Mediterranean Cellars – “Diamonds, Wine and Tradition; What More Can You Ask For!”

 

The wine doesn’t start in the barrel; it starts in the vineyard.” — Louis Papadopoulos (Southern Living, October 2006)

This quote describes perfectly the experience my husband and I had at Mediterranean Cellars. The memorable moment began in the parking lot of the vineyard. Immediately, we were welcomed by a beautifully spirited (yes, felt this instantly), woman (Katie, the owner). Surprisingly, she recognized me and welcomed me back to the vineyard.

Yes, this was not my first or second visit. My first visit, which was years ago was not pleasant (there’s no need to rehash the experience :\ ). What kept me coming back to the Mediterranean Cellars was its beauty, in particular the grapevine pathway to the tasting room that transferred you to the Mediterranean. In addition, Mrs. Papadopoulos’ interest in the guests opinions of the wines; just that personal touch kept me coming back and the beautiful views.

 

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Background

One cannot write a blog on Mediterranean Cellars without discussing the owners Louis and Katie Papadooulos unique background. Did you know, the owners of Mediterranean Cellars are jewelry designers? YUPPER, DIAMONDS! Louizos E.L.P. Goldsmiths, Inc. is a family own business for four generations. For the past twenty-three years, they sell diamonds at wholesale prices. The jewelry store is operated by their son and located in Oakton, VA, (www.louizoselp.com).

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The Wines

The 2013 Chardonnay, which is the first wine in the tasting have Vidal Blanc flavors. The 2011 Moscato does not possess true Moscato characteristics. The 2013 Viognier, the last wine in the tasting is aged in oak and produces hints of butter and creaminess and taste like a Chardonnay. ???? Perplexed, my mind is flooded with questions; what is the winemaker’s thought process? What is his reasoning behind restructuring the composition, creating flavors that we are not accustom to tasting? I check the wine bottles wondering if they are mislabeled; the Tasting Room Clerk smiles. My senses are like a circuit board that is misfiring. Feeling confusion and delight, I find myself wondering if we are merely part of the winemaker’s experimentation and there’s some hidden camera evaluating each guest reaction to the wine :).

Foot stopping, head swaying from side to side, tongue gracing my lips with every sip. I’m trying to find logic of what I’m experiencing, searching for some form of “traditional” characteristics of each varietal, which only produces more questions. The Tasting Room clerk explains in maintaining the true winemaking tradition, there’s less filtering, which allows the grapes true characteristics to emerge. Hmmm…. interesting. 

2008 Calypso – a rose’ aged in stainless steel and french oak. fruit aromas and citrusy flavors. STAR 

Time for Some Reds:

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2013 Chambourcin – 100% full-bodied red wine with spicy flavors – STAR

2008 Cabernet Franc – aged french oak with plum and spice flavors. Yes, I gave it a STAR.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – rich garnet color, full-bodied; yes, I’m picking up blueberries flavors. FANTASTIC – STAR

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Then there’s Rechina, known as “Retsina” in Greek. Retsina is only produced in Greece and the U.S. exclusively by Mediterranean Cellars. Mediterranean’s Rechina is refreshing, “mentholing”. Retsina has an unique taste because pine resin is added to the white wine. Folks, this is indeed an unique wine. – STAR

Being red wine lovers, we are very impressed with Mediterranean Cellars red wines!

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Perfect Summation – With traditional European and American winemaking techniques, “the end product is a unique combination of tradition and new ideas, as the winemaker’s spirit and inspiration is experienced in each sip of every wine.

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If you’re looking for warm hospitality and unique wines, I encourage you to visit Mediterranean Cellars and maintain an open mind. In addition, if they’re not crowded, you can even enjoy a cigar :).

Salute!

 

Mediterranean Cellars
8295 Falcon Glen Road
Warrenton, VA 20186
540-42-1984
website: http://www.mediterraneancellars.com
email: info@mediterraneancellars.com

Stone Tower Winery – Wine with a Taste of Interior Design

 

Even though, it has been awhile since our last visit, Stone Tower Winery is still worth writing about. From the decor that makes you wonder if you walked into a home decor shop to wines that may you question if you are in Virginia.

