RdV Vineyards Rendevous 2008   Leave a comment

Recently, Jancis Robinson reported in the Financial TImes on the work being done in wineries in Virginia– yes, Virginia– home state of our third and one of my personal favorite presidents, T-Jeff.  One of the things that I find most fascinating about him is his contribution to the American love-hate relationship with French wine.  Upon his return from France, the man was criticized for have adopted “French manners”.  He was truly one of the first American Fancy Boys– 10 years ago you might have called him a metrosexual.  Straight, but with an appreciation for the finer things.  A significant portion of his household budget was dedicated to acquiring many fine European (and especially French) wines which he happily shared with others.  Yes, he was also a farmer– but one given to experimentation to provide the best that was available to serve at his table.  However, among his most notable agrarian failures was an inability to produce any decent wine in his  native Virginia. 

But what penmanship!

As the rebellious product of a catholic school education, I bristled at the notion that my cursive writing had to conform to the “Palmer Method” mandated by those sometimes sweet, oftentimes bitter nuns at Sacred Heart Cosmo-Demonic School.  I do not believe that anyone will call upon me to document anything of importance in my own often incomprehensible scribblings.  And while I may never approach T-Jeff’s eloquence and neatness with a pen, I can at least raise my glass, as he most assuredly did, to take in the bounty of the vineyards.  Only today my task is easier since so many wines are available it can make one’s head spin.   And I can do something T-Jeff did not live long enough to do– drink good Virginia wine.

But back to Jancis.  She reported on one particular wine maker, Rutger de Vink, proprietor of the winery, RdV.  Her enthusiasm for the wines got me intrigued enough that I ordered some to taste.  RdV produces two wines from its 6.5 hectares vineyards planted with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot and a bit of Cabernet Franc (8%).  The high-end wine, called RdV, which, according to JR, “is uncannily like really top flight red bordeaux” and made for long aging.  High praise from the doyenne of the wine press.  Their second bottling, a play on Mr. de Vink’s initials, is called Rendezvous.  It was the Rendezvous we opened last night.  I should point out that at $88 and $55 per bottle, these are not wines I can or would open every night. 

RdV Vineyards Rendezvous 2008 ($55) 14.5% alc.  In drinking this wine, I am of two minds.  On the one hand, the wine showed complexity, evolution and longevity during the course of the evening as we sipped this over a 4 hour period.  On the other hand, there were elements in the flavor profile that are not amongst my favorites.  In the end, although showing considerable complexity, it is about taste, and we must recognize it for what it is–a good wine, verging on the very good.  Initially, although the nose was not particularly big, I was impressed by rose petals, but those notes quickly dissipated and migrated to the darker side turning at points meat-like and smokey punctuated by some sweet spices.  In the mouth, it exhibited a deep concentration generous with palate teasers that were, at turns, spicy, savory and bramble-like.  Moving to the long finish filled with espresso notes, I found some grippy tannins that were stronger than the acidity.  In some respects, this reminded me of the Ruffino Modus (a Super Tuscan of which I am not a great fan), but this has much greater finesse.  Would another 5+ years in the bottle help this.  My gut says yes.  Make no mistake, this is a food wine through and through.  Is it good value?  Better values abound in this price range.  Still there is enough to say about this wine, that I would like to see what these guys do in future vintages.  Rated ** 1/2

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Posted November 6, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love

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