Crassing at Crossing: Part I 12/17/10
This weekend I had the happy fortune to attend a free tasting at Crossing Vineyards in Washington’s Crossing, PA, at which I was reminded precisely why it is my favorite winery. Though they’ve only been in business for 10 years, rumor has it the ghost of George Washington himself is the majority shareholder, and sometimes can be heard on quiet nights whispering secret presidential viticulture tips to Crossing employees, to safeguard his investment.
In any case, moments after receiving the good news from my long-time associate, I was raring to go, arrayed in my obnoxious Cornell sweatshirt, and armed with an unforgivably douchey pen and notepad. Oh don’t mind me, folks – I just have my own blog, is all. Arriving at the really freaking gorgeous vineyard, we all proceeded to the tasting room, where a poorly-located band piped out louder-than-ideal salsa music or something.
But whatever: all the conversations I might have had with friends and family would only have distracted me from my work (blogging is very srsly), and with 10 wines on the menu that day, I knew I’d need to train my full attention on the tantalizing task before me. Given the number of wines I sampled, I’ve decided to split this review into two parts, so as to cater to the dwindling attention spans of my
idiot beloved readers.
As in American foreign policy, so too is it in wine: whites before reds. We started with a lightly-oaked (in contrast to those hackneyed Cali oak-bombs) Chardonnay from 2008 ($18), which was equally light in color and smelled of hay and red apple. On the palate it was silky and medium-bodied with good dryness and fruity sweetness to balance, and a bit of butter on the finish. The Crossing Chardonnay, a varietal I usually don’t really care for, nevertheless earns
Next was a 2007 Viognier ($17). Viognier is one of my favorite white varietals, and Crossing Vineyards is a big part of why this is true. The wine, which was a slightly deeper straw color, gave off intense aromas of papaya, with secondary notes of apricot and perhaps a hint of mango – unlike the Chard, there was no oak. Medium-bodied and dry on the attack with fruit and acidity on the evolution, this had a long finish full of peach and apricot flavors, but maybe a little alcohol heat as well. Still, a hard one to top.
A 2008 Vidal Blanc ($16) followed the Viognier, and didn’t exactly blow me away. It was a pale straw color in the glass, and smelled of peach and honeysuckle. While the Chardonnay and Viognier had been dry, the Vidal was a semi-sweet wine, and was therefore extremely sweet – tasting the way it smelled, of peach and honey, but with a short finish. I would have loved to try their Late Harvest Vidal, topping their price charts at $40 per bottle, but the poor man’s version still gets
The final white of the day was a 2009 Riesling ($18), off-dry (so not as sweet as the Vidal, but still sweeter than I generally like). This wine was a light golden yellow, and gave off scents of honey and guava. It was light-bodied and sweet on the start and (medium-length) finish, but with extremely intriguing notes of jasmine tea on the middle of the palate. I do prefer Sand Castle’s Dry Riesling, but Crossing’s sweeter one earns a solid
And thus concludes the first installment of my two-installment tale. I realize many questions have been left unanswered: Will the reds outdo the whites? Will there finally be a perfect ten? Will I ever be allowed back at Crossing Vineyards?
All these answers and more, in the action-packed conclusion of…
PS: Yes, crassing is a word. No, crassing was not a word prior to now.
PPS: My earlier-mentioned neutrality toward the three-way death match among cork, synthetic cork and metal screwcappery has taken a turn for the less neutral. The (much more professional than myself) wine blog Vinography has revealed that the cork lobby (which I will henceforth refer to as Big Cork) are actually little more than a gaggle of snobby misogynists.
Although I am officially compelled to support both snobbery and misogyny, I will be making an effort to join Mr. Yarrow in drinking more wine that’s been corked synthetically and screwed metallically. They are, indeed, ideal closure methods if you’re the kind of (baffling) person who still has wine in the bottle at the end of the night.
As for me…well, any excuse to drink more, right?