If you are anything at all like me, after a while the fast pace of living gets to you. It’s something almost all of us have to deal with, and I’m as guilty as the next guy of contributing to it. Traffic, smart phones, messages that seemingly multiply in your inbox, deadlines, etc., etc.
So when Fran & I jumped in the car on Saturday morning to visit my sister in northern Maryland, the plan was to hit the Maryland Wine Festival in Westminster. Don’t get me wrong, I love wine festivals, but when you’re trying to get away and wind down, it may not be the best option. I mean, there were over thirty wineries participating, plus entertainment and food vendors. One thing I learned when we went to Great Grapes! a few years ago was that once you taste ten different Cabernet Sauvignons, your palate is shot.
So in the interest of avoiding the equivalent of a wine bar crawl, we opted to pick up my sister after she got home from work and visit nearby Serpent Ridge Vineyard. I don’t regret the decision. With all of the crazies at the wine festival, we were treated to a more personalized tasting experience.
Amanda was pouring the juice on this lovely Saturday. She was all by herself, but had later expressed she would get plenty of excitement tomorrow as she was working the festival. Yep, the same one that we were avoiding. We opted for the standard flight of six wines available right now.
Working down the list, here we go.
The 2011 Seyval Blanc was produced from local grapes grown at nearby J Rose Vineyard. This wine is bone dry with moderate minerality. Light, citrusy, and well chilled, this is an excellent summer wine.
The Albariño is a younger white, 2013 vintage. As expected, it’s a bigger wine than the Seyval. It has more stone fruit character, and though it also expresses minerality, it’s more in-your-face (yeah, I coined that one) on the nose and palate than the Seyval Blanc. Both of these wines would be fantastic with seafood.
The Summer of Rosé keeps going. At least for today since fall starts tomorrow. The 2011 Rosé from Serpent Ridge is made from Cabernet Franc. Hurricane Sandy plumped up the Cab Franc grapes that year, so they were used for this Rosé. A strong strawberry finish on this, served best chilled.
The 2011 Basilisk is a blend of 25% Cab Franc and 75% Cab Sauvignon. As I mentioned, the Cab Franc was a little light in 2011, so they scaled it back in the Basilisk. This is more commonly a 50/50 fusion. Heavily oaked, this is a fine example of Maryland red wine. Great with steak.
The 2010 Vintner’s Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cab is barrel aged for a minimum of 18 months with 100% of the grapes from Carroll County. A beautiful, full bodied Cab which will also go nicely with a steak. Or burgers from Five Guys, if you’re so inclined. I loved this wine, my favorite today.
We finished things off with the Port-style Slither. A sweet, dessert wine with 5% Residual Sugar, it blends Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Sangiovese. Very lush, with strong cherry notes. Try this with some dark chocolate.
I think we made the right choice today. After perusing the serpent-themed items for sale (They have some cool T-shirts here, just saying), my wife, sister, and I toasted the end of summer with another bottle of Rosé out on the patio.
Serpent Ridge is another fine example of excellent handcrafted wine being produced here on the East Coast. Look for a follow-up visit from me sooner rather than later.
Mad gratitude to my readers.