Boxwood Estate Winery

Boxwood Estate Winery is located just past the town of Middleburg in premier Virginia horse country.  The estate is also responsible for the ownership of The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shops located in Reston Town Center and at the National Harbor.  We have been to the wine bars before and sampled some of their varietals, but hadn’t actually visited the winery and vineyard.  A few weeks ago we had an opportunity to go and we enjoyed our experience tasting with friends and seeing the winery in person.

The winery is open Friday-Sunday from 11am-6pm and charges $10 for a tasting.  The property is beautiful and offers nice views of the vineyard and plenty of outdoor seating, and the tasting room is unique in a few ways.  The day we arrived it was a sunny and warmer winter day so the crowds were out in wine country and the parking lot was packed.  You park around back and then have to walk to the front of the building to enter the tasting room.  Entering the room you immediately step around the circular tasting bar (we’ll discuss this more later), and admire the high ceilings and interesting architectural features.  The tasting room is situated between the bottling room, the chai, and the wine cave so that visitors can have the unique experience of viewing the whole production.  In addition to that, they also have a stage where live musicians perform and entertain the guests.

Boxwood only produces red wine in three styles in the Bordeaux tradition.  They use different combinations of the Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec to create their three blends; the Boxwood, the Topiary, and the Trellis.  We are obviously fans of red blends and bordeaux style combos so naturally we were excited to sample the different vintages.

We sampled:

  • 2011 Boxwood Trellis: 60% Merlot, 40% Press Wine Blend (CF, CS, PV); Very earthy with notes of oak and cherry.
  • 2011 Topiary: 68% Cab Franc, 32% Merlot; A medium bodied blend with red fruity notes, and a touch of thyme lingering on the palate.
  • 2012 Boxwood: 56% Merlot, 33% Cab Sauv, 11% Petit Verdot; this was our favorite red blend (anything with Petit Verdot is a winner for us), with dark red color and notes of blackberry and tobacco.
  • 2008 Boxwood: 50% Cab Sauv, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot; Medium bodied and notes of white pepper and light oak.
  • 2009 Topiary: 50% Merlot, 48% Cab Franc, 2% Malbec; Intense strawberry aromas and some spice on the finish.
Overall, it was a good tasting. We are never ones to dislike a tasting experience, however we did feel that it was difficult to sample so many red blends at once with nothing to balance in between.  After a point, several of the blends tasted very similar and it was difficult to differentiate the grapes.  In addition to that, we also felt that the circular tasting bar is not practical on a crowded day.  One the day we visited, there was only one wine educator behind the bar trying to serve several people at once.  She did a good job and kept her cool, but the process didn’t allow her to explain the wines in any detail.  We don’t believe that the circular bar is the best option for providing an educational and personable wine tasting experience.
That being said, we still had a great time and were so entertained by the talented musician, Matt Waller, playing an amazing combination of today’s hits combined with some classic songs.  We also managed to snap some very cool photos before leaving and getting on with our day!
If you stop by Boxwood Estate Winery make sure to let us know what you think!

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