What is two shillings worth these days? Well, I don’t think we can know exactly. I believe the shilling went out of circulation in the UK during the early 1970’s. Evidently, it used to be 1/20 of a pound. So two shillings – 1/10 of a pound – doesn’t sound like a lot of money. Of course, that may well depend on context … historical context. Speaking of the UK and history, a trip to the British Isles is high on my bucket list. That’s largely because my father did some genealogical work when I was a kid and managed to trace our roots back to England. Our forebears emigrated from London to America way, way back when. I suppose family roots are on my mind right now because I’m reading a historical fiction novel that features Scottish history and the protagonist’s (somewhat forgotten) Scottish heritage. Maybe I should be drinking Glenfiddich or Royal Lochnagar while I read to get into the right frame of mind rather than this Virginia red. Oh well, there is a sequal!
Winemaker: Williamsburg Winery
Wine: Two Shilling Red
Varietal: Red Blend
Price: $7.49 at Trader Joes
Notes: I found this Williamsburg offering a pretty cherry red in the glass. On the pungent nose I caught scents of sous bois (see Vinetalkers post) and sweet red berries. It was medium-bodied with racy acidity and 12.5% alcohol content. There was just a slight hint of tannins – that fuzzy tongue feeling. The flavor profile was pretty light and tart on the whole. In fact, it reminded me a bit of the Chambourcin I had from Iron Gate Vineyards some time ago. Similarities aside, this Virginia blend is definitely lighter in body and flavor. According to the winery’s website, this is a blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Zinfandel. So what were it’s flavors? I tasted sweet raspberry, a touch of pepper, coffee grounds, a bit of earth, and a very tart rhubarb-like flavor. Best part to me was the lingering raspberry on a fairly long finish.
This is a winery that has some serious history behind it. You know that wine-making in the U.S. started in Virginia. Right? After all, the Twelfth Acte of 1619 required that each settler plant at least 10 vines on his property for the purpose of making wine. A few years later — a mere 369 years — the first Governor’s White from Williamsburg Winery was released.
While this is not one of the wines I brought home from Vintage Virginia 2013, I thought it would be a good time to sample this offering from one of the largest players in the Virginia wine industry. They were at the festival, but they weren’t pouring this particular wine. Instead, I bought this at my neighborhood grocery store. That being said, the label clearly indicates that this wine is available in Virginia only. Bummer! You can buy it direct from the winery, but they only ship to 19 States plus D.C.
Winemaker: Williamsburg Winery
Wine: Governor’s White
Notes: This Virginia Riesling is a pretty pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I got scents of apple and peach. On the tongue this was a light-bodied white with good acidity. Flavors for me were plentiful peach with green apple, some hints of pear and apple peel on the finish. It’s brisk while providing plenty of fruit flavor. Alcohol is at 12.5% which gives this Governor’s White a light sweetness without it becoming cloying. On the tart-versus-sweet-o-meter, I’d put this one down more on the tart side (but not tremendously so). Of course, that’s right in the strike zone for my taste buds. I enjoyed it.
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.