Stinson Vineyard of Virginia: New Releases

Rachel Stinson, Winemaker

Rachel Stinson, Winemaker

Stinson Vineyard is a boutique Virginia vineyard that wine lovers should carefully watch. Winemaker Rachel Stinson reveals a deft hand in a difficult  vintage.  Her wines are European in flavor and style, as we find in the wines reviewed here.  As we’ve reported earlier, we’ve been impressed with earlier vintages of Stinson Vineyard Chardonnay and Meritage, and we’ve had especially positive things to say about the 2012 rosé. This is a winery to watch.

Stinson 2012 Chardonnay Monticello ($22) 90 If you like White Burgundy, you need to try this wine, which is more European than Californian in character. While fermented and aged in French barrels, 20% new, the oak is beautifully integrated on a chalky mineral and light orchard fruit flavored, steely palate, finishing with prominent, crisp acidity and light toast notes.  It’s a refreshing wine that offers excellent value.  Made from the Dijon clones of Mount Juliet Vineyards.

The Stinson Vineyard

The Stinson Vineyard

Stinson 2011 Meritage Monticello ($26) 88+  Winemaker Rachel Stinson has done an admirable job in a difficult vintage. This Bordeaux blend exhibits a beautiful bouquet and wonderful upfront flavors of cassis, red plum, and smoky oak without any hint of vegetal herbaceousness. But there’s only so much one can do in a weak vintage, and this wine suffers from a lack of weight.  It’s pleasant drinking now, but don’t expect it to improve with time, unlike the 2010 vintage that we liked so much.  A blend of 35% Merlot, 25% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc fermented and aged 14 months in 30% new French barrels.

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler

September 2013

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