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I took a drive out to Northern Virginia’s wine country and visited the Chrysalis winery in Middleburg.  They specialize in the native Norton grape which is medium to high in acidity, full bodied but with very soft tannins.  High levels of anthocyanin help to deliver a beautifully rich dark purple color to the young wine.  I tasted several different versions of this varietal including a blend.  The flight consisted of 3 dry reds and a sweet blush plus I got a bonus- the Papillon which is a blend of Tannat and Petit Verdot.

My favorite from the flight was the Bull Run Mountain Cuvee, which uses some Carbonic Maceration as well as traditional fermentation.  This gives the wine very soft tannins and bright fruit flavors.  The Barrel Select and Locksley Reserve were not my favorites- the Carbonically macerated Barrel Select was a touch too spicy for my taste.  The Locksley has some Tannat added to it which beefs up the tannins yet I still did not care for the flavor profile as much.  Don’t get me wrong, I could sit on their beautiful patio and sip these all day.  Speaking of the patio, the Sarah’s Patio Red was definitely not my cup of tea.  I love dessert wines, I love Port, I love sparkling/spritzy wines, I like Blush wines, but I really did not care for the cloying nature of this one.  It might be right up your alley so don’t let my opinion sway you from trying it.  The last wine I drank was the Papillon- a blend of more traditional varietals….Tannat and Petit Verdot.  I like the balance of this wine, the flavors were layered and far more complex.  This is a serious wine to sit and ponder.  It runs $40 at the winery and is well suited to pair with hearty dishes as the Fall and Winter approach.  I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon trip out to this beautiful venue where you can order pizzas and light fare to pair with the very large selection of varietals that are interesting and not mainstream…. The staff were great and very informative.  I’ll be back to try the rest of their offerings.  Salut….