Traveling to the Northeast hills of Rhode Island I decided to take as many back roads as I could muster meanwhile prompting the GPS (of which one of my children has affectionately named Delores) well, I believe I may have upset Delores quite a bit as she kept saying “Re-calculating” over and over, but I have to hand it to her, she never lost her cool. Then I found the “setting” button where you could actually turn off certain options like “avoiding highways”. Anyway, it was an enjoyable trip after all. Then again, I can’t remember when I didn’t have a great time on any wine trip I’ve taken:)
Don’t know if you noticed the “Free Tastings” under the winery name but not often do you come across a winery that does not charge at least a few bucks for their tastings. So I was mildly pleased when I saw this on the sign to the Diamond Hill Vineyard.
On to the tasting room where you walked up the back stairs to enter the winery tasting room. The house was typical New England coastal right down to the the color gray house with white trim that often line the coastal villages along the Atlantic Ocean.
Once inside the tasting room you walked just past the wine bar which could accommodate only 2-3 tasters at a time, but I, along with several others managed quite well shuffling out wine glasses and by the way because there were no tasting fees, you didn’t get a signature wine glass either.
However, the other tasters allowed me to stay close to the wine bar as they noticed I was taking quite a few notes on each of the wines we were trying and as it was easier to utilize the wine bar than to juggle my pad, pen, and wine sample, so I was quite appreciative of this kindness. And of course they had a great little gift shop area with many wine accessories to purchase.
Claire, the sommelier and owner of the winery was a most pleasant individual complete with many stories both on the winery and other subjects. I’ll let you visit the tasting room here at Diamond Hill Vineyards to hear her stories as they were way too numerous and I couldn’t write that fast. It will be a trip worth taking. So, on to the wines that were available on the day I arrived.
2005 Pinot Noir: This dry medium ruby colored red wine opened with a cherry and raspberry aroma. Aged in French oak for one year than cellared for two more years found black cherry on the palate with a hint of raspberry on the finish.
Scarlet Run: A Merlot with no oak found raspberry and strawberry patch aromas with a blend of raspberry and strawberry flavors and a smooth silky finish with undertones of chocolate.
Cranberry Apple: The nose opens with an explosion of cranberry. It was sweet but not too sweet with a cranberry flavor with a tart apple finish. This is their best selling wine. It was very good.
River Valley White: Lemongrass and fresh cut hay on the nose led into tropical fruits flavors. I expected a lot of minerality here but didn’t get any.
Peach: Obvoiusly I got peach aromas with apricot undertones on the nose. The predominately peach flavor was more of ripe peaches at their peak of freshness. The winery recommends you have this served over chocolate or vanilla ice cream as well as fresh fruit. They also recommend putting this in a white wine Sangria – now that sounds delectable.
Blueberry: This wine is made from 100% blueberries that are organically grown on their own land. The taste was more like a Port wine with a blueberry aroma and flavor. Although I liked the Port nuances the blueberry didn’t do it for me. I guess because there was way too much blueberry for me, not that it was a bad wine but too much blueberry.
Raspberry: A lot of raspberry going on here as the aroma, flavor, and finish were all the same – raspberry. Although this did strike me more of a raspberry liqueur than a raspberry wine.
Spiced Apple: Upon first aroma I got mulled spices reminding me of New England in the autumn months especially when it’s apple picking season. The flavor was of apple pie. This was a nice tasting wine but in their wine notes it is recommended to serve this heated with a tad amount of brown sugar. This might be nice to substitute this for apple cider when using mulling spices for the autumn fall classic drink.
Entering and leaving Diamond Hill Vineyards there is a “traffic light” welcoming and thanking you for visiting as the driveway at one point is a one lane road for several hundred feet. When I first entered and saw the stop light I chuckled and had a great big smile on my face as I left.