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Loretta Briede
February 20, 2024 | Loretta Briede

Julia Harding/Jancis Robinson reviews

We are very fortunate to have 6 of our wines reviewed by this world renowned wine critic.   Your wine is being compared and evaluated on a World Stage.  She has tasted so many wines and has an experience and value that not many have..   She is very well respected in the wine industry.   These are Virginia wines.   What better way to see how we are doing as a winery as a whole.   We were thrilled to received a producer score of 16.3  (Superior to Distinquished)

Average producer score

Briedé Family Vineyards

Sparkling Winchester 2020   16.5 rating

Made from Cayuga White (a complex hybrid selected in New York in 1052 and released in 1972), traditional method, aged three years on the lees. Dosage just 2 g/l. pH 3.15.
The citrus, herbal and green-fruits aroma dominates the nose so that the yeasty autolytic character is subtle. It was quite frothy when first poured but settled down in the glass to a fine mousse and a much more obvious toasty character. There's a slight sweet-sour impression on the finish even though the residual sweetness is so low. Packed with fruit but it's in balance with the traditional-method complexity from the yeast lees. Impressive for a hybrid variety, which has benefited from being taken seriously in the winery, with the investment needed for long lees ageing. (JH)

Marquette 2022         16.0 Rating

Full bottle 1,140 g. This is the first time I have tasted Marquette, a complex hybrid created in 1989 in Minnesota. Aged 9 months in French oak.
Lightish cherry red and vibrant cherry and strawberry fruit on the nose. Just slightly herbal and delicately floral – nicely so. Light-bodied with lively red fruits and very gentle tannins. Fresh and refreshing. A really nice surprise with no really obvious hybrid notes except perhaps at the very end when there is something strawberry like. Excellent freshness on the finish. Juicy and mouth-watering. (JH)

Soleil d'Ovest 2022            16.0 rating

Full screwcapped bottle 1,151 g. Cool fermentation and ageing in stainless steel. This is a cold-hardy hybrid bred in Minnesota in 1988 and released in 2022. This interspecific hybrid includes 45% Vitis vinifera, 28% Vitis riparia, and less than 10% each of Vitis rupestris, Vitis labrusca and Vitis aestivalis.
Intense, ripe tropical fruits on the nose with a hint of roses giving it a floral aspect – smells a little like Gewürztraminer. Ripe on the palate, too, highly scented, with a citrus freshness balancing those tropical fruit flavours and rose-petal notes. Much higher acidity than on a Gewürz, which makes this easy and refreshing. Really nicely made to bring out all the attributes of this variety to give a refreshing yet flavourful white with intensity and surprising length. I can imagine this variety might also be good in a blend as it is quite intense. Not for keeping, though. (Though perhaps I will be proved wrong.) (JH)

Arandell 2020      16.0 rating

Full bottle 1,230 g. Arandell is a 1995 cross between two interspecific hybrid selections bred at Cornell University and released in 2013. Briedé Family are the only producers of a varietal wine, starting in 2017. Hand-harvested, aged in French oak. pH 3.75. 180 cases produced. 
The colour of black-cherry skins. Subtle oak aroma along with the blackberry fruit, a touch of cedar and lead pencil reminiscent of Cabernet Franc. The acidity seems quite high and not fully integrated but it is just balanced by the fruit, and the tannins are really fine. Clean-cut fruit and a juicy, mouth-watering finish. (JH)

Speed of Sound 2019    16.5 Rating

Full bottle 1,256 g. 50% Tannat (Virginia grown) and 50% Arandell (estate grown). Hand-harvested, aged in French oak. pH 3.65. 27 cases produced.
Very deep crimson. A little hint of oak on the nose but smells richer and darker-fruited than the 100% Arandell 2020. Extremely moreish and better balanced that the Arandell, with the acidity more fully integrated and with deeper fruit flavours. A very successful blend. Harmonious, fresh, with definite yet smooth and refined tannins. I enjoyed even more very slightly cool. (JH)

Arandell 2019    16.5 Rating

his is a new variety bred at Cornell University and released in 2013 – too new to appear in Wine Grapes. According to the release notice, 'Arandell was developed at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, from a cross between two interspecific hybrid selections. The cross was made in 1995, and 23 disease-resistant seedlings were selected and planted in 1997. Only one, originally called NY95.0301.01, was selected for propagation and further testing in 2001.' It has a high degree of disease resistance. Briedé Family are the only producers of a varietal wine, starting in 2017. They have 750 plants. Two weeks warm ferment before ageing 8 months in neutral French oak. This vintage was made by Nate Walsh, the head of the Virginia Vineyards Association. 2019 was a apparently a very good year in Virginia. The wine recently won a silver medal at California's international Sommelier Challenge competition. pH 3.65, TA 6.45 g/l.
Very dark cherry red. Attractive aroma of tangy dark-red fruits with a nice layer rather like stone dust. Smells fresh and lightly peppery with a touch of capsicum. Not unlike Cabernet Franc. Lively and fresh. Plenty of that juicy dark-red fruit on the palate and very well balanced. it is all about the fruit, the oak not really showing here except perhaps in the way it has rounded the tannins. Tannins are smooth but definite. Lively, pure and vibrant, with a long cherry-fruited finish but without the sweetness of cherry. Extremely impressive for a new, disease-resistant hybrid. Bravo! (JH)


Time Posted: Feb 20, 2024 at 1:57 PM Permalink to Julia Harding/Jancis Robinson reviews Permalink
Loretta Briede
February 20, 2024 | Loretta Briede

Governor's Cup Results for Briede Vineyards

We had a limited number of wines that we could enter in the Governor's Cup.  You must have 50 cases to enter.  Because of these restrictions, there were 3 wines that fit that criteria.  For us, since we are a small producer, most of our wines need to come to the tasting room to be sold.   We do not have a huge inventory of wines laying around.  We sell out.  Especially the reds.    While this is a very good thing.. (no complaints here)...when it comes to competitions, age gives wines complexity.  So, given the fact that all of our wines in competition are no where near their peak, we are very excited to get these medals.   Many of you may wonder why we didn't enter our Sparkling Winchester 2020.  The answer is simple, we didn't have 50 cases left.  

Soleil d' Ovest-Silver Medal

Bries Estate 22-Silver Medal

Arandell 2022-Bronze

Time Posted: Feb 20, 2024 at 1:24 PM Permalink to Governor's Cup Results for Briede Vineyards Permalink