THE ARRIVAL

Upon arriving to tasting counter, I had to browse every corner of the tasting room and admire the furnishing. I am in decorating heaven. For a moment, I forgot I was at a vineyard because I found myself checking for price tags. My favorite place is the back room with the beautiful iron doors. (exhaling)

I shared my excitement with the tasting clerk on how much I love the tasting room furnishing, they should have a sign on where customers can purchase the furnishing. Smiling widely, I could tell this was not her first time a customer expressed their love of the furniture. She informed us that the owner of the vineyard also own Belfort furniture DING! DING! That is why the tasting room is decorated so nicely. I love Belfort furniture, which is in Sterling,VA (belfortfurniture.com).

 

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courtesy of stonetowerwinery.com

 

 

THE TASTING

2015 Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc – I will admit I was skeptical. A Sauvignon Blanc produced in Virginia. Hmm…. to my surprise this wine posses true Sauvignon Blanc characteristics. Crisp white wine with red grapefruit and lemon flavors and minerality on the finish. VERY TASTING!

2015 Wild Boar Viognier – BOLD floral aromas; crisp white wine with soft sweet tart flavors; leaves you wanting more. If I heard correctly the grapes are from Orange County; I’m assuming Virginia and not California. Either way the Viognier is REFRESHING!

2015 Wild Boar Rosé – An unique rose with soft tangerine flavors, mild tannins and a long oaky finish. Reminds me of an orange wine. I would sip on this wine. Varieties: 54% Malbec, Norton, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Believe it or not, this is my favorite, thus far, in the tasting. THUMBS UP!

2014 Wild Boar Pinot Noir – BOLD fruity and hint of licorice aromas; earthy and cranberries flavors. Young but has good structure. The grapes are from Willamette, Oregon. GOOD!

2014 Wild Boar Malbec – 75% of the grapes from Napa Valley, CA. Medium bodied with earthy and prunes flavors and firm tannins. My husband picked up blueberry jam aromas and flavors. The smoky flavors in the wine should pair well with a cigar. I recommend laying down, definitely has potential. GOOD!

2014 Wild Boar Sanglier Noble – WOW! My palate is in heaven. THIS IS DELICIOUS! Rich with dark cocoa flavors. A blend of Bordeaux varietals. I agree the Cabernet Sauvignon definitely dominates the other varietals. WINNER! Of course, this was our wine purchase for the day.

Since we practically had the vineyard to ourselves (as you can see from the pictures 🙂 ), we were able to enjoy a cigar with the Sanglier Noble, which paired nicely. 

 

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Stone Tower Winery is a must visit, especially if you need decorating ideas. 🙂 For updated wine vintages visit their website:

Stone Tower Winery
19925 Hogback Mountain Rd.
Leesburg, VA 20175
stonetowerwinery.com

 

SALUTE!

Orange Wine?

 

UPDATED on 5/30/16 to reflect accurate information – the term “orange wine” was created by UK Wine Merchant David Harvey in 2004, which was purposefully created and others saw fit to use the term since that time.  Mr. Harvey thank you for bringing this to my attention. 

 

Yup, we have officially ran out of everyday drinking wines. There was one point in time that I had 300 plus bottles of wine in the cellar. Smiling, I recall the wonderful memories that has diminished my wine collection such as, girls day out relaxing by the pool, surprising a friend, private wine tasting parties or welcoming a new family to the neighborhood. Great Wine = Great Times!

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I say this to explain asking my husband to select a bottle of wine is like digging for gold in a mine. “They’re too damn good, man!” he yells from downstairs. LOL (he becomes so frustrated when selecting a bottle a wine). Trying to contain my laughter, from upstairs, I return the howl, “Babe, just select a 2002 or 2003 Chrysalis Lockley Reserve (a Norton), we have to drink the wine someday.” Guess what he selected, not the Norton; a 2012 Chateau O’Brien Tannat. Alarming I said, “Oh no, I’m laying this beauty down.” he responds, “This is why I do not like going down there” :). On a mission, I am determined to find a bottle of wine that will not cause us distress. (I find myself chuckling because subconsciously, I thought, “Goodness, when are you going to get to the topic of this blog.) It is bad when your subconscious feels you are talking too much. Okay, let’s speed this up. I choose a 2014 Chrysalis Vineyards Tximeleta (pronounced, chee-may-LAY-tah).

