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Glen Manor 2007 Hodder Hill


Joe H
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Steve Hitchcock was right! Friday night I mentioned Hillsborough's Bloodstone as the best red Virginia wine that I have had. He asked me if I had been to Glen Manor outside of Front Royal. No, I'd never heard of it. Then, I didn't even know that Jeff White has a frequent blog on this very website. I just knew nothing about it; but I did know that shitch has a great deal of credibility with me. So much so that this afternoon my wife and I drove from Reston to Front Royal to try Glen Manor.

Hodder Hill is an absolutely delicious full bodied, mouth coating red with a nose that almost glued my face to the glass! I don't believe that it has ever been reviewed by the national press but it should. This is a serious wine that I bought a case of (yes, I really did-it was THAT good!). I understand that this is the first bottling for what may be the signature wine not just for the winery but for the state.

I'd even suggest that this is the wine to carry Virginia wines into national recognition. Whatever image that a "Virginia red" has is being corrected by Bloodstone, Barboursville's Octagon, Hodder Hill and certainly others that I haven't tasted yet. I must also mention that this $30 wine ($27 with the case discount) is a huge bargain. With the bottle having been open now for two hours it is big enough to taste for all the world like a $60-70 or more wine.

The winery itself sits at the base of a picturesque mountain that looks like an Austrian mountainside.

My guess is that Hodder Hill and other Virginia wines need to be "sold" to the public. But if this is their first taste Front Royal may be the next Walla Walla. A serious red wine; at the price point a great red wine worth the recommendation of any sommelier anywhere.

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I'm curious, when did you last taste the Bloodstone? I was a big fan of Hillsborough's wines, but on my last visit I was disappointed in the quality overall, as well as with the fact that they no longer do tastings at the bar. You have to be seated at a table in their "dining room" where you are waited on by an employee. It was not particularly busy teh day we were there (this was in late May I believe) and yet, she never hung around to tell us a single thing about the wine.

Anyway, this thread isn't about Hillsborough, it's about Glen manor, who I agree has some of the most promising wines in VA right now. The vintage of sauvignon blanc I last had would rival any NZ one if you ask me.

Even allowing for my until late love of Hillsborough, I think there are a few other VA wineries that perform better along with Glen Manor, Linden, where Jeff White hailed from and Chester Gap, all of which are within driving distance of each other. I posted about all of them in a thread I started a little while ago. :)

I look forward to tasting the Hodder Hill again - i have a bottle of it sitting in my wine fridge, but I felt it needed some more time when I tasted it. Perhaps the time is now. :D

Thanks for spreading the word about VA wine.

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I htink Glen Manor is one of the great wineries around today in the US. I have 4 of thier wines, 2 vintages of SB and Hodder Hill red and the cab fronc. These wines are top notch and deliver value that comptees with anyone. Of course they are mostly collecting dust as opposed to moving, even with hand selling.

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I'm curious, when did you last taste the Bloodstone? I was a big fan of Hillsborough's wines, but on my last visit I was disappointed in the quality overall, as well as with the fact that they no longer do tastings at the bar. You have to be seated at a table in their "dining room" where you are waited on by an employee. It was not particularly busy teh day we were there (this was in late May I believe) and yet, she never hung around to tell us a single thing about the wine.

On Friday at lunch time, we did our tasting at the bar. We actually were the first ones there that day, but by the time we finished there were about 10 more people. Since it was by first time at Hillborough, have no other reference point, but it was enjoyable experience. I did note the large tasting room with tables walking to the bathroom and wondered about it being used with large tour buses visiting.

Back to this wine, look forward to trying it in the future.

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On Friday at lunch time, we did our tasting at the bar. We actually were the first ones there that day, but by the time we finished there were about 10 more people. Since it was by first time at Hillborough, have no other reference point, but it was enjoyable experience. I did note the large tasting room with tables walking to the bathroom and wondered about it being used with large tour buses visiting.

Back to this wine, look forward to trying it in the future.

