Sunday, November 10, 2013

Maryland Winery Tour

Black Ankle
Yesterday was a perfect day to drive out to Western Maryland. Sailing friends of ours (who we've become very close to), drove up from 'Naptown mid-morning & we piled into my car for the drive out to Frederick.  Our destinations: Black Ankle Winery & Serpent Ridge Winery . Just can't beat going to the vineyards themselves.  And I keep saying rather vociferously that Maryland wines are really quite good--I have become especially enamored of Boordy (belong to their wine club), Black Ankle (belong to their wine club now), & Serpent Ridge (no wine club to join). We arrive at Black Ankle & settle in for the wine tasting--I have to say that the tasting room was something right out of Napa/Sonoma.  The entire structure was eco-friendly & locally sourced--right from the vineyard--from the walls constructed from the clay to the tasting bars made from old vines. It was incredibly beautiful just like the wines that they produce.  Ever since I first tried their Crumbling Rock in their first vintage in 2006, I have been a huge fan.  My other fav of theirs is the Syrah.  In my wine cellar I still have 2 bottles of their award-winning '06 Syrah--so smooth & oh, so amazing. I decided that after buying so much at a wine shop at home, it was time to bite the bullet just like I had for Boordy & join their wine club as well.  And I'm glad I did because after December there will now be a wait-list for Black Ankle's wine club.  Being on a wait-list sucks--I've been on Kosta Brown's wait-list for 2 years now....but that indicates just how good these wines are.  Anyway, we all sat down & had a great spread with a Syrah & their last year's vintage Passegiatta.  Everything is locally sourced so we had two beautiful cheeses: Cherry Glen's Monocacy Ash (Incredible), & from South Mountain Creamery, Mountaintop Bleu.  Olives, & great crusty bread from a nearby bakery.  YUM! And I didn't even mention the chocolates from Frederick--A-may-zing!!
We could've stopped there, but I was on a mission to also get to a new up & coming winery: Serpent Ridge.  I have fallen in love with their blend named Basilisk--blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc.  So we load up into my car & decide to make a little detour to Elk Run which is just down the street from Black Ankle.  My criticism is that Elk Run's wines try very hard but just don't cut it in my book.  I will say that the Cabernet Sauvignon Liberty Tavern Estate Reserve was quite good.  Thumbs up to that one.  It may be woth it to go give them a fresh taste first but that didn't blur for my enjoyment of the Serpent Ridge wines which we had I don't know...

Serpent Ridge--for a new vineyard is producing some good stuff.  Loved the Vintner's Cabernet but the Basilisk is what I came for--so good!

All of this wine experience brings me to the end--a little chat about Boordy--pretty close to home with probably the best Cabernet Franc that I've ever had.  Maryland is just perfect for growing Cab Franc & Boordy has outdone themselves with the Cabernet Franc Reserve--only available now to wine club members so unless you've got a friend, you won't be able to try this truly outstanding wine. The others that I enjoy are the Landmark Reserve, South Mountain Red, & the Dry Rose.  

Bottom line--there are some wonderful Maryland Wineries out there--I plan to visit more--been to quite a lot but the list is growing.  I am a huge supporter of local wines & need to expand to the Eastern Shore, but so far, loving where I've visited thus far.  It certainly helps that I got to enjoy these places with great friends!   

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