Lost Creek, Leesburg, VA

A friend and I explored some local wine country on a beautiful DC day in August. What is upper 70s in this month?

We went to The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek in Leesburg, VA.


This winery has been in the works since 1998 and has 16 acres of land. My friend and I split a tasting which included the following, for $15.

2016 Vidal Blanc. 100% Estate Grown. Tropical Fruit. Stainless Steel Aged. $22. Unique, had a bit of oak on it.

2014 Chardonnay. 100% Estate Grown. Bright & Crisp. Stainless Steel Aged. $24. I tasted beef jerky and tire?! Then some lemon meringue. Ok, odd.

2015 Reserve Chardonnay. 100% Estate-Grown Whole Cluster Pressed. Ten months French Oak. Best of Class SF Chronicle Harvest Club Wine Only. $29. Not too yellow for an oaked Chard.

2016 Rose. 11% Zinfandel Dry Rose Blend. Barrel Aged 6 months. Food friendly. $24. Watermelon nose. Definitely dry. Very nice. Ended up getting a glass to enjoy later.

The following 3 are their Bordeaux Blends.

2015 Trinity. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon/36% Cabernet Franc/8% Merlot/13% Petit Verdot. 16 months French Oak. $36. This is the 3rd blend they’ve made. Peppery.

2015 Genesis. 62% Merlot/16% Cabernet Sauvignon/16% Cabernet Franc/6% Petit Verdot. 16 months French Oak. $40.  1st blend for them. They gave it that name because genesis means ‘new beginnings.’ Very smooth. My favorite.

2015 Provenance. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon/30% Merlot/20% Cabernet Franc/5% Petit Verdot. 16 months French Oak. Premium Selection. $42. Heaviest of the three. Nice nose.

As mentioned, I decided to enjoy a glass of the Rose. My friend and I sat outside in their very nice garden/pavilion area. Tables, chairs, where you can sit back and relax. We didn’t need anything to eat, but they have quite the menu. This is a place where you cannot bring your own food.

The staff was quite knowledgeable about the wine and they were all quite good for VA wines. It’s so nice to see how VA wines are getting better and better each time a winery is visited, and the difference between various VA wine regions.

Bordeaux Walking Tour

While exploring France had to determine the best way to explore what was at my fingertips.  Was referred by a friend to a great way to explore the city of Bordeaux and of course enjoy their great drink — Bordeaux Walking Tours.  I enjoyed an afternoon exploration of the city.

Got to see the city on foot and learn about historic sites along the water and throughout the town.

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Then we visited the Wine & Trade Museum.



DSC_0850At the end of this visit, we got to taste several French wines.  We received the full rundown on history, varietal, region, etc.


IMG_3158IMG_3159(Chateau LaJarre was definitely my favorite)

IMG_3160IMG_3161After this great tasting we headed off to our next stop after learning much about wine at the museum.  During our tour we learned about the Bordeaux region and how the Gironde River determines a lot of the ‘taste’ of the grapes — earthy vs fruity.  Those on the Right Bank of the river tend to be fruitier, those on the Left Bank tend to be earthier.

bordeaux-bordeaux-map(photo credit: totalwine.com)

Turns out our next stop was a blind tasting to apply what we learned about the banks.




I got 2 out of 3 right, and mostly only loved one of them, the Chateau Bardin, from the Right Side.  This was such a fun way to learn more about wine and I did learn that old world wine really isn’t that bad.  I can expand my horizons beyond new world.

I’m a Vintner!

I got to check out this great Blend Your Own Bordeaux competition last week.  Wasn’t sure what all this would entail other than wine and some form of mixing.  This took place at American Eats Tavern, just outside of DC, and was in the company of Master Sommelier Andy Myers and Barboursville Vineyards Chief Sommelier Jason Tesauro.

The evening started off with some bubbly and intros and then the rundown on what had to be done.


IMG_3339(that’s the Master Somm)



We had four varietals to play with (Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Nebbiolo) and we would taste them and play with each to determine how much of each we wanted to combine to make our own perfect blend.  It was a chemistry class with all the toys we had, too.


In our instructions, we received definitions of each piece, percentages for mixing and what all we could do.



IMG_3348You could not just plug the pipette with your thumb to fill it.  You had to actually suck on it to get a good amount in there.


IMG_3375[1]After determining your best (personal) blend based on taste and trial & error, it was bottling time.  You also had to label it to the best of your ability.


IMG_3352The after-shock was quite a mess.


