We are pleased to have the opportunity to review Stinson Vineyards’ new releases. We have been tasting their wines over the past four years and have been increasingly impressed with the improvements in quality and their experimentation with new varieties. These new releases are no exception
Located in Albermarle County within the Monticello AVA, Stinson Vineyards is a small family winery nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The vineyard was established in 2010 by Scott Stinson and daughter Rachel who replanted the property and expanded it to 32 acres of which seven are in vines. Today Nathan Vrooman, Rachel’s husband, manages the vineyard, while Rachel makes the wines with the help of Matthieu Finot, winemaker at King Family Vineyards. Currently, most wines are made from purchased fruit, one exception being the 2014 Meritage which was sourced from the estate vineyard for the first time, and is first-rate.
Stinson Vineyards 2015 Wildkat Monticello ($28) 88 The 2015 Wildkat is 100% Rkatsiteli. It was sourced from Horton Vineyards which planted the variety in Virginia over 50 years ago. This ancient variety is not widely grown in Virginia but has shown some success cultivated in frost pockets. The Stinson Wildkat reveals a faint orange hue and is unusually ripe with hints of caramel. It displays restrained and steely tropical fruit flavors, a creamy texture and dry tannins on the finish.
Stinson Vineyards 2016 Rosé ($21) 89 The 2017 Rose is 100% Mourvedre sourced from a one acre parcel of Farmer’s Rest Vineyard in Henrico, VA. It offers lovely fresh red strawberry fruit flavors with medium acidity and good overall concentration. A highly successful Bandol-style rosé.
Stinson Vineyards 2014 Meritage Monticello ($32) 91 This is an elegant and refined estate-bottled Meritage consisting of 56% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 12% Petit Verdot, sourced from Stinson Vineyards grapes. It displays dark red fruit flavors with a silky attack and mouth feel. On the mid-palate it reveals good acidity with concentrated flavors, firm round tannins, and a persistent finish. Well done.