Maryland wine is where Virginia wine was about a decade ago. Starting to gain traction, some really great producers making great wines and then those that are producing the fruit wines. But hey, evidently those sell too! This shouldn't discount all MD wine, there are some fantastic wineries out there, you just need to know where to look. And Jarrod at Adega Wine Cellars was just the person to ask.
The Young Winos held a tasting event in Silver Spring at Adega Wine Cellars focusing on those great producers in MD. Adega is a casual, cafe-style environment and was a great experience. A large menu featuring burgers, appetizers, flatbreads and pastas were available as well as wines by the glass, by the bottle and also beers.
Jarrod, the manager, led the tasting of 4 MD wines; 2 whites and 2 reds. The first wine was from Cygnus Wine Cellars in Carroll County. Manchester Hall is a Vidal Blanc, which is a flagship grape in the state. A very balanced, off-dry wine with melon and notes of minerality. This wine has 1.2% residual sugar but still finishes dry. This bottle retails at Adega for $15.99
The 2nd white wine was from Black Ankle Vineyards in Frederick County. The 2012 Bedlam is a blend of pretty much everything they can find. A blend of Chardonnay, Albarino, Muscat, Viognier, Gruner Vetliner and Syrah! Wow! No wonder it's called Bedlam ("craziness"). This complex wine is very tropical, full bodied with a crisp, long finish. I enjoyed this one but it did get some comments from others at the tasting that it was too complex and had a lot going on. With only 131 cases of this wine produced, the retail price is $32.99!
The first red was from Fiore Winery in Hareford County. The Proprietor's Reserve is a Chambourcin, which is a grape that has taken off in MD. This wine is non-vintage but rather a blend of 2 vintages. This helps with the volatility from vintage to vintage. Bright red fruit notes, mostly cherry and only light tannins, this is a great wine to pair with many foods or sip on it's own, as we did after the tasting!
The last and final wine in the flight was Black Ankle 2011 Rolling Hills red blend. A blend of 76% Merlot and 24% Cab Sauv. Aged in new French oak, this wine is very rich, full bodied and balanced. Again, soft tannins and a lot of red fruit.
This was quite the lineup of MD wines and a great job by Jarrod of Adega! (ps - get the Adega fries: truffle and sweet potato)