Sunday, August 13, 2017

High-Quality Virginia Wines from Stinson & Ankida Ridge

Stinson is one of my favorite Virginia wine producers, and the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Ankida Ridge have been causing a justifiable stir for a few years now.

I recently tasted wines from both producers, and found all sorts of reasons to get excited about the future of Virginia wine. If producers like these keep putting out wines like these, the best is yet to come.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2016 Stinson Vineyards Mourvedre Rosé - Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $21
Medium copper color. Aromas of white cherries, strawberries, nettle, white pepper and chalk dust. Brisk and crunchy on the palate but good, creamy texture. Fresh and tangy with grapefruit, red apple peel and wild strawberries. Lots of sea salt, white flowers, nettle, lovely, fresh, vibrant, complex yet gluggable. Vintage in, vintage out, a killer Virginia pink. Made from 100% Mourvedre. (88 points)

2015 Stinson Vineyards Rkatsiteli Wildkat - Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $28
Deep yellow/pale orange color. Smells of saline, iodine, candied orange peel, white pepper, sour ale and Lemonhead candies, which is quite a cool combo. Light-bodied but some nice textural depth, with tingling acidity. Lemons, orange peel and kumquat fruit doused in limestone, chalk dust, quinine, mineral water, white flowers. Delicious, complex, nerdy yet not austere, this would be a good introductory orange wine. Made from a Georgian grape and in that style (with skin-contact fermentation) and aged 15 months in old French oak. 10.5% alcohol. The grapes were sourced from Horton Vineyards, which planted Rkatsiteli in 1998. (90 points) 

2014 Stinson Vineyards Meritage - Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $32
Deep ruby color. Aromas of red and black currants, spicy pepper, mint, sage, eucalyptus, some sweet floral tones, too. Medium+ bodied with dusty tannins and vibrant acidity. Tart black plums and cranberries with coffee, roasted herbs, pepper, there’s also this cool underlying brothy/savory streak. Ready to go now but could unwrap itself for a few years, surely. 56% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, aged 18 months in 35% new French oak. (88 points)

2015 Ankida Ridge Rockgarden Vert - Virginia, Northern Virginia, Blue Ridge Foothills
SRP: $ 18
Lemon yellow color with slight effervescence. Aromas of lemon rind, lilies, honey and guava. Crisp and zesty on the palate with lively acidity and juicy tropical fruit (pineapple, guava). Notes of nettle and honeysuckle as well. Tangy finish, this is a simple wine but simply delicious. All Vidal Blanc made in a style as an homage to the wines of Vinho Verde. (86 points)

2015 Ankida Ridge Chardonnay - Virginia, Northern Virginia, Blue Ridge Foothills
SRP: $32
Medium yellow color. Nose shows yellow apples, apricot, lemon curd, along with hay, honeycomb, candle wax and floral perfume. Medium-bodied, only 12% alcohol but lots of depth and texture, and lots of vibrant acidity, so the result is an impressively balanced Chardonnay. Rich yellow apple and apricot jam mix with zesty lime, add in some honey, nougat, chalky minerals, white tea. Wow, this is high up there on my list of Virginia Chardonnays. A real beaut. Half maloactic fermentation, only 10% new French oak. 225 cases. (90 points)

2014 Ankida Ridge Pinot Noir - Virginia, Northern Virginia, Blue Ridge Foothills
SRP: $44
Pale ruby color. Nose shows sweet strawberries, tart cherries and cranberries, lots of rose petals, white pepper, sage and wildflower notes. On the palate I get a nice frame of light dusty tannins, crisp acidity, and a mix of sweet and tart red fruits. Lots of leather, chewing tobacco white pepper, soy, green herb notes, but some vibrant floral tones as well. Finishes crisp and vibrant – a delicious and impressive Pinot from Virginia. 250 cases. (89 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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