Sunday, February 23, 2020

Fabbioli Cellars




Fabbioli Cella's Entrance
Leesburg, VA
February 22, 2020
It was a fantastic February Saturday, meaning it was a great day to go on a wine expedition. 

Wine Pouring into Fabbioli Wineglass
February 22, 2020

We realized that it had been a few years since we visited Fabbioli Cellars and we decided that we should check out the wines while updating our notes. 

Wine Rack in the Fabbioli Tasting Room


Right up front, let me say, we were impressed. The new, within the past three years, tasting facility is magnificent and highlights the quality wines produced by the Cellars. The tasting was conducted in a small group of six around an individual table and we were treated to the enthusiastic Brian and Melissa who provided an informative and entertaining tasting experience. The real stars of the tasting, of course, are the wines which were all well done and balanced. 

Fabbioli Tasting Room Ceiling
An Interesting and
Visually Stimulating Experience
The unique thing that Fabbioli does is to provide sample morsels to pair with the wines. Not just cheese and chocolate, but small culinary creations that highlight the beauty of the wines when combined with food. For instance, one of the morsels was Port wine cheese, apple slice, 34 Degrees natural crisp, and red jammies. The tasting costs $15, but the creative combos make it definitely worthwhile. 

As for wines, they are moderately priced with a good price point for the value. The prices were in the $18-$24 range, with the exception of the Carmenere, which was $45. The highlights of the tasting were the Carmenere and the Chambourcin. The other wines, including two whites and a pear wine, are all worth tasting and experiencing. 

Recommendation: Visit this winery! It is worth the trip off the beaten path and on the dusty backroads to get there. 

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD 


Monday, February 10, 2020

What We Are Drinking - Cabernet Franc


Our favorite Maryland winery is Big Cork near Rohersville. Chris and I are members and visit there every few months and sample new wines sand pick-up our wine shipments. 

The other night, we enjoyed a 2017 Cabernet Franc. The wine has an 89 rating from Cellar Tracker.We found it to be one of the most full-bodied Cabernet Franc wines produced in the entire mid-Atlantic region. The 2015 vintage of this wine won Best in Class at the Maryland wine competition. The 2017 is also a flavorful and fantastic drinking wine. The flavors of plum and dark berries with earth combine to make a very special wine. 

The wine is available from the winery for $47. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but definitely worth the effort for a special evening. This Cabernet Franc holds up to red meats and is also good for pork dishes.

-- Bob and Chris Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 27, 2020

What We are Drinking - Italian Red from Puglia


The wine is Marchese di Borgosole Salice Salentino Riserva. It is from Puglia, Italy. We found it at Total Wines for about $13 and it turned out to be a great buy and a very nice wine. Of course with coupons, it can be bought for less.

Chris served it with salmon, asparagus, and Caesar salad. It was a perfect compliment to the meal.


The grape was a new one for us--we are closing in on about 300 different wine grapes. This one is the Negroamaro. According to wine searcher, Negroamaro is a dark-skinned grape variety that has been associated with the Puglia region in southern Italy for at least 1500 years. Most commonly found in a blend, alongside PrimitivoMalvasia NeraSangiovese or Montepulciano, Negroamaro is valued for its deep color, medium-full tannins and dark berryfruit flavors. The variety can also add earthen tones that can cross over into slightly medicinal flavors. It is mildly aromatic and can produce complex wines that show characteristics of ground brown spices such as clove, cinnamon and allspice.

The wine went very nicely with dinner and food. It was well balanced with just the right amount of complexity to compliment, but not overpower the food. 

We made a conscious decision to begin working through a variety of Italian wines before our upcoming trip to Italy. While we are more focused upon Tuscan wines for our trip, we picked up this red to give it a taste. And we were not disappointed. 

-- Bob And Chris Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 20, 2020

What We Are Drinking - Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris


During the cold winter months, people often turn their tastes towards full-bodied red wines to fight off the cold. But, sometimes there are good reasons to enjoy a nice white wine, even during the winter months. 

Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris is one of those wines that can stand upon to the cold by adding a splash of excitement to the tastebuds. The wine retails for about $17 per bottle--I have seen it advertised from $15.99 to $19.99. The 2017 vintage is still available in some areas, but the 2018 is the current vintage and more widely available. 

The wine makers notes for the 2018 vintage:

Aromas of nectarine, tangerine, lime zest and elderflower lead to a medium-bodied palate revealing fresh flavors of green apple, lychee, honeydew and pineapple. The wine features a beautiful balance between fruit flavors, refreshing acidity and a satisfying crisp, lingering finish.

So, don't be afraid to change things up and try a white, even during the winter months. It will bring some excitement to your palette.

