As anyone who knows me knows, I enjoy saving the best for last. My case in point, Linden Vineyards. The 5000 case winery and vineyard is located on the Blue Ridge in Linden, Virginia. Owner and winemaker, Jim Law, is highly regarded in Virginia wine circles for producing world-class wines. From the polished Hardscrabble Chardonnay to the spicy Petit Verdot, Linden produces elegant, age-worthy wines for every palate.
Linden is surprisingly difficult to find with few signs (I can only assume they prefer to stay boutique versus commercial, which isn’t a bad thing). The rustic winery, reminiscent of a ski lodge, sits atop a hill with picturesque 360 degree views. After enjoying the views, we made our way to the tasting counter where we were handed a tasting sheet. The tasting is complementary and includes 5 wines. The reds outclassed the whites, led by the ’05 Claret and ’06 Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot retails for $28 and is one of the best in the state. A focused effort with pepper, blueberries, and nice tobacco notes. Too good to leave without a bottle.
After our tasting, I decided to participate in the cellar tasting for $12 to sample a selection of single vineyard and library wines. Our small group was led downstairs to the private cellar by our tasting associate Laurie. Surrounded by wooden barrels and lit candles, the atmosphere is warm and intimate. Laurie took us through a flight of 5 wines, which included the 2006 Hardscrabble Chardonnay, 2007 Boisseau Chardonnay, 2006 Hardscrabble Red, 2006 Avenius Red, and 2005 Late Harvest Vidal. It was a great opportunity to compare and contrast the different vineyards and blends. All were outstanding, with the Hardscrabble wines taking gold.
In summary, Linden Vineyards represents the true potential of Virginia as a wine producing state. No matter the wine or vintage, Linden is the definition of excellence. Be sure to check out more pics of my visit to Linden Vineyards on Flickr!
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