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Bray Vineyards Shenandoah Valley Verdelho 2011

Member Review by Tyler Worth:

89 points. In the glass this wine is a pale green straw color, with a light intensity. The nose comes through strongly with good definition and a good amount of layering. There are quite a bit of floral, almost honeysuckle, notes with struck flint, a bit of custard and maybe a touch of ash. I also pick up on something that I can only describe as banana cream pie, or maybe a very lightly brown banana peel. There is also a good amount of quince, white peach, and white cranberry aromas that make a pretty strong presence. The nose was quite interesting and it had me excited to try the wine. I immediately pick up on a slightly spiced white peach component, with tons of almond tones and an edge of lemon curd. There is a floral bouquet note with strong custard tones and a touch of melon. The finish is somewhat peppery, and there is also a good kick of limestone mixed in with faint floral notes and just a hint of that banana cream pie thing that I picked up on in the aroma. This is an interesting wine. It's almost creamy, with that sort of thick oily viscosity that Riesling gets. It’s very well done, and I think that a lot of wines made in this style (Semillons in particular) tend to lack the acidity to keep them from feeling heavy and laborious. This one has just the right amount of acidity on the edges and pepper on the finish to keep things elevated, multi-dimensional, and interesting. I’m pretty impressed by this wine, and I think that it does an excellent job of showing another take on this varietal. This is a wine worth trying. Source: What's Worth Drinking: New World Verdelhos ( http://whatsworthdrinking.com/2010/05/11/post-14-new-world-verdelho/ )

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Winery: Bray Vineyards
Color: White
Varietal: Verdelho
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Bray Vineyards:
Bray Vineyards is located in the heart of California’s Shenandoah Valley appellation. The Shenandoah Valley is renown for the fine quality of the grapes grown there. Oliver and Robin Bray established Bray Vineyards in 1996 when the land was purchased from an estate. It had no roads or utilities and consisted only of grass, cattle, and oak trees. The property encompasses 50 acres of rolling hi... Read more
Bray Vineyards is located in the heart of California’s Shenandoah Valley appellation. The Shenandoah Valley is renown for the fine quality of the grapes grown there. Oliver and Robin Bray established Bray Vineyards in 1996 when the land was purchased from an estate. It had no roads or utilities and consisted only of grass, cattle, and oak trees. The property encompasses 50 acres of rolling hills ranging in elevation from 1100 feet to 1300 feet (335 to 396 meters). A seasonal creek crosses the property with mining excavations left over from the Gold Rush days of California. The soil is heavy with decomposed granite and is quite rocky in some places. Every weekend of those first few years, Oliver and Robin would drive back and forth from their home in Martinez to shape the land to their vision. They terraced the hills behind the winery to control erosion and allow the planting of vines. They removed huge boulders as they carefully prepared the land for their first plantings of Zinfandel and Sangiovese vines. They carefully preserved the seasonal creek that runs across the property, allowing the majestic oaks that line the banks to provide shelter for the hawks and owls that protect the vineyard from rodents. By 2001, Bray Vineyards was supplying Zinfandel and Sangiovese grapes to well known local wineries like Vino Noceto and Montevina-Terra de Oro and making a name for themselves and their grapes. But Oliver and Robin had bigger plans. They wanted to open their own winery. So, just as they had applied themselves to farming, they now applied themselves to learning about wine making. From harvest to fermentation, from bottling to the tasting room to retail sales, they immersed themselves in the science and the lore of wineries. In 2004, they brought in John Hoddy as their new winemaker and by April Bray Vineyards opened its doors to the public for the first time. Their first hit was the whimsically named BrayZin Hussy Red. A blend of Zinfandel and Sangiovese that was pleasant and easy drinking. Normally, Bray wines have a very restrained label in black and gold but, being true to her nature, the BrayZin Hussy won't play the wall flower! The Brays expanded their vineyard by adding new types of grapevines. Concentrating on varieties that would not only please the customers, but would also show off the varietals that grew best in the Shenandoah Valley climate. Bray Vineyards grows 18 varieties of grapes on their estate, including Barbera, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Portuguese and Spanish varietals like Tempranillo, Verdelho, Souzao and Touriga. Grenache Noir and Mataro were recently grafted into a section of hillside vines with the promise of creating new, exciting blends as well as some classic wines. With the introduction of the Spanish and Portuguese varietals to the vineyard, Bray Vineyards has fully embraced a future that features the uncommon (at least in the U.S.) flavors of Iberian grapes and wines. Expanding the market for wines made from grapes such as Tempranillo (considered Spain's Noble grape) and Portugal's Verdelho (a white grape that truly loves the Foothill summer heat) is important to the Bray's because they want to share the joy of a new and different wine experience with their buyers and visitors. Recently, Bray Vineyards has received attention from critics with their Barbera wines. Their 2004 Barbera won Best of Class award at the 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and their 2006 Barbera Rosato (a rose of Barbera) won the Gold Medal and Best of Show award at the 2007 Amador County Fair to cap off gold medals from events such as the Central Valley Wine Competition, Grand Harvest Awards, National Women's Wine Competition, and the Orange County Wine Competition. Sacramento Bee Food and Wine Critic, Mike Dunne, wrote of the 2007 Barbera Rosato "The 2006 version of this rose was the sweepstakes winner at last summer's Amador County Fair Wine Competition. The 2007 expresses the same sort of strawberry and cherry freshness and the same sort of authoritative swagger, so it could end up a contender in this year's sweepstakes voting, as well. It handled the spice and complexity of Kung Pao Chicken with aplomb, but it also has an accessibility that makes it refreshing on its own." The most recent addition to the Bray line is a natural companion to both the wine and the land itself. Bray Vineyard's Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from six varities of olives grown on the property. Lucca, Frantoio, Manzanillo, Mission and Leccino are cold pressed to extract only the best, highest quality portion of the oil. The Brays are proud of their winery, their wines and their olive oil. They invite you to visit them, whether you come to the tasting room, to their website, or to the many events in Northern California and Nevada where they pour wine. Welcome to the Heart of California's Shenandoah Valley! Read less

Member Reviews for Bray Vineyards Shenandoah Valley Verdelho

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Snooth User: Tyler Worth
497729839
3.00 5
Vintage: 2008 08/02/2010

89 points. In the glass this wine is a pale green straw color, with a light intensity. The nose comes through strongly with good definition and a good amount of layering. There are quite a bit of floral, almost honeysuckle, notes with struck flint, a bit of custard and maybe a touch of ash. I also pick up on something that I can only describe as banana cream pie, or maybe a very lightly brown banana peel. There is also a good amount of quince, white peach, and white cranberry aromas that make a pretty strong presence. The nose was quite interesting and it had me excited to try the wine. I immediately pick up on a slightly spiced white peach component, with tons of almond tones and an edge of lemon curd. There is a floral bouquet note with strong custard tones and a touch of melon. The finish is somewhat peppery, and there is also a good kick of limestone mixed in with faint floral notes and just a hint of that banana cream pie thing that I picked up on in the aroma. This is an interesting wine. It's almost creamy, with that sort of thick oily viscosity that Riesling gets. It’s very well done, and I think that a lot of wines made in this style (Semillons in particular) tend to lack the acidity to keep them from feeling heavy and laborious. This one has just the right amount of acidity on the edges and pepper on the finish to keep things elevated, multi-dimensional, and interesting. I’m pretty impressed by this wine, and I think that it does an excellent job of showing another take on this varietal. This is a wine worth trying. Source: What's Worth Drinking: New World Verdelhos ( http://whatsworthdrinking.com/2010/05/11/post-14-new-world-verdelho/ )




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