           $14.99/bottle

Until recently, Chateau d’Oupia was run by the late Andre Iche.  He made a lot of money during the bulk wine boom of the 70s.  He could have retired, or focused on making luxury wines no one could afford.  Instead he decided to make great wines from his old vines (40, 50, 60+ years!) Carignan and sell them at reasonable price.  This is one of the best values of southern France:  it has aromas of violets, medium body with plum cherry fruit and hints of wild herbs.  Great with cured sausage or any sort of spicy, hearty food.


Next Thursday June 26th from 8:00 – 9:00 at Bella Vino Stony Point

Big Riesling tasting that will feature Riesling dry and sweet from some of the best producers in Germany.  We’ll have Riesling 10, 20, and 30 yrs old open and food matched to go with them.  It will be a blast and will really open your eyes to the complexity and, may I say, the glory of Riesling.


The Furst Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2004

Von Buhl Riesling Spatlese Trocken 2005

Schafer-Frohlich Riesling Halbtrocken 2005

Schloss Lieser Riesling 2006

Bert Simon Riesling Kabinett Serriger Wurtzberg 1998

J. J. Prum Riesling Spatlese Wehlehner Sonnenuhr 2004

Zilliken Riesling Spatlese Saarburger Rausch 1989

Kartheuserhof Riesling Auslese Eitelsbacher Kartheuserhofberg 1979


Tickets:  $15 for one; $25 for a pair

($5 discount with Bella Vino Amanti tag)

(Further $5 discount if you attended the previous tasting)


Pre-payment will be required

For reservations, call:

Bella Vino Stony Point                                                                  Bella Vino Hull St.

(804) 272-3202                                                                                    (804) 639-2870

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June 3rd Barrel Thief Tasting Review

Back on the 3rd of June, Barrel Thief had a large “trade” style tasting with 30 wines up for sampling. Megan and I attended and had a great time as usual, tasted some new wines, found a few favorites and one or two that we would probably avoid in the future. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera for the event but it was a good turn out, quite a few people but with 6 tasting stations it didn’t seem too crowded.


Here is what we tasted – (not in order)


2006 Lioco Chardonnay $24 – apple, pear, round, spicy

2006 Brooks Amycas $19 – fruity and tart, hint of sweetness and canned pears

2006 Lioco Indica $20 – raisin, slightly too oaky, “fat” tasting tannins

2006 Qupe Syrah $20 – earth, peppermint nose, dirty raspberry and ripe cranberry flavors, soft tannins

2006 Capiaux Pinot Noir Widdoes Vineyard $45 – new world, cranberry, slightly jammy and spicy finish – uncharacteristic for a Pinot


2007 Virginia Wineworks Rose $12 – watermelon, apple cider vinegar, strawberry, medium body, good acid

2006 Shaps & Roucher Bougogne Blanc $19 – cooked apples, lot of mineral and stone at the finish

2007 Michael Shaps Viognier $35 – key lime nose, apricot, peach, mineral and apple, round with a clean crisp finish

2005 Michael Shaps Petit Verdot $35 – blackberry, current, cherry and blueberry finish, full round body

2005 Shaps & Roucher Volnay Santenots $59 – black cherry, wood, cured meat, strong tannins and an aspirin flavor at the finish (new flavor for me)


NV Broadbent Vihno Verde $10 – grassy, tart and fuji apple flavors, a little bubbly

2007 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc $20 – gooseberry, grass, grapefruit nice and crisp – always a good Sauv Blanc

2005 Bodega Weinert Carrascal SB/CB Blend $15  – cooked fruit, odd off note I couldn’t identify

2006 Qunita do Crasto Douro $19 – leather, cranberry, good acid , firm tannins, medium body

1999 Chateau Musar Red $50 – dark fruit, floral notes, smooth with soft tannins


2006 Gini Soave Calssico $24 – green apple, pear, almond, round mouthfeel, asparagus at the finish

2006 Chehelem Pinot Gris $25 – kiwi, lime, actually a bit bitter with a quinine aftertaste, very odd because I rarely, if at all, find wine bitter, especially whites

2006 Lucignano Chianti $19 – blackberry and tar and black pepper on the nose, cherry and green pepper flavors dominate, medium body, dusty tannins, acidic backbone

2006 Chehelem Pinot Noir $39 – cranberry, strawberry, thyme, almond, smooth medium body, very nice Pinot

2003 Laurona Monsant $45 – earth and cinnamon nose, licorice and raspberry flavors, nice structure, medium and round body


2006 Chateau Ragotiere Muscadet $16 – citrus, slate, lemon and green apple, very tart

Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay $12 – intense mango on the nose, very mellow and refreshing, lots of citrus towards the finish

2006 Girardin Savigny Les Beaune Vermot $39 – a bit of toasty notes on the nose, nuts, pear and round with floral notes at the finish

2006 Perrin Cotes du Rhone “Nature” $15 – pepperoni, blackberry and green olive, very smooth but firm at the finish

2005 Dona Paula Cabernet $14 – lots of fig and currant on the nose, prune flavors leathery tannins


2006 Hess Estate “Suskol ineyard” Chardonnay $23 – asian pear, vanilla with a “dusty” taste

2005 Glenn Carlou Charddonnay $20 – cooked apple nose, nutty, oak apple

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz $15 – bright red fruit, soft/lush mouthfeel, wheat toast and green olive

2006 Artezin Zinfandel $18 – jammy, chocolate, cherry with green flavor at the finish

2006 Bodega Colome Malbec $32 – cola and raspberry nose, spice and cranberry flavors, med/full body


It was a lot of new wines but we did come out with a few favorites. The Chehelem Pinot was a very nice Pinot from the Willamette Valley with lots of good red fruit, herbs and great mouthfeel. It was good to see Michael Shaps who was there showing off his new projects. He is out on his own now, no longer making wine for King Family Vineyards, he has his own line of Michael Shaps wines, his wine line with French winemaker Michel Roucher-Sarrazin, and the value wines produced under the Virginia Wineworks label – his custom crush facility. I hope to do a more thorough interview with him in the near future on of his new ventures.


Two other favorites were the Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay and the Perrin Cotes du Rhone “Nature” (also organic). Both were great wines in their own respects and had great price points.


I hope you enjoy the tasting notes, some were scattered and hard to read but I think I transposed them all correctly, and usually I have a fairly good memory for what I tasted even if the notes are a bit jumbled. It was another nice event at the Barrel Thief, looking forward to the next one.



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