Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery has been winning national awards with their wines, and it's no surprise why. Their quality is outstanding and their wines are quite unique!
Lemberger is an Austrian/German red variety that exuberates a dark red color with strong blackberry, sour cherry, gooseberry, elderberry, chocolate, and slightly vegetal aroma and flavor profile. It can be light or quite tannic. The tannic styles are usually more "masculine" - less fruity, more oak, and more depth. It's definitely a fun red wine to try!
(Photo by author)
2009 Lemberger by Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery
The D-2010 Scale
2009 Lemberger by Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery (Pennsylvania, USA)
Appearance (10 points possible): medium red color and density, clear - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Smokey, meaty, beefy, black pepper, and slight toasty, coffee character. A light red berry note. - 15 points
Taste (10 points possible): Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel, lucious tannins with meaty, smokey flavor. Wine is round with a spicy finish. - 7 points
Balance (5 points possible): This wine is fairly well balanced. It has some great acidity to match the body and smokey/meaty flavors. The finish is long and lingering. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Lingering finish with spicy flavors and smooth tannins. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): Nice, Bordeaux style bottle, classic label, with matching capsule. Overall great quality. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): Briar Valley uses a very traditional and classic label design for all of their wines, which matches their whole marketing and stylistic approach. I do like the black label highlighted with gold. I especially appreciate the name and vintage year on the bottle. - 9 points
Other (5 points possible): There's no extra's on this bottle so I can give them too many extra points! :) - 3 points
Total Points: 89 points
Overall Thought: This was quite an interesting Lemberger. Truthfully, I don't have many Lembergers to compare this one to, but for me, it wasn't overly fruity. It was a meaty (and by meaty, I mean "savory, bacon-fat, heavy, tannic red wine" kind of wine). It's definitely a masculine wine with great interest. I really appreciate the complexity in this wine.
Food Pairings: I'm definitely seeing this wine with 2 things: A) cocoa chilli (I know... you are thinking, "ew" but honestly, it's deliciously spicy, meaty, savory, with a hint of chocolate) and B) shish-kabobs! Turns out that more tannic Lembergers are perfect for grilled foods, and what's a better grilled food than shish-kabobs? Doesn't this make you want summer to come that much faster?! Can't do grilled yet due to the winter snow? How about bar-b-que made with a slow cooker? Yummmmy! Cheese recommendations are a light blue, feta, or ripe Alpine (as suggested from this website). Ooo I can see a meal - bar-b-que pulled pork with blue cheese mac 'n cheese....
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 2 - I can see this is a steeper price range, but it's definitely a wine worth trying. This is my "comfort zone" price point - I can always find a reason to purchase a wine for $20 or less if it's of substantial quality!
Where to buy: Check out the Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery website. Cheers!
(Photo from Google Images)