Fall’s Most Popular Wines in Maryland’s Tasting Rooms
There are new grapes names being mentioned in Maryland’s tasting rooms you should become familiar with. Albariño, Viognier and Cabernet Franc are the most popular wines you will be tasting this fall.
Albariño is a Spanish grape that made Maryland its home. I remember first trying Albariño four or five years ago at Serpent Ridge Vineyard. It was the first and only place I could find it in Maryland. Gradually, this white wine appeared in Maryland’s tasting rooms. It is extremely popular in Frederick and Carroll Counties. It has moved its way east to Baltimore and Cecil Counties. Boordy Vineyard’s Albariño won Best in Show in Maryland’s 2016 Governor’s Cup.
It is a white wine pale lemon color, high in acid, with lemon, orange rind, and subtle floral scents on the nose. It has medium to high alcohol and flavors of grapefruit and almonds on the palate. Bodegas Gonzalez-Ruggiero procedures a delightful Albariño Bodegas Gonzalez-Ruggiero is one of Maryland’s newest vineyards located in Rising Sun.
Viognier is Virginia’s state grape. I understand why. It grows incredibly well in this region. Viognier is a medium- full body white wine. It is low in acid, has floral and honeysuckle aromas, and tropical fruit the palate like kiwi and mango. It is easy to drink and brings a smile to your face with every sip.
It is not surprising that Viognier popularity has reached its way to Maryland. A select few of Maryland vintners produced Viognier previously, but it is more abundant in Maryland’s tasting rooms in the past two years. Big Cork has joined the of parade of Maryland vineyards. It is no coincidence Big Cork Vineyard makes Viognier. Dave Collins, Big Cork’s talent winemaker, was noteworthy winemaker in Virginia. He brought his masterful skills to Maryland. Big Cork’s Viognier is a beautiful slightly golden in color, full-bodied and low acidity wine. It has traditional traits known to Viognier. Green melon and orange blossoms flavors are most pronounced.
Cabernet Franc is the popular under study to Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a red grape almost black in appearance. It is used as a blending grape. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are used in Bordeaux style wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc share similar characteristics, the same level of richness and intensity. Although Cabernet Franc has big bold flavors, it has slightly milder tannin and more red fruit flavors making it a smoother wine to enjoy. More and more Maryland winemakers have discovered this fact and are now making Cabernet Franc the star of the show.
Boordy Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc Landmark Series is a wonderful representation of Maryland’s Cabernet Franc. It has a ruby red color with a jammy flavors like red berry preserves and smoky notes on the nose. It has a long finish of earthy flavors, vanilla and cherries.