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Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 4.09.59 PMRecently, I took another course at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Vineyard spraying. The class was hosted at a nice little winery in Charlottesville called First Colony Winery. The Virginia Grape does a good write up here about how the winery has been bought and sold and remodeled. All the key winemaking staff were there and were super helpful and friendly to all of us and the best part of all they let us taste their wines. I grabbed few bottles and was so impressed by their winemaking and wanted to make sure I wasn’t caught in the moment I opened the 2012 First Colony Winery Meritage for my brother and wife that same night.

Please note that they have recently relaunched the label of this winery and in future reviews you may see a different label. I will say between the two I do like this one a lot better.

According to their website:

The nose is complex with notes of cherry, tobacco, plum jam, and toasted walnut. The palate is more fruit forward, exhibiting slightly tart flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and cassis. 36% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot.

The tasting sheet adds that only 234 cases were produced and the wine was aged 30 percent in new American oak and 70 percent in Neutral French oak. For those who do not pay attention to the varietal this is an interesting Meritage blend because most blends would almost be in reverse. They would have Merlot and/or Cabernet as the main base and then flare it with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

Color – Deep red with really good clarity.

Nose – Light dark fruit and I do get the hints of tobacco and a slight hint of leather.

Taste – Lot’s of Cabernet Franc flavors with lots of black pepper. For once I do get a little bit of the green bell pepper that people talk about with Cabernet Franc and it is still enjoyable.

Finish – Light and clean for a Meritage but very enjoyable.

Overall, this is a very different blend from a very good winery. If you are a Cabernet Franc lover, you will absolutely love this wine. I tried some of their other wines like their Petit Verdot and it is probably the only reason why this wine wasn’t rated a little higher. It could have been a little bit bolder but once I forgot it was Meritage and focused on the unique blend I really enjoyed it.

Rating: A- (91 points)

~Justin