Springtime Sippers Via Virginia’s Early Mountain


One more post about Virginia wine, and then maybe I’ll diversify this blog again. But after a Spring release party, it’s worth jotting down a couple of paragraphs about Early Mountain wines.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the winery in my roundup of Virginia wines to know – mostly because visiting their winery is a wonderful chance to not only try their wines, but taste about a dozen others from Virginia wineries. But since it’s been at least two summers since I visited Early Mountain or tasted their wines, I wasn’t able to say too much about their specific offerings.

Now I can. The winery hosted a tasting at Iron Gate restaurant, in Washington, D.C. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor patio and is a perfect location for a Spring or Summer evening. Unless it rains. Which it did. But the damp and gloomy weather was hardly noticeable when you combined a large white tent with Early Mountain’s fresh whites and rosé. The wines all had a beautiful acidity running through them with very little or no oak. Perfect garden party vino.

The event was also a great opportunity to meet Ben Jordan, Early Mountain’s winemaker and Maya Hood White, their vineyard manager. Both are relatively new to Early Mountain (in the past few years) and their youthful spirit comes through in the wines.

While I try not to formally review wine, I did make some notes in my Delectable account (feel free to follow me there), so here are those thoughts with some slight edits for accuracy, spelling, style and grammar (note: all wines, including the Chardonnay are from the 2015 vintage):

Early Mountain Rosé: The pretty salmon-colored wine gets most of its color from Syrah, but the wine is mostly Merlot, with a bit of Cab Franc as well. For a wine that was so light on its feet, there was a nice bit of depth and structure. 

Early Mountain Pinot Gris: I braced myself for something on the sweeter side, but instead got a really nice crisp, dry wine. I enjoyed the acidity and noted it will be great on a hot, summer day.

Early Mountain Chardonnay: There’s only a touch of natural oak on this wine. Combined with a well-rounded finish, it’s an easy-drinking white that can please many palates. A great table wine, if you will.   

Early Mountain Five Forks White Blend: The most structured and aromatic wine of the bunch, this white combines Viognier, Pinot Gris, Petit Menseng, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat. Lots of aromatics wafting from the glass, with a pinch of sweetness. But the palate is completely dry and the Petit Menseng lends a nice spice to the finish. 

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