OK, I had to drive over 100 miles round trip to eat food from Frederick. It was so worth it. My foodie and locavore worlds collided, as well as my VA wine addiction. For our anniversary this month, we treated ourselves to dinner at RdV, in Delaplane, prepared by Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT in Frederick. The food and the wines did not disappoint.
We first met Rutger de Vink when he was an apprentice at our favorite VA winery, Linden. In 2002, he was pouring wine at the barrel tasting of the wonderful 2001 vintage. We lost touch with what he was doing, only finding out that he found his place on a hillside in Delaplane where he planted grapes and started his own winery. Rutger’s mission was to use terroir to the extreme. Granite deep into the ground.
His first vintage, 2008, sold out quickly to the Ambassadors, his wine club members who took the tour and drank wonderful reds from three year old vines. His 2009 wines, a good year in VA, are stellar. Big, in your face, yet balanced reds. Two of them. Getting there is hard. Make a reservation for a tour. Taste the wines. Buy in. Be guaranteed to buy every year. These wines aren’t available in stores. Only a few restaurants sell them. They are, simply, awesome reds.
The winery holds chef dinners periodically. We were lucky, as two of the 40 people in attendance to have a celebration of local foods with Bryan Voltaggio, paired with wines whose grapes shared that same granite terroir. We had a Loire white, an Alsatian white, a Morgon Gamay and 2009 Rendezvous, with appetizers and dinner. The menu for dinner.
The appetizers were served in the upper level of the winery, below that lovely silo. Trout roe with pork skins and arugula cream, clams casino, an incredible sausage on a delicate cracker, all paired with a Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie. Then, we descended into the fermentation cellar to be seated and treated to an amazing dinner prepared by the chef. I only have good pictures of the lamb and the dessert. Here are the stars of the dinner.
Bryan and Rutger enjoying the appreciation after the meal.
So how was the Rendezvous? Exquisite. A baby. Deep, rich, a perfect match for the lamb. This is a wine with the ability to last for years. RdV is certainly raising the bar when it comes to making big reds in Virginia. He learned quite a bit from Jim Law. It will be fun in October to see them go head to head at L’Auberge Provencale. Think of it. Hardscrabble versus Lost Mountain. Terroir squared. I am happy to see Virginia winemakers pushing to elevate their reds to that level of excellence found in Bordeaux. Last night was a magical evening. As we left late in the night, the silhouette of the winery framed the skyline.