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Jeff White

Glen Manor Vineyards, Jeff White's World-Class Sauvignon Blanc and Elegant Reds in Front Royal, VA

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I had a serious argument with the tasting room manager at King Family Vineyards:  they were asking $80 for a bottle of their '07 Meritage and, after selling it, they poured it in tiny, precious sized glasses.  If I had swirled it once it would have spilled on the counter.

I should also mention that it was served warm.

it didn't matter than this had won an earlier VA Governor's Cup:  their presentation of it was awful.

I gave Glen Manor's '10 Petit Verdot, LInden's '09 Hardscrabble Red (and '10 Boisseau) and the upcoming '10 Delaplane Williams Gap the presentation which I described above.  I'm not trying to be difficult but these are all very young wines that will improve even more with age.  I am just trying to taste them as best I can right now.  I believe they will improve, perhaps dramatically so, with age.  I am trying my best to realize, to taste that now.

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I want to add an addendum:  honestly, I do the same with most of the wine I drink.  This includes what I buy with the Kirkland label as well as wine that I buy as futures.  A couple of years or more of bottle age and the proper presentation makes many reds taste better.

Glen Manor PV was sold to case club members.  I qualified because I bought several cases of Hodder Hill, '11 Rapheus (great dessert wine) and petit manseng.  I believe there were only two or so barrels of the PV which is about 50 cases.  (Same is true with Linden's '10 Boisseau)  Having tasted the '09 and also attending the barrel tasting noted above I knew what I was getting into. I chased it.  Literally pestered the hell out of Jeff for the '10.    There was simply never enough for this to be served in the tasting room.  Same is true for Linden Boisseau.

My wife would say that I buy too much wine, regardless of the reason and regardless of where it is from.

Sorry for the rant.

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Tonight I opened a 2010 Hodder Hill, which I purchased a case of based on Joe H's recommendation and still have a few remaining.  The wine sings.  We are very lucky to have folks like Jeff and Kelly running such a wonderful vineyard about an hour from DC.  

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Pssst......for Don Rockers only........ (and everyone else on the Glen Manor mailing list)

I received an email today saying they were down their last few bottles/cases of the 2012 Hodder Hill.  Get them while you can! 

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I am loath to quote in its entirety Jeff's Seasonal Update, mailed last week to Glen Manor's case club list, but these two excerpts about the 2018 growing season stand out:

Quote

As I think you know, 2017 was the best vintage that I have ever experienced.  And you may also know that 2018 was the worst that I have ever experienced.  

Quote

Early on I thought, okay no Hodder Hill or St. Ruth for 2018.  I can still find a Vin Rouge out there.  But no, after Hurricane Florence hit, it was over.  We did not harvest any red grapes in 2018 for red wine.

Of the non-red wines, Jeff writes that they did manage to harvest the SB, PM, and enough red blocks for the Morales Rosé.  For the moment, GM is preparing the 2017 reds for release.

If you've seen the very steep HH parcel and followed Jeff's efforts to make wine "in the vineyard" (2014 Virginia Grower of the Year), you'll understand that it wasn't merely fruit that was lost to Florence, but also a tremendous amount of labor.  I don't know what the loss of the 2018 red crop will mean for their bottom line in one to two years' time, but I'm sure that the continuing support of their fans will be appreciated in the coming year.

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33 minutes ago, ol_ironstomach said:

If you've seen the very steep HH parcel and followed Jeff's efforts to make wine "in the vineyard" (2014 Virginia Grower of the Year), you'll understand that it wasn't merely fruit that was lost to Florence, but also a tremendous amount of labor.  I don't know what the loss of the 2018 red crop will mean for their bottom line in one to two years' time, but I'm sure that the continuing support of their fans will be appreciated in the coming year.

The news from Linden was similar.  I'll be making a point to buy cases at both when these vintages are released.  The downside of terroir is the actual weather that can deal you a crappy hand once in a while. Apologies for the weather - I know it sucked for us but is far more financially and personally difficult for those that produce our favorite beverage.

