We all dream. Some dream of wealth, power or love. Some dream of drinking and making amazing wine. Sometimes, if you are very, very lucky, all those combine and that dream of making wine with those we love at a vineyard that has that expensive chateau style - well, for some, that is reality.
At Boxwood Winery, just outside of Middleburg, VA, everything is the perfect example of an ideal. Dedicated to red wine in the Bordeaux style, I knew that I was visiting the major leagues (well, more like the NFL, - Big, strong and apt - it is built and owned by John Kent Cooke, second generation past owner of the Washington Redskins - a great article: From Redskins to Red Wine) and really I don't even think that I will be alive when these wines come of age. Visiting Boxwood was an amazing experience for me.
Here is how it went down:
We were given the grand tour by Boxwood Manger/Executive Vice President (and Cooke step-daughter) Rachel Martin and winemaker/viticulturist (and Canadian) Adam McTaggart.
The Winery is a beautiful and functional design by architect Simon Jacobson, and consists of three separate buildings, connected by the Tasting Room. (I will always shout out to great architects, after all, "Anna Uncorked" was named by one).
We walked from the circular stainless tasting bar, through the spotless tank room, out to the sorting and stemming platform, it was like we were at Epcot for wineries. Impeccably clean & shiny with all of the latest technology.
Then we were escorted into the barrel room. It was more like a slumber party for amazing color coordinated French oak barrels. As my eyes adjusted to the low lighting, and Adam talked about their vintages, I hopped around taking pictures. Totally forgetting that we were in a sealed, climate controlled room, I tried to hop up onto the stone step leading out of the barrel room, only to forget that it was sealed by high strength glass. Imagine a very large, clumsy bird smashing into a window. Yes folks, I was the comic relief. With nothing injured by my ego, I stepped back into the group and humbly listened.
Next was the Bottling Room. This is where I need to note that Boxwood is keeping their production small and exact. As of Summer 2011, they only produce four wines. And with those four wines, they only plan to produce no more that 5,000 cases of wine annually. That is only 60,000 bottles of wine. That is not a lot of wine. Now for the price. All of the wines are VERY REASONABLE. Rose $14.00 and the reds, $25.00.
My whole outlook on this winery has changed since the day that we were there. Maybe, it is because I am reading The Billionaires Vinegar (recommended to me by by fellow blogger Michael Oudyn), maybe because what I saw needed to ferment in my brain for a while (it has been three weeks since we were there). But I can say now that I think I get it. My tasting notes from this tasting are useless, it was 100+ degree weather and we had just had a big lunch. I wasn't ready for this fairly young wine - but now, in retrospect, I feel as though these reds will age into great wine.
Boxwood Estate `09 $25.00 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot) Their "left bank style" Bordeaux blend.
Boxwood Topiary `08 $25.00 (Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec) Their "right bank" style Bordeaux blend.
I have better notes form the Rosé, I would serve both in a heartbeat. The prices are fantastic for such elegant wines.
Boxwood Estate Boxwood Rosé `10 $14.00 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) this is a refreshingly dry yet subtly spicy Rosé. Really nicely balanced and really nicely priced. Excellent value for a fresh, dry French style Rosé.
Boxwood Estate Topiary Rosé `10 $14.00 (Cabernet Franc and Malbec) This was my favorite wine of the tasting. It had all of the fruitiness of Cabernet Franc, and was deliciously light, with a bright finish. Again, very well priced for the quality.
I think that we have something new here at Boxwood, something that I will be able to say "I was there when...". They are dedicated to modern viticulture and classic tastes. And above all, they are dedicated to the community around them. Middleburg has applied for an AVA. I am going to buy a couple of their bottles for a proper review and then I am going to buy one of each of their reds, stow them in the cellar and update this post in five years. Boxwood is here for the long run. I can't wait to re-visit them.
Here is a link to all of my photos from this visit.