When you find a winery that exudes a style similar to another region, but with its own unique flair, it is a treasure to behold. Just outside Leesburg, Virginia lies Casanel Vineyards — there, they have clearly taken an old-world mentality while throwing in their own personal style.
If you are a fan with this sort of mentality, look no further. All of their wines are aged in French oak, and they firmly believe in giving each wine something it always needs… TIME! Casanel does a marvelous job of picking the right moment to serve their wines to their guests to ensure optimal satisfaction.
When pulling up to the vineyard, the first thing that will grab your eye is the new facility that is being built; for those searching for a great wedding venue, stay tuned! The Casanel tasting room is a stone barn built in the 1800s. With the renovations they’ve put into it, it’s a breathtaking sight. There is a patio in front of the tasting room that is magnificent for enjoying wine while listening to the musical entertainment provided on various weekend dates. And, there is a two acre pond on the property as well, giving many opportunities for those “Kodak moments.”
We had the opportunity to speak with Casey and Nelson DeSouza (the name of the vineyard derives from their names, Cas-a-Nel). When speaking with them, you see their passion in their hunger to produce great wine. Their daughter, Katie, is the tasting room manager and she assists in winemaking as well. They all love to talk about wine, and they certainly know what they are talking about. The family atmosphere provides an excellent vibe for a wine tasting with a group, on a date, or out on your own.
The wines, as you will experience upon tasting them, are well crafted and balanced. Their 2010 Petit Verdot is one of the finest we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. The dessert wines are great as well. The care taken when producing them has ensured a dessert wine that you can also enjoy with food. Some dessert wines can be syrupy and arduous to drink — this is not the case at Casanel!
Notes exported from our WineFan app follow. Cheers!
At the Casanel Vineyards in Virginia on 8/8/2013, we tasted twelve great wines:
87 Points for the 2010 Casanel Vineyards Viognier (Virginia)
Well balanced French oak. Creamy texture and 0% residual sugar.
88 Points for the 2010 Casanel Vineyards Chardonnay (Virginia)
Banana nose. Mineral finish. Aged in French oak.
86 Points for the 2008 Casanel Vineyards Bataucada Merlot (Virginia)
Pepper and dark fruit flavors.
89 Points for the 2009 Casanel Vineyards Mas Que Nada Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)
Dark fruit comes from 25% of juice coming from merlot grapes. Great tannin structure makes this great for grilled meets.
92 Points for the 2010 Casanel Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)
Blackberry and spice are highlights of this cab. Steaks have a new friend.
94 Points for the 2010 Casanel Vineyards Reserve Petit Verdot (Virginia)
Dark fruit with a velvety texture makes this a fantastic petit verdot.
91 Points for the 2011 Casanel Vineyards Norton Rose Norton (Virginia)
Red fruit flavors make this wine a fruit bomb. 0% residual sugar.
85 Points for the 2011 Casanel Vineyards Petit Verdot (Virginia)
.5% residual sugar. Crisp and tart suggest great balance in acidity.
87 Points for the 2011 Casanel Vineyards Pinot Gris (Virginia)
Pineapple and grapefruit flavors. Spicy finish. Great for the patio on a warm day.
84 Points for the 2011 Casanel Vineyards Don Lorenzo White White Wine Blend (Virginia)
1.5% residual sugar. Finishes very similar to the Pinot Gris with sweet notes on the front.
92 Points for the 2011 Casanel Vineyards Dulce White Wine Blend (Virginia)
For 8% residual sugar, this dessert wine is easy drinking. Would go great with strawberry shortcake.
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