That's good to know. Maybe they've started tasting at the bar again, or perhaps they only use the large room on weekends. I just remember on my first visit tasting with the owner, the winemaker's father. I really enjoyed talking with him and it was such a personal experience. Perhaps the quality of the wines really hasn't changed - the two experiences were so drastically different I wouldn't be surprised that it factored into how much I enjoyed the wine.

Anyway, back to the Hodder Hill. :)

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That's good to know. Maybe they've started tasting at the bar again, or perhaps they only use the large room on weekends. I just remember on my first visit tasting with the owner, the winemaker's father. I really enjoyed talking with him and it was such a personal experience. Perhaps the quality of the wines really hasn't changed - the two experiences were so drastically different I wouldn't be surprised that it factored into how much I enjoyed the wine.

Anyway, back to the Hodder Hill. :)

Last night we opened a bottle of '06 Bloodstone along with an '07 Hodder Hill. The Bloodstone was interesting since this is the fourth bottle that I've now opened and it was the first that had the "vegetal" nuance that you mentioned in another post. It was faint but it was still there and I don't really care for this at all. In defense of Bloodstone I must note that the other three bottles (the first which caused me to rave about it-by the case this wine is UNDER $25) did not even have a hint of "green pepper." Last night the Hodder Hill was wonderful and far superior. But the first three bottles of the Bloodstone had a great deal of promise.

For anyone reading this if you try Hodder Hill: give it some time after you open the bottle.

Dean: my analogy with Walla Walla may not be so far off. I've been travelling to Vancouver, B. C. since 1985 and buying wine in WA since long before; some friends probably snickered behind my back at my fondness for eastern "Washington state" wine. Still, I liked it and thought it was a real bargain. At some point I tried Leonetti and went on their mailing list around 1990-I wanted to buy more bottles than I could carry back. Then it seemed that I would rarely see a Washington state wine on a winelist here (I can't remember EVER seeing a Walla Walla wine here) and, if I did, it was a cheap WA state wine. Almost certainly Chateau St. Michelle or Columbia Crest both of which were thought of differently twenty + years ago. I should add that on the West Coast there was a lot of interest in the Washington wines, some of which had a kind of boutique appeal. I just don't think this had spread far beyond the state line.

The only reputation that WA wine had in the East seemed to be a largely curious, if not a negative one. In 1994 the Wine Spectator came out and called Leonetti's "America's best merlot." Their mailing list acquired a waiting list and coincidentally Walla Walla's L'Ecole 41 and Woodward Canyon started showing up more frequently in the East.

Today, there must be 25 or 30 or more wineries in Walla Walla including K Vintners and Cayuse, both of which I love. (I am on the waiting list for the mailing list of Cayuse!)

I somewhat suspect that Virginia wine is similar to eastern Washington wine in the late '80's. I believe there is going to have to be a "breakthrough" wine to carry it to national acceptance as well as local restaurant acceptance. I am suggesting that with only one year of bottling Hodder Hill could become that wine in years to come. As much as many people on here dislike a numerical rating system for wine it can really help sell it. A Virginia wine that scores, say, 93 points from the Wine Spectator and retails for $30 attracts attention beyond the state.

I believe that Hodder Hill may be a 93 point wine. After three or four more years in the bottle? The first three bottles of Bloodstone, with a numerical rating, may have been 90. (With the vegetal, the mid '80's at best.)

Virginia has wine now that it didn't have ten or twenty years ago. Someone needs to come taste it.

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No comment on the wine?

Purchased 6 bottles each of the 07 Sauvignon Blanc and the 07 Hodder Hill. (Amazingly, both of these clock in at over 14% alcohol.) I could have just as easily bought the 08 Sauvignon Blanc and the 07 Cabernet Franc. A wonderful portfolio of wines, and perhaps more importantly, one of the best vineyard plots I've ever seen in Virginia will be going into production this vintage. The Hodder Hill is a great terroir, but this new vineyard (and Jeff refused to reveal its name), is spectacular - 1300 feet in elevation, a 35-degree slope, porous soil, and southwesterly exposure.

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If the tables are walking, try using the spit bucket. :)

Man, I need an editor for my postings!

This was not as bad as an email sent out to 500 people today. Somehow the font on my name was 48 size compared to the rest of the normal 12 size text.

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