Excellent wines of tremendous quality and value from Virginia.
It is time for you to discover Virginia wine country. As with any rising winery destination, the best wines receive the most attention. Evidence Fabbioli Cellars and the wines of Doug Fabbioli. If you are planning to visit Virginia, put Fabbioli Cellars on your itinerary.
"Yes, call me a fan of Fabbioli Cellars!"
The largest concentration of wineries in Virginia is Loudoun County. Doug Fabbioli returned to his roots in Virginia 18 years ago after making wine in California for 10 years. He notes that making wine in Virginia is different; collaboration is the key word for success.
|(L to R) Frank Morgan with Winemaker Doug Fabbioli.|
Since March 2013, my friend Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like has been collaborating with Virginia winemakers via #VAWineChat. He brings them together with savvy social media wine influencers to share the treasures of Virginia wine country. One such tasting was with Virginia Winemaker Doug Fabbioli. I was impressed by the video wine tasting Frank organized with Mr. Fabbioli. Doug and his genuine good humor, amiable disposition and dedication to making wine was self evident on the video feed. And the Fabbioli Cellars wines impressed. Frank must know I'm a big fan of both Cabernet Franc and Tannat. Yes, call me a fan of Fabbioli Cellars!
1. Fabbioli Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc (Classic)
Nose: Friendly, earthy, smoky, cherry, coffee. I was groovin' on this wine. Focused after 35 minutes.
Palate: Tasty, round, tasty slide front to back, caramel, cherry, cranberry, medium-light body, gentle tannin on gums, food friendly, tea, gentle finish. I liked.
Day two: Soft earth, funk, raspberry, tobacco on nose. Cherry wave, fine tannin, brightness up front, light mid-palate, pleasantly dry, coffee with a note of orange into the tart medium-light finish. Srikingly similar to a good Pinot Noir.
Day three: Very similar to day two.
Thoughts: Reminded me of a Pinot Noir. Enjoyable and food worthy. Well done and Recommended.
Blend: 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Tannat
Production: 447 Cases
2. Fabbioli Cellars 2012 Tannat
*note: The Tannat was harvested in Oct. 2012, aged 20 months in American, Virginia & Pennsylvania Oak. Sometimes in Virginia they have to pick twice. Pick once then 2 to 3 weeks later go back for what was not as ripe previously and pick again. Big clusters of Tannat. Virginia is a more challenging place to grow Tannat. Doug would like to see more Tannat grown.
*note: Tasted this wine after it was open 40 minutes.
*note: I like the packaging of this wine. Bottle selection appropriate and label design presented well.
Nose: Awesome nose. Deep fruit, chocolate, vanilla, focused spice, tobacco. Undulating sexy wine.
Palate: Spiced cherry, some currant, orange peel, dark chocolate, tar, anise, clove spice, lovely dry grip on edges of tongue and lower gum, hang time on the finish. Well done Doug. Getting the sexy on the longer it was open. Desired a steak.
Day two: Dark bloody purple color. Sexy, dark, delicious nose with Italian glove leather, spicy dark fruit, focused, blackberry, blueberry compote, black currant, black licorice. Full and round in the mouth, dry, almost tacky, a little light mid-palate, but the awesome nose and big dry finish tied it together. Well now, gave it more air and it filled out with more flavor mid-palate into the now bigger finish, and dried my cheeks. This wine definitely needs air or more time in bottle. Grilled lamb or a fatty steak would be awesome.
Day three: Inky. Still delivering. Creaminess, chocolate, dry, black cherry, tannin dried out my tongue. Oh my. Lovely.
Thoughts: Well done Mr. Fabbioli. A big, dry red wine. Drink now or hold another year or four to see what beauty develops. Strongly Recommended.
Blend: 75% Tannat, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot - used American oak.
Closure: Natural cork
Production: 174 Cases
3. Pear Wine
*note: Why Pear Wine? There was a big pear tree on the property when Doug and his wife purchased their soon to be vineyard. Fabbioli Cellars also makes a more expensive, $90 a bottle, Pear Wine with an actual pear in the bottle. They have to grow the pear with the bottle on, which explains the price of $90. The bottle I tasted retails for $35.
*note: I also like the presentation of this bottle, label design and bottle shape well done.
Nose: Resin honey, spicy pear, butterscotch, ginger, vanilla.
Palate: Pear crisp, dusted with cinnamon, nice finish, light, but lingering toasted pear finish.
Thoughts: Serve chilled on a hot day, serve warm on a cold day. Not heavy, lovely flavors and aromas, would be wonderful after a filling dinner paired with ginger cookies by the fire. Um, perhaps close the deal on a date too. Strongly Recommended.
Closure: Natural cork.
Blend: Asian, Bosc, Bartlett Pears, fortified with pear brandy.
Production: 93 Cases
15669 Limestone School Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
Doug worked in the wine cellar at Buena Vista Winery in the Carneros district of California. Over the ten years of his employment, Doug had a chance to work with many fine winemakers, including Andre Tchelicheff. He continued his education in both enology and viticulture at U.C. Davis and Santa Rosa Junior College. After he was promoted to assistant Winemaker worked 3 years until he decided to return to the East Coast. Doug accepted the winemaker position at Tarara Winery in Lucketts, VA in 1997. In 2001, Doug left Tarara Winery and became the Vintner for Windham Wines. Doug and his wife Colleen now own their own winery, Fabbioli Cellars. They have planted a 25 acre vineyard in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Big thank you to Doug Fabbioli and Frank Morgan. Enjoyed all three of these lovely wines, which I believe you too will appreciate.
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