We left Hidden Brook to visit Tarara. It has been a while. We had tasted a couple of Tarara wines at the 29 Vines tasting room a while back and were impressed. So we decided it was time to visit.
Tarara has beautiful grounds and is situated along the Potomac river. Now that it is winter you can really see a large section of the Potomac through the bare trees. You usually only catch glimpses in summer.
Tastings at Tarara consist of six wines. Tasting fees are $10 per person, but we had the Tuskies map with a coupon for two free tastings and 10 percent off purchases. What a great deal. The staff at the register where you pay for your tastings, along with any purchases after, was friendly.
The tasting room wasn't crowded. There was a group we had seen at Fabbioli and a couple from Maryland with whom we we talked to a bit and gave them our card. While we were tasting Jen and Bryan came in. They are both Tarara club members whom we have met several times on the Virginia Wine Trail.
The wines we tasted at Tarara were terrific. Tarara has really stepped up the quality of the wines. The first white wine we tried was the Tarara White 2010 ($15). This is a blend of mostly Chardonnay with Pinot Gris and Viognier. We loved it. There was great balance between fruit and acidity and had a long finish. At $15, plus our discount, this was a real bargain.
We also really liked the second white wine we tasted, the 2010 Viognier ($15). The tasting room staff said the grapes came from Williams gap. We both loved this Viognier. It was very fruity, but balanced with the acid and again, a long finish.
The last white was the Charval ($20). This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris. It had a touch of residual sugar and tasted great, but the finish seemed to drop off quicker than the other two whites.
The next wine on the tasting menu was Long Bomb edition Three ($20). I really liked this wine, which is a blend of 88 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc, and 8 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Besides being very smooth and with lots of fruit I was getting some really nice herbal flavors. The wine had a long finish too. I also got a preview of the Long Bomb edition Four - looking forward to seeing how this matures. Long Bomb Edition One is still available for tasting. Edition One has softened a bit with time, but is still pretty tight with firm tannins. I prefer the more accessible Edition Three, but mentioned to Carol that I would like to try it through our aerator. We were also able to try the unreleased Long Bomb Four. This was another big, fruity, red. If my notes are correct this Long Bomb is a blend of 53 percent Cabernet Franc, 25 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Pinot Noir, 4 percent Petit Verdot, and the reminder Tanat. (Jordan, is that correct?)
Next up was the 2009 Cabernet Franc ($20). We liked this Cabernet Franc a lot. It was very smooth and fruity. Carol liked the fact that there were only light tannins present.
The staff had some of the Nevaeh Red ($40) open so our server let us taste it. The grapes for this wine are all from the Hill Block of the estate Nevaeh Vineyard. It is a blend of 71 percent Merlot, 23 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 6 percent Cabernet Franc. This was a fantastic wine, but we wondered whether Nevaeh Red at $40 may be a priced bit high for most visitors. It was a very good wine though, very smooth, with a lots of different fruit flavors coming through.
We really enjoyed Tarara. We visited on a Sunday so it wasn't crowded. It was really nice to see Jen and Bryan again. We took home three wines from Tarara - the Tarara White, the Viognier, and the Cabernet Franc. We have talked about making some time in 2012 to attend one of the Premier tastings at Tarara. Jen and Bryan said they were really fun and informative. All in all a great visit. Tarara is doing some great things. Check them out.
13648 Tarara Lane
Leesburg, Virginia 20176