Its official: Virginia is crafting some incredible wines. Today, this became apparent as I tasted through some wines with Jenni McCloud of Chrysalis Vineyards. Of course, the proprietress of a vineyard and winery would like to think her wines are world-class--and after tasting through three Tannat based wines over dinner, I think she is right.
We settled down for a light summer meal of deer tenderloin and tomato/mozarella salad paired with 3 wines: 1999 Tiger Mountain Vineyards Tannat from Georgia, 2000 H. Stagnari Viejo Tannat from Uruguay and the 2002 Chrysalis Vineyards Papillon (51% Tannat). The Chrysalis wine stood out among the crowd: it showed incredible depth and structure, much more than the other two. The Tiger Mountain wine had a pleasant fruity and floral noise, but was overly acidic. The H. Stagnari Tannat was a little more full bodied but lakced the richness and complexity of the Papillon.
The show-stopper was the 2001 Locksley Estate Norton from Chrysalis--an incredibly rich, sily wine which blew the other wines from the table. If you have not tried one of the premium wines from Chrysalis Vineyards, I suggest you pick up a bottle very quickly!