International Women's Day
Early Mountain is proud of the fantastic wine we put out every vintage. Not only because it showcases the array of styles Virginia can offer, but also because every bottle is a testament to the incredible people behind the label. As a female run vineyard with an incredible woman at the helm of our wine-making program, we wanted to ask the ladies of Early Mountain what they’re currently enjoying and recommending to everyone. These bottles are available in our shop, or together as a wine set if you’d like to sip along with us!
Maya Hood White, Head Winemaker
The 2021 Soif is possibly my favorite to date! It is more fruit forward than 2020 and showcases the dynamic nature and freshness of whole cluster Merlot. The 2021 Soif is nearly 70% whole cluster fruit, the most to date. While we always farm specific blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc at EMV for Soif, the 2021 bottling is also a perfect example of reacting to the vintage. One of the vineyards we work with was carrying a bit more Merlot than expected and it made sense to harvest a bit of the fruit early (leaving the remaining to successfully ripen for the heavier reds) and ferment it entirely whole cluster. This early picked Merlot ended up being one of the most playful lots we had in the winery and doubly fun as it was not an initially planned lot.
Aileen Sevier, VP of Strategy and Marketing:
At Early Mountain, we have a mission to help tell the story of Virginia far beyond our own borders, and Eluvium (a blend of mountainside grown Merlot & Petit Verdot) plays a fundamental role in doing so. Most every serious wine producing region and winery in a moderate climate produces “Bordeaux-style” blends and so there are myriad reference points and benchmarks. We annually taste Eluvium blind against wines ranging from right bank Bordeaux to coastal Tuscany to Napa Valley and vintage after vintage it shines. Eluvium offers plush and layered black fruits that bring so much pleasure If you’re looking to convince your wine snob friends that Virginia wine can stand with the best, I’d encourage you to decant Eluvium for them as a fun surprise - be sure to share their responses with us!
Lee Campbell, Estate Ambassador, NY:
As Estate Ambassador for Early Mountain, I have a blast introducing consumers and sommeliers up and down the East Coast to all of the interesting work we are doing at EMV. And most who have known me for a while know that I am naturally drawn to the new and the off-beat. But what a lot of people don't realize is that as much as I love the quirky stuff, I JUST ADORE CHARDONNAY!
For a long time, I had convinced myself that it was really just French Chardonnay that I liked. But over time, as my own silly, self-imposed prejudices fell away, I realized, NOPE...I love the American stuff, too! And here's what I enjoy so much about our Madison County Chardonnay: While the outline is delicately drawn with minerality and a even a touch of salt, the middle is exuberantly filled with ripe peach and pear...and a touch of toasted brioche. In other words, it is a mouthwatering midpoint between the Chardonnay styles of Europe and California. This is an unabashedly American Chardonnay, which still displays restraint and elegance. There's something here for everyone...so just go ahead and give in to it. You'll be glad you did!
Jenna Ford, Director of Hospitality:
2022 Pur is a beautiful expression of steel fermented Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. It’s lively lemon and crisp apple aromas sing Springtime in a glass. Pur’s bright acidity makes it a lovely compliment to a fun seafood spread. This is one of those wines that speaks volumes about the elegance of simplicity. It isn’t overly blended or a test run of new techniques. It is pure and simple, elegant yet vibrant.
Kristin Hall, Chef de Cuisine:
There is nothing I find more refreshing and enjoyable after a long day than a glass of our Rosé. The fantastic flavors of fresh strawberry and red grapefruit with a perfect pop of acid make this wine not only a great choice any time of year, but an easy choice to pair with a variety of dishes we like to showcase at Early Mountain. Our rosé can be the perfect accompaniment to a night in with friends, or a delicious dinner at your favorite restaurant.
Meghan Raynes, Community Manager:
2021 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc
Shenandoah Valley is one of those wines that always catches me off guard each vintage with how good it is. I generally gravitate towards a more savory red, and this wine absolutely delivers with some fantastic black pepper, rosemary, and mushroom notes, but without sacrificing those delicious brighter red fruit flavors we’ve come to look for and expect in a lighter Cabernet Franc. I was both ecstatic and not surprised when we heard Shen Valley won a gold in the Virginia Governor’s Cup this year - it’s a killer wine that deserves every accolade it receives!
Stunning Scores from James Suckling
Stunning scores from James Suckling honor many of our new & future releases.
2020 Quaker Run Chardonnay - 95 pts
Inviting aromas of lemon leaf, white peaches and dried orange peel. Medium-bodied with supple texture. Refined and elegant with subtle tannin structure and phenolic tension. Nuanced. Bright and fresh, too. Long. Lovely now, but will age nicely. Drink or hold.
2020 Petit Manseng - 93 pts
Aromas of baked peaches, beeswax and rosemary stem. Medium-bodied with silky texture. Well-structured and generous without being overdone. Rounded character to the fruit with a bit of citrus brightness. Drink now.
2021 Chardonnay - 92 pts
Aromas of lemon curd, white peaches and rosemary stem. Medium-bodied with bright, driving acidity. Crisp and clear on the palate with transparent fruit and a subtle herbal character. Drink now.
2019 Petit Verdot - 92 pts
Aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants, cocoa and bark. Full-bodied with powdery tannins. Textural and deep on the palate with steady balance. Dry and succinct with good intensity. Best after 2024.
2021 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc - 92 pts
Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and red licorice. Medium- to full-bodied with soft tannins. Linear onto the palate with black and blue fruit melding through to a subtle finish. Drink now.
