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Granite Heights "Humility" Estate Red

Joe H

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I called at least seven or eight times. I started at 9 in the morning and continued every half hour or so until noon. We were going to be in Bealeton and I knew this new winery was not open to the public-at least not until April. Dave McIntyre had noted the release of their Estate Wines and given his credibility (RDV, Black Ankle, Boordy) with wineries I had never been to or, to be honest, even heard of this was a winery whose wine I had to have.

Fifteen minutes out of Bealeton Toni answered the phone. The owner. Hearing, "hello," I thought...feared that I had the wrong number. Could we be so lucky? Several miles from the literal crossroads of Bealeton, Virginia that the owner had actually answered the phone?

Would she sell us wine? Would she sell us their estate wine which their website noted would be available in April 2013? Of course I would lie, if I needed to and say we would not open a bottle until then. And, then, up the road, in back of a gas station pull out my crokscrew.

But she said "yes, I'd be happy, too."

We were there within the fifteen minutes. Toni, a physician at the Warrenton Free Clinic and her husband, a patent attorney in D. C. are absolutely passionate about their wine and their farm. She told us that he insists the wine be sold and presented at 58 degrees. As I type this and occasionally sip, it is indeed @ 58 degrees....well, maybe 59 but I opened this bottle straight out of a Eurocave. And kept it cold in the trunk of my car until we returned home.

She was wonderful. Passionate, proud and knowledgeable she is the new wave of wine makers and owners in Virginia. And she and her husband (who we have not met, yet) are putting out a helluva wine! It is a 15% alcohol blend of cab, cab franc and petit verdot. Full bodied, mouth coating and jammy it is in league with Keswick Reserve, Barboursville Octagon, Delaplane Cellars Left Bank Reserve, Hillsborough Onyx and, yes, RDV Roundezvous.

This is a delicious wine! Frankly, a remarkable acievement for their first effort with their own grapes. Or anyone else's!

I bought a case @ $17 a half bottle after a 10% case discount. There is not a lot of it which is why there are only half bottles. My personal hope is that anyone reading this, when visiting in the spring will try a half bottle of their Humility. It speaks well for Toni, for Granite Heights and the state of Virginia.

I should also note that for myself it is remarkable that Bealeton would be home to a wine like this. My parents grew up in Bealeton and returned there when they retired. Now that my wife and I have retired we'll return, too. And one of the reasons will be to buy Humility, which is among Virginia's best red wines.


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