Kensington, MD Barbera Rosé – 2017

This is my long-awaited Barbera rosé. It’s bitter-sweet to be drinking this, because it’s the last wine that my vines produced at my previous home in Kensington before we moved three blocks down the road. Unfortunately, the vines were already too well-established to uproot and transfer to our new home, but the buyers were generous in allowing me to care for the vines and harvest the grapes in the final two months of their production for 2017 (and they’ve continued to care for and tend to the vines since our departure – thank goodness).

Simply stated, I’m really proud of this wine. It’s now my third vintage from these vines, and I believe the best yet. With the first two, I produced a traditional fruity red; typical personality for the barbera varietal. With this one though, being my last vintage for these vines, I decided to go a different route. Thanks to TJ Flemming at Rocklands Farm and Winery in Potomac MD, I was encouraged to try out a rosé. This vintage is a beautiful light and bright pink, with strawberry and grassy flavors. It has absolutely bone dry and leaves you wanting more and more. Unfortunately, there are only 12 bottles in existence. Get them while they last! I believe this wine will be exceptional in 2020.

·         Rating: Impressive (but biased)

·         Name: NLE Rosé

·         Winery: 4124 Warner

·         Region: Kensington, MD

·         Country: USA

·         Varietals: Barbera

·         Price: Priceless

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ArmAs – Aragatsotn, Armenia

So, anyone heard of Armenian wines? If not, you will soon. I was in Yerevan for a recent work trip and happened to be visiting a bunch of agricultural sites, many of which were growing grapes. This country’s soils are so well-suited for orchards, particularly grapes, because of their volcanic or bouldery geology. All are very well-drained and the climate affords them enough sunlight and water stress to push them to the max. The grapes have traditionally been used to make exceptional cognac, but now the farmers are waking up to the fact that they have excellent conditions to grow world class table wines. This is not unlike the Spanish epiphany of the late 1990s or the Portuguese awakening of the early-mid 200os.

Now to the wine: it is ripe, tight, and spicy. Its native grapes reminded me of the Norton varietal here in the mid-Atlantic USA; very bold and very unique. I reckon that this will be drinking well for years to come. Sheridan, be thankful that I got a bottle for you too…

·         Rating: Impressive

·         Name: Karmrahyut Dry Red Wine

·         Winery: ArmAs

·         Region: Aragatsotn Province

·         Country: Armenia

·         Varietals: Karmrahyut, Areni, Kakhet, Meghrabuyr

·         Price: $12