An Introduction to Trump Winery and Wines - Monticello, Virginia @trumpwinery

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trump [truhmp] noun \ˈtrəmp\
  1. Trump a card of a suit any of whose cards will win over a card that is not of this suit - called also 'trump card'
  2. A decisive overriding factor or final resource - called also 'trump card'
  3. Trump a dependable and exemplary person

As I prepare for another Virginia wine tasting courtesy of #VAWinechat, I want to address a previous Virginia wine tasting featuring Trump Winery of Monticello. Yes, that Trump, the Donald owns a Virginia winery.

Today I will share with you the origin of Trump Winery as well as reviews of several Trump wines. We will not discuss politics on this post, only wine.

Sparkling wines are thriving in Virginia. Of the 253 Wineries in Virginia, at least 21 are making sparkling wines. You may know that I am a big fan of sparkling wines. They are tasty, fun to drink and pair with almost any kind of food or occasion. The Trump Wines tasting was especially enticing because it started with two bottles of sparkling wine. Two bottles!


Jonathan Wheeler (left) and Frank Morgan (right).

For this tasting of featured Trump Wines from Monticello, Winemaker Jonathan Wheeler was our guide and Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like hosted the tasting.

History of Trump Winery

In 2011 Donald Trump purchased the former Kluge Estate winery and vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia. Due to financial difficulties, the 776 acre property with a 195 acre vineyard planted in 1999 was in foreclosure. The Donald knows a good deal when he sees one and snapped up the property well below the appraised value. He purchased the remaining Kluge Estate properties the following year. Source: Washington Post, April 2011

"It appears Mr. Trump has taken the first step toward making Virginia wine," Todd Haymore the state secretary of agriculture said. "We believe if he’s successful, he’ll help take Virginia wines to greater heights." Source: Washington Post, April 2011

Has Mr. Trump remained committed to Virginia wine and is the wine any good? Yes, decidedly yes.

The Winery Today

Eric Trump is president of Trump Winery, he oversees the winemaking, marketing, global distribution and sales. He is also the Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for The Trump Organization, and responsible for all aspects of real estate development and deal flow, nationally and internationally. His is the guiding hand leading Trump Winery.

Jonathan Wheeler is the Winemaker of Trump Winery. Jonathan was with the original estate and has worked at the winery since 2006. He leads the sparkling wine program. Jonathan has worked as winemaker in Sonoma and Monterey, California, Marlborough, New Zealand and his home of Fingerlakes, New York.

Trump Winery is located in the foothills of the blue Ridge Mountains on a nearly 1,300 acre estate, miles from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Planted to 195 acres of vinifera, Trump Winery is Virginia's largest vineyard.

The winery has over 50,000 square feet dedicated to state of the art winemaking, 100,000 gallon tank capacity and a 750 barrel wine cave. This is a true wine country destination with views of rolling hills, vines, a charming tasting room and outdoor terrace.

New for 2015 is the recently renovated Albemarle Estate Bed and Breakfast at Trump Winery. Situated on a truly gorgeous property, with five guestrooms inside the house, amenities include the Jefferson master suite with his and hers bathrooms, a pool house and a cabin. Guests share the well appointed living room, library, bar, and manicured gardens all within view of the estate vineyard. Director of hospitality Derek Hunt said, “...we just want them to feel like they're at home.”

Albermarle Estate Bed and Breakfast
355 Albemarle House Dr. , Charlottesville, VA , 22902, US  434-977-4001

Trump Winery Tasting Room
3550 Blenheim Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
434-984-4855

Tasting Room Hours
Open year round 11am-5pm daily. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Patio closes 30 minutes after close. Full menu is offered until 5pm


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And the wines, what about the wines? The wines have been well received and awarded. See my tasting notes below. I was impressed by these four lovelies and recommend them. I love a wine tasting that begins with sparkling wine.


Tasting Notes


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1. Trump 2009 Blanc de Blanc $24

Fresh, foamy bubbles, saline with yeast attack followed by lovely crisp green apple and citrus. Big tasty crisp finish. With air a Creamy honey on finish and toasty note on the nose.

Thoughts: Very good and Great value. Versatile for many kinds of food. Drink now and over the next 10 years! It was lovely with fried shrimp and salmon. Recommended + Great Value.

100% #Chardonnay, Estate
36 months on lees
ABV: 12%
RS: 0.6%
SRP: $24
Production: 8,000 cases
Sample provided by the winery


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2. Trump 2008 Reserve Sparkler $45

Wow - Granny smith apple! Fine perlage, saline, toasted yeast, tingle on the gums, creamy, nutty background, lemon custard, slate action back palate, dang lovely finish. Yum.

Thoughts: Sophisticated. Not over done. Well made Jonathan. Strongly Recommended.

100% Chardonnay, Estate
5 years on lees
ABV: 12%
RS: 0.7%
SRP: $45
Production: 550 cases
Sample provided by the winery


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3. Trump 2013 Viognier  $24

*Note: All 195 acres hand picked for 555 tons hand picked. Great harvest

Color: Light gold.
Nose: Toasted lemon, mineral, peach fuzz.
Palate: Creamy. Vanilla, lemon, nutty, acid in the background, biscuit, peach skin into the finish. Nose really opened up after 30 minutes added mandarin orange/citrus to the finish. Nice aromatics at 35 minutes.

Thoughts: This wine needed air - give it at least 30 minutes or decant. Virginia Viognier "It speaks at open but sings with air" Frank Morgan. Recommended.

100% Viognier, Estate
ABV: 12.5%
RS: 0.05%
SRP: $24
Production: 525 cases
Sample provided by the winery


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4. Trump 2012 Red Wine New World Reserve $28

Color: Dark purple.
Nose: Standout at open. Blackberry, sour background, candy spice, root beer, oak.
Palate: Dry, medium body, great grip on teeth and tongue and cheeks. Soft plum, cherry, dry, grippy. A little light mid-palate, apple tannin with violets into the finish. Needs food. Dry baby!

Thoughts: After 1.5 hours the finish was grooving with me. Wine filled out, dark fruit and tobacco with a cinnamon friend. Big like at this point. Strongly Recommended.

Blend: 42% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.
ABV: 13%
SRP: $28
Production: 2,000 cases
Sample provided by the winery




Summary

I was impressed by these wines. They are beautifully made and delivered a great deal of pleasure. My wife and I have even ordered the Trump Sparkling wines for special occasions at home. Yes, they are that good and they shipped them to us quickly and securely. I strongly encourage you to add Trump wines to your list of go to and must try wines. When in Virginia, add the Trump Albemarle Estate B&B and Winery to your wine country destinations.

Sincere thank you to Trump Winery, Jonathan Wheeler and Frank Morgan.

Cheers!

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