Sunday, February 16, 2014

Black Ankle Vineyards' VGV (2011)

VGV.  The three letters are an acronym, a significant shorting of Viognier Grüner Veltliner.  Those three words represent two grapes (1) Viognier and (2) Gruner Veltiner.  Those two grapes were blended into one very interesting and delicious wine by Black Ankle Vineyards in Mount Airy, Maryland.   

The blending of Viognier and Grüner Veltliner represents a sort of combination of East and West.  The West -- Viognier -- is grown in France, where it is grown principle in the Rhône valley, where its elements of pear, peaches, violets and minerality contribute to some very well known white wines.  The East -- Grüner Veltliner -- is a white wine grape that is principally grown in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic (although, as with just about every grape, including Viognier, it is now grown across the world.)  The grapes produce a wine is not really known for its aromatic qualities, at least at a young age.  However, as time goes by, the wines develop citrus notes, as well as white pepper, celery and lentil elements.

The winemakers at Black Ankle brought together East and West to produce a very unusual blend.  (I have to admit that I personally have not seen very many Viognier and Grüner Veltliner blends.)  The VGV pours a light golden color. As the wine rests in the glass, aromas of grass are followed by elements of pear, nectarine and cracked pepper.  The taste of this wine presents a very interesting combination of tastes.  On the one hand, there is the citrus and fruits, such as those pears, nectarines and grapefruit, all of which are most likely brought about by the Viognier grapes  with some help from the Grüner Veltliner grapes.  On the other hand, there is some earthiness, pepper and minerality, which is probably from the Grüner Veltliner grapes, with a little assistance from the Viogner grapes.  Two grapes working together to produce an excellent wine with a light, crisp body with just the proper amount of tartness.

The winemakers suggest that the VGV would pair well with smoked appetizers, like a smoked salmon appetizer.  I think that the VGV follows the pairing rules of its constituent grapes.  Light seafood dishes, like steamed mussels, and some chicken dishes, like light curries, would work well this this wine.  When it comes to cheese, I think hard cheeses would work this this wine, ith silkiness in the mouth bright and tart flavors of citrus and grapefruit blend with mineral, creating a wonderfully crisp and refreshing white blend.

This wine was produced by Black Ankle a couple of years ago and, to my knowledge, the vineyard has not produced any subsequent vintages.


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