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Out and About (No, Really!)
Will leave the bunker for wine
Seeing as next month is March, I thought it was probably time to go pick up my December wine club allotment from our friends at William Heritage. You know, before I have to go down again for next month’s.
It was a fairly nice day, so I thought whilst I was down there, to justify the drive, I’d pop over to Auburn Road Vineyards and see what was going on there. I’ve been a fan ever since I met one of the winemakers at the Heritage fall festival a few years back. I last wrote about them during an excellent virtual tasting that happened right after the pandemic started.
Their tasting room is nice and airy, and tables are spaced fairly well. Tastings at the bar aren’t happening, but you can buy a flight of four wines for $17 and have that instead.
My server Brittany made sure I knew which wine was which before she left me to it. At the top is The White Bottle, their signature chardonnay, and the first wine of theirs that made me a fan. It’s produced sur lie, where the winemakers stir the fine particles left over from fermenting back into the wine. If you need an example for a wine class of chardonnay on the lees? Grab this one. It’s so prominent and has a pronounced perfumed floral note.
Next was Good Karma, a fun sippin’ wine that’s a blend of 75% merlot and 25% cab sauv. That surprised me really, because it’s super bright cherry on the palate. Sure, New Jersey cab sauv is never going to be hefty like a Napa, but I didn’t expect it to feel this light! This is the wine I want to pour when my high school bestie comes to visit (happy birthday, AM!).
Gaia 2019 is predominantly cabernet franc with a little merlot and petit verdot, and had more of a cranberry on the palate. And finally Eidolon 2019, the only one I liked but didn’t outright love. It had a funny turn on the finish that seemed out of joint. Of the four, that’s the only one I left behind a little.
Brittany also snuck me a taste of the Barrel Reserve Chardonnay, which is even more refined than The White Bottle. You’d swear you were in Burgundy drinking this.
And great news: if you sign up for the wine club — which is free! no set number of bottles to purchase required! — you get 15% off six bottles! Thanks for setting me up, Brittany!
Another cool thing was Brittany told me her mom actually works at William Heritage, and they swap wines all the time. I love that the industry in my state is so convivial. Folks recommend each other’s wines all the time, and it’s not territorial or competitive.
Auburn Road also has a lovely little restaurant, so it’d make a great lunch spot with delicious wines. If you go, let me know how you like it!