Indie Wine of the Week – Pollack Cabernet Franc.
As part of our Virginia wine weekend, one of our first stops included a visit to Pollak Vineyards located just west of Charlottesville, VA. I first learned of Pollak Vineyards from Richard Leahy’s blog . Pollak Vineyards, owned David and Margo Pollak, was founded in 2003, but officially opened their tasting room in May 2008.
Pollak currently produces five reds, four whites and one rose (technically a white). The tasting room is large and bright with great views of the surrounding landscape. The deck just off the tasting room offers a relaxing place to take in the scenery and enjoy a glass of Pollak wine.
During my visit I had the chance to chat with David Pollak about Pollak wines and in particular about the economics of wine. I asked about his thoughts on how the economic downturn may affect the Virginia wine industry and Pollak in particular. His answer was that of an optimistic entrepreneur and wine veteran – David feels that in the near-term the effect will be minimal at most. In fact, he noted that Pollak and other Virginia wineries could see some growth due to an increase in local visitors who may forgo trips to California and opt instead to visit wineries closer to home. David added that as long as Pollak continues to produce high quality wines at reasonable prices, the economic impact will be minimal. I couldn’t agree more.
We tasted the 2007 Pinot Gris, 2007 Viognier, 2007 Estate Chardonnay, 2007 Virginia Chardonnay, 2007 Rose, 2006 Cabernet Franc, 2006 Merlot, and the 2005 Meritage. Unfortunately Pollak’s Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon were both sold out at the time of our visit so we were unable to taste or purchase either of them. Given the quality of wines we were able to taste, I suspect the Petit Verdot and Cab were excellent. All of Pollak’s reds are unfiltered (which is the way it should be).
Of the wines included in the tasting, a few notables include:
2007 Viognier – $18/bottle – Honeysuckle and apricot on the nose. Great mouth feel with ripe peach on the palate. I picked up honeysuckle again on the finish.
2007 Rose – $14/bottle – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Gobs of strawberries on the nose complemented by hints of roses. Clean mouth feel with watermelon and strawberries on the palate.
2005 Meritage – $24/bottle – A blend of 44% Cab Franc, 43% Merlot, and 13% Petit Verdot). A great Virginia wine.
2006 Cabernet Franc – $20/bottle – The best of the line up (in my opinion). Dark garnet color. Dark cherry, Starbuck’s chocolate powder and cinnamon on the nose accompanied by hints of pepper (not as much as I expected). True to the tasting note provided at the winery, velvety mouthfeel with cassis, and leather on the palate.
The one thing that struck me after the tasting was the fact that all of Pollak wines had one commonality – very smooth, well rounded mouth feel.
We concluded our visit by relaxing on the deck with a glass of Pollak’s Cab Franc. The quality of the new wineries opening in Virginia is truly amazing. If you find yourself near Charlottesville, VA, be sure to stop by Pollak Vineyards.