I travel between the Aldie area and Leesburg area quite a bit while meeting clients throughout the week, and at some point recently I noticed a wooden sign alongside State Route 15 pointing me in the direction of Stone Tower Estate Winery (http://www.stonetowerwinery.com/). Having been in the area touring wineries every-so-often for quite some time, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of Stone Tower before. So, I used a recent Saturday afternoon to investigate a little further – I’m really glad I did!
Stone Tower is actually new to the Loudoun County winery scene, as they planted their first vines in 2011, which were harvested for the first time this year! Stone Tower is situated on the Hogback Farm property, an estate of 1,400 acres (not a typo!), 200 acres of which have been set aside for the winery. Stone Tower is actually owned, interestingly enough, by the same family that owns and operates the well-known Belfort Furniture in Sterling – who knew?!
On the tasting menu were four exquisite wines: 2012 Lauren Chardonnay, 2012 Viognier, 2011 Sanglier Noble and the 2009 Sanglier Noble. The Chardonnay was refreshing, with light oak flavors stemming from the French oak barrels in which it’s aged, and subtle notes of mint in the aftertaste. I noted that the Viognier had a slight mineral palate of fruits coupled with a unique buttery taste that made it memorable. The 2011 Sanglier was powerful, yet pleasing, and I thought the Merlot stood out more than its 47% share of the mixture would initially lead you to believe it should. That said, the 209 Sanglier was peppery while still sweet – not surprising with the introduction of Cab Franc, which the 2011 did not have, and lower proportion of Merlot.
I settled down with a glass of the 2009 Sanglier Noble and enjoyed the crackers, cheese and fruit trays that were out for guests – a nice touch that I don’t see often at wineries, but one that helped Stone Tower stand apart, not that the wines required any help with that!