TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia: First Impressions

TasteCamp participants arriving at Boxwood Winery, yesterday

It was almost ironic, for TasteCamp participants who had also visited Virginia for the Wine Bloggers Conference, last year. The weather for the first tasting of this three-day tour of North Virginia wine country was reminiscent of the much-discussed heat of last July, with temperatures reaching into the 90s.

90 degrees is better than 100, however, and tastings were certainly enjoyable, starting with a very fresh rosé from Bordeaux varieties that Boxwood served on arrival. Crisp, balanced, fresh, with nice notes of red fruit, it is also very reasonably priced at 14$ a bottle. In fact, reasonable prices are the norm at Boxwood, with a second label red called Trellis (a very floral, substantial and joyous blend of malbec and merlot, mainly) at 18$, and the solid, classic main Bordeaux blends, Boxwood and Topiary, both selling for 25$. The winery announced yesterday that it would now be open to visitors (previously, it was by appointment only), and it is certainly is a place worth visiting, if only to get a peek at the elegant, circular barrel room.

Winemaker Adam McTaggart (seen from the back) showing TasteCamp participants the barrel room at Boxwood.

The grand tasting, with eight Virginia wineries attending, showed a lot of good wine, whether Bordeaux blends, viogniers, chardonnays and others. Lots of well-balanced wines, some that showed a good aging capacity (2005 cabernet franc from Barboursville, for instance). As well, it was interesting to note just how different vintages can be: a cool 2009, a cool and sunny 2010 that produced reds at over 15% alcohol, and 2011 where winemakers were chasing maturity like crazy, despite the heat spikes of July.

There is much more to say, of course, but it is almost 8 am and the bus will be leaving for vineyard walks and all the other nice things in the TasteCamp agenda. See you later!

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  1. Posted May 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    pretty impressed you found time to write during that whirlwind agenda!

    • Posted May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Mind you, I didn’t manage to do it again the following mornings! Whirlwind is right! Good to see you there.

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