-- Bob and Chris Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wine of the Week - August 23, 2017


We are going to revive our blog and do a better job documenting the wines that we enjoy. In addition to the vineyards and wineries we visit, we are going start designating a wine of the week.

The wine of the week is a 2009 Keswick Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve. 

We chose this bottle because it is now 8 years old and we decided it should be at the peak of flavors.

It was, The color was a rich ruby with no hint of brown around the edges. It was clear and bright. The nose was rich with currants and dark fruit and hints of leather and oak. The mild mature tannins were a joy in the mouth and the wine was a complete mouth experience. It is such a pleasure to experience a mature wine with well rounded flavors.

This wine still has a few years left before it will be over the hill and that is why we lay wines down, so that we can experience truly good wines at the peak of their flavors!

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 9, 2017

3rd Annual Fauquier County Wine Tasting and Competition - Winner's


As an update to our blog about the Fauquier county Wine Tasting and Competition, the winners were announced and the list is presented below. It can also be found on the wine competition's Facebook site.

Congratulations to the winners.


Fauquier County’s Third Annual Wine Tasting & Competition attracted 500 wine connoisseurs and 14 local wineries to Airlie on Saturday, February 25th. Attendees tasted wine & food pairings and voted for their favorite wines in the "People's Choice" Competition. During the public event, three certified wine judges tasted those same wines, and voted for their own favorites.
THE RESULTS ARE....
....PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS....
• BEST RED
Chateau O’Brien Winery
2012 Limited Reserve Tannat
• BEST WHITE
Blue Valley Vineyards
2015 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
• INDUSTRY/WINE BUYERS BEST
Blue Valley Vineyards
• BEST IN SHOW
Chateau O’Brien Winery
2012 Limited Reserve Tannat

....PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION....
• BEST IN SHOW
Chateau O’Brien Winery
2012 Chateau O’Brien Limited Reserve Tannat
• BEST WHITE WINE
Desert Rose Ranch Winery
2016 Desert Rose “Uncork the Cure” Cancer
• HONORABLE MENTION - BEST WHITE
Vint Hill Craft Winery
2015 Vint Hill Traminette
• BEST RED WINE
Chateau O’Brien Winery
2012 Chateau O’Brien Limited Reserve Tannat
• HONORABLE MENTION - BEST RED
Aspen Dale Winery
Non-vintage Parris Country Blend Merlot
• BEST ROSE’
Blue Valley Vineyard
2015 Blue Valley Rose’

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, February 26, 2017

3rd Annual Fauquier County Wine Tasting and Competition


From the Program for the
3rd Annual Fauquier County Wine Tasting
and Competition
For the second year in a row, we attended the now 3rd Annual Fauquier County Wine Tasting and Competition held at the beautiful Airlie Hotel and Conference Center in Warrenton, Virginia.

The Food in the Upper Ballroom
It was a beautiful mid-Springlike day at the end of February and the drive from near Baltimore was easy. 

Like last year, the venue is superb with two floors of the conference center devoted to the tastings. Coupled with two timed sessions, the crowd size is manageable and it was easy to visit the tables of each vendor and converse with the winemaker about their wines and experiences. 

Desert Rose Ranch & Winery
Uncork the Cure
The light food fare and music on each floor add to the ambiance and made for an enjoyable early afternoon. We attended the 12:30 -3:00 PM session. 

A nice selection of Fauquier County wineries and one cidery were represented. The wines showcased some of the best produced in Fauquier County. 

The wineries and cidery competing in the competition this year:

Anterra Wines
Aspen Dale Winery at the Barns
Barrel Oak Winery
Blue Valley Vineyard
Chateau O'Brien Winery
Cobbler Mountain Cellars
Desert Rose Ranch & Winery
Molon Lave Vineyards
Mountain Run Winery
Naked Mountain Vineyard
Narmada Winery
Pearmund Cellars
Philip Carter Winery
Vint Hill Craft Winery

One winery participated in the event, but did not have any wines in the competition: 

Effingham Manor Winery

The exciting part of the day was voting for our favorite red and white wines.

Limited Reserve Tannat
Chateau O'Brien
2011 Vintage Pictured
Our favorite white was Uncork the Cure a white blend from Desert Rose Ranch & Winery. With a price point of $22 this newly released wine, complete with a donation to a cancer society to be determined was light, bright and with good mineralogy and acidity.

The favorite red was the 2012 Limited Reserve Tannat from Chateau O'Brien. With a price point of $79, it is definitely not an everyday drinking wine. The wine was deep and dark. No light escaped. The layers of black fruit flavors rolled over the tongue with a silky texture and it had a nice long finish. 

As we write this, we have been unable to determine which wines actually won the competition. Hopefully they will be posted to the Facebook page soon.

We highly recommend this event and will definitely plan on attending the 4th Annual event next year.

-- Bob and Chris Doan, Elkridge, MD