Blue Ridge Foothills, Northern Region

Ridge Vineyards

Lytton Estate Vineyard Syrah Blend 2017

Cheers to more blue skies in northern California! 💙 The 2017 Syrah, Grenache, Mataro from Ridge Vineyards is a lovely new world GSM blend 🍷

62% Syrah
27% Grenache
11% Mataro (Mouvedre)

This Syrah dominated wine exhibits aromas of red currant, raspberries, plums, thyme, cedar, oak, and some pepper. On the palate, you'll get a fruit driven viscous sensation probably as a result of the malolactic fermentation. The seemingly sweet tobacco flavors linger on the palate with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

14.2% ABV. Medium-plus body.

This Southern Rhone style wine did great on a Thursday night! 🍷


#gsmblend #gsmwine #rhonestyle #rhonestylewines #ridgewines #californiawine #syrah #syrahwine #mataro #matarograpes #winegirlwines
— 2 months ago

Paul liked this

Burntshirt Vineyards

Altitude 3400 Red Wine


What a beauty! Discovered this little winery in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns and they make really outstanding wines... drank thru entire lineup & was struck by consistent balance, purity & density of fruit. This is a blend with beautiful structure, tons of fruit, smoke / spice / some Earth, lingering finish. Seek them out if you can! — 2 years ago

Quièvremont Vin

Virginia Cabernet Franc 2014

I loved the whole experience of this vineyard, including this slightly peppery cab franc — 2 years ago

Ron and John liked this

Pedra d'Orca

Reserva Dão Touriga Nacional Blend 2011

$8.49 amazing! Certain wines from Portugal like this Dao presenting the grapes and terroir of the region just blow away similar values of wines from elsewhere on price! Beautiful fully composed complex rich red wine fruit forward but with a mineralogy at the back end remind me of northern Napa flavors but without the over intensity of those primarily cab based wines. Had this with porterhouse and blue cheese broad Ted Brussels with a spritz of organic Nama Shoyu... amazing! — 3 years ago


Viognier 2019

Sensual, captivating, caressing, stupendous & utterly fresh 100%Viognier aged in inox for 7 months.
Dedicated 4ha plot at at foothills of Caucasian mountains (5km to Black Sea).

Pale lemony, light emerald glitters.
Refined and delicate yet confident nose of saturn peach, mango, white plum pith, wet stones, thyme, apricot, pear, canned pineapple, white currant leaf, white grapefruit, blooming lemon, lily of the valley, with very touch of white pepper.
Crisp and focused palate. Medium body (12.5%), vibrant acidity. Decently mineral of limestone. Sweetie, green apple, white currant, rhubarb, feijoa, carambola, white plum scents.
Persistent and refined finish of white currant peels, pippin apple, pomelo and sea minerals.
Paired Faroe salmon steak.
— 3 months ago

Julia liked this


Stellenbosch Pinotage 2016

David T

We have been working on our South Africa and Egypt trip for months. Diligently doing research and taking about it daily.

One of our stops will be a week on the Western Cape or as many define it, Stellenbosch. It has always been on my wine region bucket list for its wines and beauty. One of my goals was to find some excellent producers of Pinotage.

This Beeslaar is the private label of the Winemaker at Kanonkop, Abrie Beeslaar. Abrie makes a black label Kanonkop that sells retail at $200. That’s right, $200! It must be deliriously good if they can get $200 for it.

I found this 2016 Beeslaar at K&L for just under $37. It’s the 1st Pinotage that has my eyes wide open as to what can’t be done with this difficult varietal in the right hands. If his private label is this good, I hope to visit Kanonkop and taste their black label.

The nose reveals; dark chocolate raisins, dark eastern spices, plum and black cherry, blueberries, baked strawberries, blackberries, black raspberries, black raisin currants, smokiness and grilled meats, black pepper and a touch of white, some green vegetal notes, cinnamon, dark chocolate mocha bar, dark fruit steeped tea, gravely schist, touch of coffee grounds, dark fruit roll-ups, leather, tobacco with ash with fresh, dark red & blue florals.

The body is full, thick and rich. There is a dark, tarry, dusty tannin structure. This will benefit from 3-5 years plus in bottle but, it is crazy good. Sound, firm; structure, big tension, long length and very good balance. Dark chocolate raisins, smokiness and grilled meats, dark eastern spices that brings pronounced heat to the palate, black plum, plum and black cherry, blueberries, baked strawberries, blackberries, black raspberries, raspberries, black raisin currants, dark berry bubblegum, black pepper and a touch of white, tree bark with a touch of sap, some green vegetal notes, cinnamon, dark chocolate mocha bar, dark fruit steeped tea, gravely schist, dry stones, touch of coffee grounds, dark fruit roll-ups, new un-smoothed leather, tobacco with ash with fresh, dark red & blue florals. The acidity is round and splendid. The elegant, rich finish runs ripe fruits to dry tannins with dusty earth and shows an even tug of war with its fruits and earthiness.

It drinks like a combination of; Grand Cru Gamay, Shiraz and Northern Rhône.

I will be getting more of this and forgetting about it for 5 more years. Can’t wait for that moment and noting the changes.

This wine raises my excitement level for our trip with each sip.

Pinotage is a grape variety made from a cross of Pinot Noir & Cinsaut that was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University...making it one of the youngest grape varietals.

Photos of; a shot of just how beautiful Cape vineyards can be, Winemaker-Abrie Beeslaar, Pinotage fruit near harvest and field-hands harvesting their very tall vines. Beeslaar has no Cellar Door currently.
— 2 years ago

Sofia, Stanley and 23 others liked this
Bob McDonald

Bob McDonald Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@David T I hope you make the drive up the Yellow Brick Road to Ernie Els. No expense spared by the Golfing great when we visited in 2012. Also enjoyed Verglegen Rustenberg Rust en Verde, de Trafford and some round Franschoek. A beautiful place to live and have vineyards.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Bob McDonald Thank you for your recommendations. It’s still a work in progress. These market trips are like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. We’ll see how it all comes together and how much I can fit in. Cheers! 🍷
Greg Ballington

Greg Ballington Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Good stuff!

Quièvremont Vin

Virginia Meritage Red Blend 2012

This was worth the 5+ years I waited and invested in this rappahannock co (?) family wine. Really sang herbal harmony with wifey’s perfect Wooloomooloo BeefStew Roast. Tannins have tempered at 7yrs+ to let the sweet red fruit sing a few solo lines. — 8 months ago

Desire Lines Wine Co.

Shake Ridge Ranch Syrah 2017

It’s pretty easy to over-do Syrah in this location. Desire Lines does a phenomenal job of keeping dessert-like pleasure and seriousness of terroir in check. Lifted and fruited like a modern northern Rhône or Cru beaujolais with a little less seriousness to boot but also this is young and booming. Held straight for 5 days. Get the feeling that this will resolve very slowly over time to show more what earthy and cool characteristics it has in its hand. This wine feels extremely stable and a kaleidoscope of possibilities lay herein. — a year ago

Scott, Kevin and 1 other liked this


Shake Ridge Ranch Suzuri Series Red Rhone Blend 2011

Blue and black berry flavors with graphite and other mineral. — 2 years ago

Marilea Campomizzi
with Marilea

Quièvremont Vin

Virginia Chardonnay

Best unoaked Chardonnay I’ve tried — 2 years ago