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For those of you who know my husband, he prefers red wine and will drink a Guinness before having a glass of white wine. Tximeleta is a rose, so it is a good middle ground. I hand him a shimmering rose with orange highlights. What a classy wine! Intrigued, we sniff: fruity aromas; sip: mmm… a quick butter flavor graces my lips with sweet tarts skating along my palate; yes, skate. The wine is soft, smooth and glides across my palate. We both give Tximeleta a nod of approval.

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I dissect the Tximeleta further; the color is more orange than rose. I wonder what is Tximeleta? Is Norton giving the wine its orange highlights, but it’s not in Norton’s characteristic to produce orange hues. I then wonder is this “Orange Wine?” What is Orange Wine? Time to hit the World Wide Web.

Orange Wine
Hunting for facts to conduct my own research and not utilize information from another blog, I stumbled upon orangefestival.eu.
Apparently, Slovenia (I like that they enhanced the “love” in the country’s name) is holding an “Orange Wine” festival. Now, I’m really fascinated about “orange wine”.

 

Slovenia

Slovenia is nestled between Austria, Croatia, Italy, and Hungary.

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Slovenia has 3 main wine-growing regions, where over 40,000 wineries reside:

  1. PODRAVSKA produces Slovania’s most prestigious wines. Wines in this area date back to pre-historic times.
  2. POSASKA, the smallest out of the regions and
  3. PRIMORSKA, the most developed out of the regions.

 

Slovenia wines date back to the era of the Celts and Illyrian tribes. Seventy-five percent of Slovenia wines are white wine. There are approximately 6,000 recorded varieties and the majority of wines are consumed domestically.

I’m laughing at myself because I refuse to accept the research I found on orange wine. I was determined to discover an ancient wine-making process that only European wine-makers were aware of; NOPE! And orange wine does not contain orange peel. It’s simply a lengthen maceration with grape skins, which is the same process to produce red wine AND THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

In a nutshell:

  • The term “orange wine”, which is also referred to as “amber wine” was created by UK Wine Merchant David Harvey in 2004.
  • Orange wine is made by fermenting the juice of ripe white grapes with their skins for a long period of time.
  • Depending upon the maceration period, which could be a week to a year, the wine will posses an amber-gold-pink-orange color.
  • The tannins levels in orange wine are typically higher than in white wine.
  • Due to the color, there are Italian winemakers who feel there should be a wine category for “orange (amber) wine.” When customers order a white wine and the color is orange they become apprehensive.
  • Many wines produced in the country of Georgia (make sure you don’t think I’m talking about the state :)) are macerated.

So the question remains, is Chrysalis Vineyards Tximeleta an orange wine? Based on my research “YES, INDEED!” However, Chrysalis states otherwise:

Tximeleta (the Basque word for butterfly) is a rosé wine, made exclusively from Fer Servadou grapes. We bled clear juice from the freshly crushed fruit before it had chance to extract any character from the skins. The purpose of this was to increase the ratio of skins to juice for the Fer Servadou red wine – a component of the Rubiana blend. The bled juice was fermented on its own and was originally allocated to the Mariposa blend. However, after evaluating this wine, we were so impressed with it that we decided to bottle it on its own. This wine is decidedly Old World in style – blush in color, focused fruit, with crisp acidity.”Chrysalis Vineyards February 2015 VIP Newsletter

So folks, there you go, Chrysalis refers to Tximeleta as a “rose”. But based on the wine’s color, I’m calling Tximeleta an orange wine ;).

 

Salute! Sante’!

 

Resources:
sloveniaforyou.com
thinkslovenia.com
The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson