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