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The highlight of our Virginia wine weekend was visiting Linden Vineyards – Finally.

‘Our focus is on the wine.  No groups, no limos.’              ~ Linden Vineyards description in the 2008 Virginia Winery Guide

linden-2-smThis focus on wine coupled with Jim Law’s wine making brilliance has made Linden one of Virginia’s premier wineries.  On our way to Linden, I noted that several surrounding wineries had road signs pointing the way to their wineries, however, there were not signs for Linden.  When I asked about the lack of signage, we were told that Linden had all signs taken down – the intent is to make Linden a ‘destination’ winery.

We arrived at the winery just after 11am and started with the standard complimentary tasting which included four wines.  We then moved on to the 11:30 tour of the vineyard and cellar.  The tour was educational and provided a interesting overview of the wine making process at Linden – from vine to wine as they called it.   As part of the tour we tasted Chardonnay grapes left on the vine – which we found sour and earthy.

linden-tasting-1After the tour we moved right to the reserve cellar tasting which takes place every 45 minutes beginning at 12:15 (or somewhere about that time).  For a real treat take the last tasting of the day as I was told that’s the tasting that Jim Law typically hosts.

As part of the cellar tasting, we tried 

2006 Avenius Chardonnay – $24/bottle – green apple and grapefruit on the nose.  Strong mineral component in the mouth along with more grapefruit.

2005 Hardscrabble Chardonnay – $24/bottle – strong straw aromas and apple on the nose.  The wet straw continued in the mouth along with really tart apple, kinda like a crab apple.  Of all of the Linden wines I tasted, this was my least favorite. 

2005 Hardscrabble – $38/bottle – A blend of 73% cabernet sauvignon, 15% petit verdot, 8% merlot and 4% cab franc.  By far my favorite of Linden’s lineup.  Very complex with layers of dark fruit on the nose with currants, plum and a definite cedar component.  I found the tannins perfectly balanced with more dark, baked fruits in the mouth along with dry, dusty earth with dark cherries on the finish.

2004 Boisseau – wasn’t available to purchase – A blend of cab franc, 20% petit verdot and 3% merlot.  Lots of cherry on the nose and in the mouth.  Nice earthy component.

2005 Late Harvest Vidal – $23/bottle – Baked apricots and some spice.  Silky mouth feel to me and full like peach juice from canned peaches.  More baked apricots and peaches in the mouth.

We left with several bottles including the Claret, Hardscrabble and perhaps the best Petit Verdot in Virginia. 

In Virginia?  Visit Linden.