Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Robert Mondavi

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Wine Weekend: Wildflower Inn

When you think of a New England inn, you may think of wood burning stoves, comfortable plaid sofas and a quaint dining area inside of a home surrounded by a picturesque valley, dirt roads and rolling hills. That is exactly the experience that you get at the Wildflower Inn, located in Lyndonville, VT (about a 5 minute drive from Burke Mountain).

My family and I have been in need of a getaway for a few months now. The rigors of work and finding a new job have taken its toll and we needed a nice weekend to simply relax. This place provided the backdrop to do just that. The five of us (Christine’s parents joined us) stayed in the Grand Meadow suite which is honestly more like a house than just a room. The living area proved to be the central focus and where we spent the majority of the time while indoors. The comfy sofas proved to be the perfect place to kick up your feet, while enjoying the views and sipping on some wine. As well as the perfect spot for the quote of the weekend by Jerry (my father-in-law), “your mama wears combat boots, mine wears diapers.” Great times!

Besides the trip to Cabot creamery and a few terrific meals at Junipers, the on-site restaurant, the apple cider pressing added another unique and enjoyable experience to our list.

And then there were the wines!

During our dinner at Junipers, I wanted us to experience a very nice wine that I had selected for the list. I went with a bottle of 2003 Bell Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. It was chosen because I felt that it would be a terrific accompaniment with all of our meals. It exhibited mature currants and cantaloupe rind on the nose and boisterous currants and strawberry on the palate with some mellow earth towards the middle. The finished lingered on and on with this very nicely aging wine. A true highlight.

Throughout the course of the weekend we had a couple other interesting wines that both provided surprising results.

The first wine we had during the weekend was a 2007 Nine Stones Shiraz from Barossa, Australia. This wine was a terrific surprise exhibiting some nicely complex strawberry, blackberry and spice along with some fresh herbs. The body was not as robust as some Barossa Shiraz, but in this case it was welcomed as this wine seemed to have a bit more finesse and with a mid-teen price point you can’t go wrong. Look for this one of the list at Junipers soon.

The other wine we had was a bottle of 1997 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon that I brought from home (procured through Although a product of a fantastic vintage (the overall 1997 Cabernet vintage was rated 99 by Wine Spectator), there was something a little off, possibly improper storage earlier in its life. Regardless it was still pleasant, exhibiting a rusty meniscus and plum core. The palate was a bit moist, almost dank and somewhat reminded me of blackberry cobbler. The palate was primarily wet earth and currant with some smoked meat at the end, which was quite nice.

Overall, the experience up there was memorable and the in-laws were very impressed and even discussed having a family reunion up there. Hopefully that will come to fruition, because I love to share the Wildflower Inn with whomever I care about!

Fair Disclosure: Erol Senel is the Wine Director at Junipers at the Wildflower Inn, but all meals and wine were paid for out of pocket and I would not lead you astray!


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