Thursday, April 14, 2011

Acres of Land Winery: Richmond, Kentucky Winery Visit

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Morning Fall Fog in the Smokey Mountain Nation...

Josh Kessler and Casey Stover are tasting team members who travel far and wide to report on interesting wine destinations. Here is their latest report. It’s a TWAV first – a Kentucky winery report! 

Casey and I took her daughter to the Smokey Mountains for spring break.  We stopped at a few wineries in the area, which were great, but I wanted to tell you about the one we stopped at in Kentucky on the way back.

Acres of Land Winery in Richmond, Kentucky.  It was a wonderful scenic drive, about 7 miles off the interstate.  We pulled up to a new facility with a nice little restaurant.  We were told that the old tasting room had burned down across the street.  I was expecting a dominating variety of French American hybrids, but it was actually a good mix of hybrids and viniferas.  I apologize in advance to our server for not getting his name.  He gave us wonderful service.  We'll call him Tim Tebow, since that's who I thought he looked like. I passed him my card and told him to be on the lookout for a write up on the blog.

The first wine of choice was the Phoenix; a white wine that represented a rise from the ashes for the winery's start in the new facility.  This was a nice crisp blend of Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Vignoles, that is absolutely perfect for a nice warm day.  We voted this very good.

The next wine was the surprise of the day for us.  The Cabernet Sauvignon was stunning.  Very rich and complex with full body, this Cab is aged in oak to add fine tannins.  The nose on this wine is hard to put into words.  We got tobacco and pepper while fruit shone right through.  We've had some good Cabs from Michigan, but I didn't know Cab Sauvignon this good existed in between here and California. 

The Merlot was a full bodied wine with Cherry/Plum flavors and a nice long finish.  This tasted like you'd expect any quality Merlot.

Now I come to what I thought would be the highlight of the stop; the Russell Land Chambourcin Reserve.  Casey and I are big fans of Chambourcin, and we couldn't wait to try a reserve version of the wine.  While still very good, we didn't think this had the body we thought it should.  It is aged in French and American oak for two years and gives you lots of fruit on both the nose and palette. 

Next, we moved on to the semi-sweet and sweet wines.  The semi-sweet was another variation of Chambourcin.  Once again, we had never had Chambourcin like this.  It was very cherry and different.  I think it would take some getting used to, but it worked.  This would also be great for sipping lightly chilled on a warm day.

We finished with a Vignoles.  I still enjoy sweet wines, and Vignoles is one of my favorite.  This is one that you don't always see on wine lists.  Casey does not like sweet wines so much anymore, but she enjoyed this one.  This had hints of peach and honey while keeping the sweetness under control.  We had to get a bottle of this with spring here and summer coming to add to our shelf dominated by dry reds.

This winery stop was a great way to break up our long trip back from the Smokies, and we're so glad we did.  This was an all-around wonderful winery!

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