Region: Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
Grape(s): 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Maker: Linden Vineyards
Virginia wine can be polemical. I can admit to having brushed it off at first, and after a trip to a winery right outside of DC resulted in a host of unremarkable wines and a surprisingly glum tasting attendant who agreed the wines were only so-so, my worst fears were confirmed.
Still, I like to think I keep an open mind with wine, so on our way to a wedding this past summer we stopped off at Linden, a small tucked away winery that eschews the bachelorette party vibe in favor of something more homespun and quiet.
The wines there were good. Good enough that we bought one for $27 which we don’t normally do (low 20s seems to be our default price point). We tucked the wine away over the summer, and as fall arrived and I decided to attempt a pot roast, we brought this wine out (we had an open bottle of grenache and pinot noir but neither seemed right for the occasion).
It did not disappoint. An inky purple, deepened by the petit verdot, its smell was a deep red currant edged with peppercorn and leather. The wine itself was well balanced with a nice acidity and medium tannins, flavorful without being heavy and belying the nearly 78% of it made with merlot and cabernet sauvignon which I associate (perhaps lazily) with a heavier wine. It may just be my love of cabernet franc, but to me that grape shone through to the great benefit of the wine.
This bottle was absolutely our favorite Virginia wine, a perfect complement to the meal, and not a bad buddy to the butternut squash pie that followed (I kind of fucked up the crust but the pie still tasted good). While Linden is hard to find outside of the winery (they got tired of having to convince stores that Virginia wines deserved shelf space and with enough loyal case club members they didn’t need to), the setting was lovely and if we are in the neighborhood again we will absolutely visit, taste, and walk away with another few bottles. Good stuff.