We were told when we started blending that there would be awards for the best wines.  Jason from Barboursville was the main taster/judge of the wines, while Andy and the Somm from American Eats also took part.  They had 15 or so wines to judge…the rough life of wine folks.

After their long-lasting time of judging they had some announcements to make.  Much to my surprise, I had a podium finish!!!  I brought home the bronze medal.  That meant great bragging rights, my wine and a bottle of Barboursville vino.  I am now a vintner.  What more could I ask for?


Ahhh, Nicoise

One of my favorite salads is a Salade Nicoise.  And oddly, it was not that easy to find in France.  Come on, that’s where it’s from!  But on my last night in Bordeaux, I checked out the menu at a place that had caught my eye because of the cool decor around it — all sorts of neat animals — Michel’s. They don’t have a website so the best you can do google them at Michel’s, Bordeaux to get additional info. You can find lots of stuff.



I obviously checked it out/decided to eat there since I am writing this post, because they had a great Nicoise on the menu.  Absolutely perfect!  Could not have asked for better.


Some steak tartare was also enjoyed at the table, which also wasn’t seen all that much.


Wine was consumed as well, but there was various glasses so I could not easily snap of shot of the label.  They were packed and short staffed so could not easily ask to see the label proper.

Great way to wrap that part of the trip.

Saturday Wine Tasting

I checked out a great wine tasting on Saturday and some of the wines made it home — can never go wrong with that.  It was at Wine Cellars of Annapolis and the theme/title was Value Imports from Vintus Wines.  We suffered through 3 whites and 3 reds from a total of 4 countries.


2012 Talmard Macon-Chardonnay, Burgundy, France

Per the cheat sheet:  Gerald and Philbert Talmard are a father son team carrying on a four century family tradition of grape growing in the French village of Chardonnay, believed to have given the grape its name.  The vines are planted in calcareous soil, which provides the wine with a particular mineral characteristic along with fruity aromas.  This wine is luscious, showing scents and flavor of butterscotch, honey and lemon with a distinct mineral taste on the finish.  $14.99

My notes:  Dry Chard (score!), with some butter at the end.  Unique in the sense that you wonder how it’s a Chard then voila!  There it is right at the finish.

2010 Domaine Des Baumard Savennieres, Loire Valley, France (if you want to check out their true site, here it is, in French obviously — www.baumard.fr)

Per the cheat sheet:  “This is perfectly balanced dry Chenin.  It had just the amount of richness, aided by a touch of vanilla.  The green and white fruit are blended with deceptively soft acidity to give a wine that feels full and ripe in the mouth.  Good to drink now, but also worth aging 3-4 years and more.”  93 points Wine Enthusiast  $26.99

My notes:  Too sweet for me.

2013 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Per the cheat sheet:  “This is powerful and rich with a reserve and tension.  Full and layered with beautiful dried fruits and a bright acidity.  Dried apricots and lemons.  Lots going on.  Loving it.  Turns to aniseed and dried lemons.” – James Suckling  $22.99

My notes:  AMAZING smell — grapefruit, mango.  But, the taste doesn’t match the nose.


2011 Tommasi Valpolicella “Rafael”, Veneto, Italy

60% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, 15% Molinara

Per the cheat sheet:  This classic Valpolicella is full of dried-cherry flavor with a hint of smoke and grilled meat on the nose.  Offering loads of bold fresh cherries on the palate and a core of mouth-watering acidity in the background behind all the bright cherry fruit.  Tart dried cherries and a whiff of smoke linger in a long finish.  $16.99

My notes:  Cherry, smooth, light but still has body, cranberry.  Big stars on my piece of paper.  Left with a few bottles — and enjoyed it 1while watching the Red Carpet and Oscars on Sunday.

2010 Heartland Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast, Australia

Made by star winemaker Ben Glaetzer, this deliciously dark and rich Shiraz has hints of chocolate, pepper and tobacco leaf on the nose.  Plums, blackcurrant and spice flavors abound on the palate and are perfectly balanced by fine supple tannins.  $19.99

My notes:  Coffee, smoke, amazing, light acid taste, will get some soon.

2009 Chatean Lyonnat Lussac Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

Per the cheat sheet:  “Firm, richly dark wine from the Saint-Emilion satellite village of Lassac, with chocolate and coffee flavor, layers of wood and spice.  It is packed with ripe plum and black cherry fruits, weighty and already concentrated.”  90 Points Wine Enthusiast  $24.99

My notes:  Light wine, taste of ‘wet rocks’ — we know exactly what those taste like, right?  So funny who we know the taste of random things.

Overall, some great new finds!