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Delaplane Cellars, Delaplane, VA

VA Wine Fauquier County Delaplane

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#1 Joe H

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

We visited Delaplane Cellars for the first time yesterday. Perhaps along with Bluemont, HIllsborough and RDV one of the most beautiful vineyard settings in Virginia. Five hundred feet up the steep side of "Lost Mountain" the tasting room looks over a valley and a distant range of the Shenandoah. Almost breathtaking to stand in their tasting room, sip and look outside through the floor to ceiling windows. They don't have a 150 space parking lot, nor does their business model depend on weddings or a carnival on summer weekends.

It focuses on wine.

We met the passionate owner. At some point we started talking about syrah and he mentioned that he was proud of his, the 2010 Shirland syrah. I apologetically mentioned Charles Smith's Royal City, Cayuse Bionic Frog, Sheridan Singularity-even Reynvaan Stonessence.

He didn't flinch. He just asked us to taste his a day after it had opened.

He opened a bottle for us. I slushed the wine around the glass, inhaled, slushed some more and after a minute or so, sipped. It was good. For $42 it should have been good. And was. But Jim Dolphin insisted: give it a day. It will be better. Much better.

We stayed for over an hour and felt that he, his wife and staff could not have been friendlier nor more caring. And they were proud. I should mention that Delaplane Cellars is where Tarver King, chef of the Ashby Inn, had his rehearsal dinner. At Jim's winery.

I'm guessing drinking Shirland syrah that was opened the day before. (There is an excellent $49 Left Bank Reserve blend that may even be better on the first day.) Tonight I pulled the cork out of the day old syrah and tasted it. Actually, I drank a glass of it. Well, to be honest two glasses were left and I have now drank both. Wow!!! Just, wow!

We return to Delaplane in a week and a half with friends. We are going to open his syrah alongside of Royal City, Singularity and Stoneessence. I have no hesitation in saying that Jim Dolphin's 2010 Shirland syrah, opened a day, will show well alongside of them. @$42 a bottle.

Royal City is $140-if you can find it.

I passionately believe that Virginia wine is ready for the world stage. RDV's Lost Mountain was the first to carry the state's flag. Delaplane Cellars' 2010 Shirland syrah, opened a day, will be there alongside of it.

Enthusiastic, prolonged applause to Jim Dolphin for a great wine. Not a great Virginia wine...but a great wine. His 2010 Shirland syrah, opened a day.

#2 plarkins

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:18 AM

Glad you finally made it to Delaplane. It's in my top 3 wineries in Northern Virginia. All the wine is solid. It can get swamped on weekends and lacks the more intitmate tastings experienced at other top wineries in the area. Though, if you show above average interest in wine, I've always gotten a few extra pours from wines not on the standard tasting. Obviously, that was the case with you, Joe. Would be interested to know your thoughts on the CINQ2, the Williams Gap Reserve, and their tannat. I still favor Hillsborough's tannat over Delaplane and Chateau O'Brien.

#3 Joe H

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

I have 2007 Onyx that is drinking really well right now. I bought one bottle of the $80 Chateau O'Brien just to try it and thought it was good-for a $30 bottle. Frightfully expensive-only RDV's '09 Lost Mountain is worth this much. I believe Delaplane's two best wines are their Shirland syrah (which REALLY is smoother and with more depth the second day) and the Left Bank Reserve. Jim opened a bottle of his '07 Reserve which was the best of all.

This raises an interesting consideration for VA wine: '07 Octagon, Hodder Hill, Onyx and the Delaplane are at their best right now with several years of bottle age. This is not a statement that you could make about VA wine a decade ago. I look forward to some age on Hardscrabble, Keswick Reserve and RDV. At some point there is going to be national recognition for VA having not just the most beautiful wine country of all in America but now, having some damn good wine.

By the way we drove to Mt. Airy's Black Ankle two weeks ago. MD wine has come a long way, too. Beautiful winery with a lot of character in the tasting room and setting.

Which three VA wineries are your favorites?

#4 plarkins

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

I got into wine after most of the '07's were sold out. I can attest the '08 Onyx is drinking well now as well. I did manage to grab the '07 Hardscrabble red, which I hope to open later in the year. I thought Black Ankle had a very good syrah, but ended buying the Slate.

 

Linden, Glen Manor, and Delaplane are my three favorites. All their wines are well made and the tasting room settings are all great. Of the Charlottesville wineries, I've only been to Veritas (their '11 viognier is excellent); so I do bias towards the Northern Virginia wineries.



#5 deangold

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

Glen Manor, Breaux for the Italian varietals and I love Boxwood Trellis for a good sturdy red.  Definitely want to try Black Ankle.  


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