2022 Holiday Hours
We look forward to welcoming you and your family & friends to Early Mountain this holiday season! We are open from 11 am to 5:30 pm on Thursday - Monday with the below adjustments for the holidays:
Thurs., Nov. 24th: Closed, Happy Thanksgiving!
Fri. Nov 25th- Monday Nov. 28th: Open 11 am - 5:30 pm
Dec 19th-Dec. 25th: Closed to allow our team a holiday break
Dec 26th-Jan 2nd: Open 11 am - 5:30 pm (including Tues. Dec 27th &Weds. Dec. 28th)
Thurs. Jan 5th: Closed
Fri. Jan 6th: Normal tasting room schedule resumes
10th Anniversary Founders' Feature, Week 4
For our 4th and final Founders’ Features, we are highlighting a flight of underdog/under appreciated grape varieties curated by long-time strategic advisor to Early Mountain, Erich Broksas as well as a full-flavored dish created by former Chef Ryan Collins and interpreted by Executive Chef Tim Moore. We hope you will join us this weekend atEarly Mountain.
Early Mountain’s owner, JeanCase, has always been identified with being fearless. In her business and personal life, she has championed making big bets, taking risks, making failure matter, reaching beyond, and letting urgency conquer fear. Jean knew that to make a significant impact in Virginia wine she would need the right team – a team of similarly fearless and forward-thinking leaders. Erich Broksas, with his extensive outsider experience and global knowledge of wine, was a perfect fit to help create a winery that would redefine hospitality in Virginia.
Over the course ofErich’s career, he has consistently investigated ways innovative technology and business models could drive change. His robust range of professional experiences includes successful leadership in startups, global firms, philanthropy, and venture capital. Erich’s extensive travel and love of wine allowed him a unique vantage point. He understood what elements were missing from the winery experience model, and that Virginia wine was at a tipping point that would benefit from a new approach. Without Erich’s planning, strategic guidance, and vision, Early Mountain would never have come to life a decade ago.
At the core, Erich’s energy and global view is fueled by his strong commitment to community and developing strategic, effective solutions to issues around the world. Erich currently serves as the Chief Operating Office at World CentralKitchen (founded by Chef Jose Andres). World CentralKitchen is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises and has distinguished itself as one of the most forward-thinking NGOs.
Erich’s flight looks to other wine regions that were inspiring in our early days and impactful on decisions we made. Embracing the idea of being really good at one or two things regardless if the general public doesn’t know about them inspired the selection of this stunning Malbec blend from Argentina from Achaval Ferrer. Redefining expectations in areas where the consumer may have a set perspective inspired the choice of Gamay and Chardonnay. While Beaujolais Nouveau may be a cheap, seasonal drink made for fast consumption, within the same region, artisan producers such as Julien Sunier are making expressive wines of character. For many, Chardonnay is a stereotyped butter and oak bomb, while the Quaker Run Chardonnay keeps both fully in check and integrated with the fruit. Interesting things can be done all over the world which led to selection of the Stolpman expression of Rhône varietals in Southern California. While people should drink what they like, trying new wines is part of the fun and we hope you enjoy this selection.
Our Top Thanksgiving Wine Selections
Thanksgiving is a holiday that can’t be complete without an incredible meal, the company of our closest friends and family, and the perfect bottles to share around the table. We asked our team what wines they will be serving alongside their Thanksgiving table, and we can’t wait to share them with you in our Harvest Bounty Pack this year!
2021 Five Forks
As a vegetarian, when I select wines for Thanksgiving, I'm looking for a deep concentration of fruit intensity balanced with a savory edge and bright core to complement a wide array of earthy, rich, and caramelized flavors. Five Forks delivers! The blend of rich, concentrated Petit Manseng with zesty, lifted Sauvignon Blanc keeps things fresh and 2021 is my favorite vintage we've made so far. Not only will it balance the meal, it's a lovely glass to have prior to the meal, prepping taste buds for the feast.
-Maya Hood White, Head Winemaker
2021 Madison County Cabernet Franc
During the holiday season, our family surrounds an overflowing table of roasted winter vegetables and mouth watering savory meats. One of my favorites is the cherry and bourbon glazed ham that seems to stare me down until the green light is given; indulging in one of the most anticipated, special meals of the year. I love having a good cabernet franc at the helm to pair with all the wonderful food. The 2021 Madison County Cabernet Franc, with its endless aromatic complexity, helps to remind me of this beautiful season. The pallet notes of stone fruit, bright red berries and even black tea, pair charmingly with the thoughtful holiday spread.
-Tim Moore, Head Chef
For broad versatility, rosé is pretty unmatched on the Thanksgiving table. Whether satisfying the widest range of drinkers or enlivening dishes such as creamy potatoes, rich stuffings or simple roast turkey, rosé is a no-brainer. And with its lower alcohol content, rosé makes a light companion for the cook keeping things going throughout a leisurely day.
- Aileen Sevier, VP Strategy and Marketing
2020 Novum is a wine I would choose to feature at my Thanksgiving table. I personally love a wine that showcases "red" fruit aromas and flavors (cherry, cranberry, etc) but also offers complexity, and the 2020 Novum does just that. The earthy aromatics of the cabernet franc, the body and acid provided by the Tannat, and the light touch of new oak makes this wine a well-rounded and complex crowd pleaser.
- Jeremy Mersch, Assistant Winemaker