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5 hours ago, ol_ironstomach said:

If you've seen the very steep HH parcel and followed Jeff's efforts to make wine "in the vineyard" (2014 Virginia Grower of the Year), you'll understand that it wasn't merely fruit that was lost to Florence, but also a tremendous amount of labor.  I don't know what the loss of the 2018 red crop will mean for their bottom line in one to two years' time, but I'm sure that the continuing support of their fans will be appreciated in the coming year.

It really does suck. But, as Jeff mentioned in the e-mail and flat out told me the other day, he was not going to make a wine that he couldn't be proud of. 

It's also a warning to remember to avoid most VA reds from 2018. If Jeff can't get grapes to ripen sufficiently before losing them to rot due to excess moisture on that plot (up to 30% gradient, super rocky crappy soils) than all the folks on the flatlands with clay heavy soils...

Let's just say that you're going to see a lot of 2018 mystery VA red wine where the source of the grapes will be very carefully hidden.

PS - I'm not exactly unibiased, as I calculate that my house consumes .5% of GM's entire annual production, but the 2017 SavBlanc is the best he has ever done and the 2016 PetitManseng is gangster right now.

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On 10/29/2018 at 7:55 PM, JPW said:

PS - I'm not exactly unibiased, as I calculate that my house consumes .5% of GM's entire annual production, but the 2017 SavBlanc is the best he has ever done and the 2016 PetitManseng is gangster right now.

Hear, hear.  Those two were the core of our most recent case buy a few months back.

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11 hours ago, ol_ironstomach said:

Hear, hear.  Those two were the core of our most recent case buy a few months back.

On 10/23/2018 at 11:49 AM, The Doctor said:

Me too! Is there a corner at the bar? Just wondering how it worked with your group of four, if you were all seated next to one another or something else.

Interesting. Manseng both Petit and Gros are fairly obscure even in France. It makes really delicious dessert wine. Extremely aromatic. 

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33 minutes ago, Mark Slater said:

Interesting. Manseng both Petit and Gros are fairly obscure even in France. It makes really delicious dessert wine. Extremely aromatic. 

Jurançon isn't *that* obscure, although I guess it's better-known regionally among the general French population, and maybe they aren't familiar with its varietals.

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Boy, this is one of the saddest emails I've gotten recently:

---

It is my sad task to inform you of the sudden and tragic passing of our friend, neighbor, so important and loved member of our community and of our Glen Manor family, Jane Angela Whitney.  She died heroically trying to save her best friend and her friend’s dog after falling through thin ice on a pond on Jane’s property.  Sadly, all three perished.  For those of you who may not know Jane, she was our British addition behind the counter.

We are in a state of shock and deep sadness.  The loss has hit hard.  Jane has been a fixture in our tasting room almost since we opened in 2008 and I worked with her at Linden Vineyards starting in 1996.  She was our matriarch and I know touched many of you and was an integral part of your Glen Manor experience.

In addition to working for me, she volunteered for Hospice and for the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center.   She loved dogs and usually had around six strays or rescues living with her.  No services are as of yet planned as her family and friends are scattered all over the country and globe.  She will rest in Arlington National Cemetery with the love of her life Scott Whitney who passed in 1996.

Sincerely,
Jeff

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Just heart breaking.  Jane was a wonderful person and filled Glen Manors tasting room with warmth whenever she was there (which was almost every time we visited).  

I can’t fathom how distraught Kelly and Jeff must be.  Jen and I are going to make a trip out there next weekend to have a glass in Janes honor.  

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This is beyond horrible.  I remember Jane from her time at Linden, and from the "Small World" Department, once was on the same ferry as her from Hatteras to Ocracoke, NC.

I'm surprised this didn't make the local news.  Hell, I'm surprised this didn't make the national news.

R.I.P.

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52 minutes ago, Bart said:

I'm surprised this didn't make the local news.  Hell, I'm surprised this didn't make the national news.

It did (and it might).

"Two Women, Dog Found Dead in Bentonville Pond"  by Max Lee on dnronline.com
"Stepdaughter: Women May Have Died in Pond while Trying To Save Dog" by Melissa Topey on nvdaily.com
"2 Women, Dog, Found Dead in Icy Pond in Warren County" by Sophia Barnes on nbcwashington.com
"Hallan Cuerpos de 2 Mujeres y Perro en Estanque Congelado en el Condado Warren" on telemundowashingtondc.com

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