Producer: Early Mountain Vineyards
Region: Virginia
Vineyard: Quaker Run Vineyard
Grapes: 83% tannat, 15% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot
ABV: 15.3%
Price: $45*

* Review sample provided by the winery

Early Mountain Vineyards 2017 Quaker Run Vineyard Tannat

Early Mountain Vineyards 2017 Quaker Run Vineyard Tannat

91 points

I taste a lot of wine too young – wines that ultimately benefit from more time bottle to continue their development and show their best. That comes with the territory. I usually taste wines when they are released, not when they are peaking. They are almost always still approachable at release.

But, I rarely taste a wine like this one. This one needs more time in the bottle. If you have a bottle – and there weren't many made – I'd hold onto it for at least a year.

Poured right after opening, it's big and sturdy and a bit angular – and frankly not all that giving. But on days two and three open, it opens up and becomes a standout – and not just because you don't see much varietal tannat in the East.

Aromas of very ripe brambly fruit – mostly blackberry but also some raspberry – are accented by notes of grilled herbs, bay leaf, fennel frond, and nutmeg.

The palate is full-bodied but wears the 15.3% abv well. The fruit turns black and blue here, with blackberries, blueberries, and plums along with a savory frame of herbs and spice. The tannins are broad and mouth-filling, with a powdery feel on the end of a long finish.

This wine is a perfect example of why I taste every wine over several days. Without that patience, I wouldn't have had the same experience.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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