For our April meetup we ventured to Fishersville, VA, to Barren Ridge Vineyards. Co-owner Angela Higgs reached out to invite us earlier this year and this visit was honestly one of the best tasting experiences we’ve had. Angela’s years in the wine industry shine through as she talks about the wines that her family business produces.
Everyone in our group agreed that Barren Ridge has something for everyone, and its Merlot was so smooth and well-balanced it made believers out of those who normally don’t enjoy reds. Angela joined our group at a table she’d prepared and walked us through what seemed like the entire wine list, including some not usually included in tastings. It was a real treat and she as the perfect host.
Now for the wine. We tasted the following:
- 2016 Meritage
- 2017 Port
- 2018 Cabernet Franc
- 2018 Merlot
- 2019 Christof
- 2019 Harmony
- 2019 Red Barren
- 2019 Touriga
- 2019 Traminette
- 2020 Rosé
- 2021 Apple Wine
- 2020 Vidal Blanc
That’s a lot of wine! Honestly, there wasn’t a bad choice, but of course we had our favorites. Mine included the Traminette, Meritage, Merlot, Harmony, and Red Barren. Traminette is one of my favorites and it’s harder to find wineries around here that produce it than in Northern Virginia. This one was pretty dry and citrusy, so somewhat different from others I’ve tried, but it was still enjoyable. The Merlot was one of the best Virginia Merlots I’ve had. It was surprisingly light with notes of cherry and some spice on the palate, finishing on a dark berry note.
The group agreed that the Touriga, Red Barren, Harmony, and Port were all excellent and some did enjoy the ice dessert wine, Christof. One of our attendees asked Higgs what wine she’d consider an aphrodisiac, she said the Touriga. Touriga Nacianal is another varietal we don’t see here very often, so this was a treat. On the palate you get hints of red cherry, raspberry and plum, with minimal spice.
Barren Ridge gets 5 of 5 stars from us and we’ll definitely be back.