Thursday, December 26, 2013

Got Trumped

In 2011 Donald Trump purchased Kluge Vineyard and Estate in Charlottesville, Virginia and renamed it Trump Winery. It sits at the heart of the Monticello Wine Trail and ties together terroir and innovation. They pride themselves on making quality wines that are unique to the Monticello AVA and they have the capacity to produce over 100,000 gallons of wine a year.

Trump has 195 acres of planted grapes.  Their largest planting is 95 acres of Chardonnay and 50% of that planting goes to their Sparkling Wine program and 10-15 acres are planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. They are finding that their site is great for Merlot, Petit Verdot and Viognier and are expanding on planting them very soon.

Trump Sparkling Wine was the feature on #VAWineChat that I recently had the opportunity to participate in. The two wines of the evening were Trump's SP Blanc de Blanc and SP Rose made by winemaker Jonathan Wheeler.  While he is Trump's sparkling winemaker, Katell Griaud makes their still wine. Virginia boost 16 sparkling wines and Trump produces 4 of them.

I was floored by the bubbles in the Blanc de Blanc.  Made in the Methode Champenoise the bubbles were tiny and tight.  The Chardonnay for this bubbly came from their vines in the foothills of Carter's mountain. They were hand picked at night and gently pressed.  The wine then is aged in a combination of stainless steel and neutral French oak.  It ages on its lees in the bottle for a minimum of 2 years. The wine is usually released between 3-5 years after harvest. There are 8000 cases of this Sparkling produced and cost $24 bottle.  Very reasonable!

The Trump SP Rose is a blend o 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir made in the Methode Champenoise, hand picked at night as well.  It has a very similar aging process as the Blanc de Blanc. After a combination of stainless steel and French oak barrel aging the wines are then aged on its lees in the bottle for a minimum of 2 years. This has a little bit more sweetness than the Blanc de Blanc and it makes the wine feel very elegant. Nice balance between sweet and acidity. There were 1800 cases of the Rose produced and it comes with a price tag of $35 bottle.



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