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The balcony would be perfect in summer

The balcony would be perfect in summer

On a recent trip to Richmond, VA, we couldn’t help but to visit a winery. We chose James River Cellars. They are located close to I-95 so even if you aren’t staying in Richmond, you can make a quick stop en route to your destination.

When we arrived it was pretty empty except for the Vertical Tasting they were holding upstairs. But by the time we left, they were crowded and we know why. Location, prices and quality of the wine.

James River Wine Selection

They have 12 wines on their tasting list and at $5 per tasting you really get a lot for your buck. I’ll highlight a few.

  • 2013 Chardonel: It’s a hybrid grape developed by Cornell University with Chardonnay as the base grape, hence the name Chardonel. It was sweeter than Chardonnay with hints of pineapple and pear. Price: $18
  • 2012 Hanover Red: It’s a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional (from Portugal, usually a port wine), 25% Cabernet Franc, and 25% Merlot. You could taste the Merlot and having never had the Touriga, we decided we’d like to taste it separately to get an idea of the individual flavor. Overall, we thought this was a good sip wine. Price: $15

Now usually we are not big fans of sweet wines but of the 4 on their list, we liked 3 of them.

  • 2013 Montpelier: A blend of 58% Pinot Gris, 32% Chardonel, 10% Chambourcin. Since one half of DUVAI adores Chambourcin, we figured this would be a winner. It was! It was fruity and had hints of apple, peach and a bit of cranberry. Price: $15
  • 2013 Hanover White: A blend of 95% Chardonel and 5% Muscat. It reminded me so much of my beloved Cayuga White from Port of Leonardtown that is no longer being produced. Fruity, a great sip wine and just enough sweet.  Price: $15
  • 2013 Chambourcin: Of course, right? But wait, this wasn’t your typical Chambourcin. This is a dessert Chambourcin. If you recall, we had a dessert Chambourcin at Running Hare Vineyard as well but this wasn’t the high alcohol content dessert wine Running Hare serves. This one was sweet and a bit more mellow than the robust Chambourcin’s we usually like. It would be awesome with chocolate. Definitely had the hints of berry Chambourcin is known for. Price: $16

We decided to stay at the winery and kick back with a bottleof 2013 Montpelier (below). It is a great sip wine. We were so stuffed from lunch that couldn’t even look at food but this wine didn’t need a pairing and it was great for a nice afternoon.

james River 2