Saude Creek Vineyards Review
Address: 16230 Cooks Mill Rd Lanexa,Virginia 23039.
Phone Number: 804-966-5896
Tasting Hours: Wed-Mon 11:00-6:00
Reviewer: Anthony Marocco
Review Date: 11/28/2014
Reviewer: Anthony Marocco
During the Christmas rush, my wife and I ventured towards Williamsburg to take in the sights and sounds of the holidays. Those who know me, know that any trip is an opportunity to visit a winery. One of the newer Virginia wineries that we were able to visit was Saude Creek Vineyards located in Lanexa. This gorgeous property, still gleaming with new appeal, is located in New Kent County not far from New Kent Winery. The privately-owned vineyard bears about 22 acres on property and includes Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Chambourcin. The seven nearby off-site acres contain Merlot and Chardonel.
As you pull into the property through the front gates, you follow the vineyard-lined roadway towards the enormous, dark wood-sided tasting and production facility. To the left is a covered production area with crush pad, and to the right is a gorgeous wrap-around covered patio that stretches all the way around the tasting room. The patio is lined with wooden Adirondack chairs and side tables. As you glance out into the vineyards, there are countless acres of vines – many newly planted and enclosed in greenhouses. Peering off of the back patio, the steep hillside is lined with countless additional acres and, to the right side, a fire pit with more Adirondacks surrounded the pit. The site is stunning.
We made our way into the tasting room where a rectangular, freshly-lacquered tasting bar was surrounded by patrons as three tasting bar staff hustled tastings to visitors. The back wall displays all of the Saude Creek bottles for sale as well as jams and wine trinkets. The central focal point of right side of the room is a roaring fireplace. A leather couch and living room setup contained visitors enjoying cheese platters and bottles of Saude Creek wine. The place was hopping!
Now the big question – what type of wine lover are the Saude Creek wines directed at, and are the wines any good? The $7 tasting fee includes a stemless Saude Creek glass and eight tastes. Of the eight wines we tasted, four stood out – two whites and two reds. The first was the Pamunkey Fall, which is a blend of Chardonel and Chardonnay. For those not familiar, Chardonel is a hybrid grape that is a cross of Chardonnay and Seyval. With floral aromatics and crisp, bright acidity, this wine boasts honeysuckle and stone fruit on the palate and is backed by bright citrus nuances and a crisp, mineral driven finish. A nicely made wine, perfect for pairing with local oysters. Next up on the list was the Traminette, which is a relative of Gewurztraminer and known for its boisterous floral qualities. Saude Creek’s is no different. The wine is super fragrant with floral aromatics and spice nuances. The palate shows similar qualities plus lychee and honeyed pear and finishes off-dry in a clean, crisp manner. This wine is offered at a very modest $13 price point.
Moving onto the reds, the Merlot offers smoky overtones and plum aromas while the palate shows expressive notes of raspberry, ripe cherry and hints of smoky bacon. The finish is as expressive with hints of tart acidity and light, fresh tannins. The final wine that I want to cover is the Tavern Red. I’m not normally a fan of wines that carry a novelty charm with infused spices or fruit. Call me a snob, but every now and then I come across a fun wine that fits the mood. This particular red falls along those lines. Cabernet Franc is the dominant variety and is infused with cinnamon and spices that reminds me of gluhwein. While the spices run wild on the nose, the palate brings to mind Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, without the milk of course. Cinnamon toast notes clash with spice and hints of dark berry that cap off a very intense finish of cinnamon. This wine would be perfect slightly warmed and enjoyed on a chilly winter day.
Saude Creek’s wines are not particularly complex, but they fit the bill as everyday wines to drink by themselves or pair with burgers on a warm, sunny day. Saude Creek is nothing short of gorgeous. If you are near Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Williamsburg, you should stop by and check out this promising, young winery.