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Annual Tasting and Picnic at Diamond Hill Vineyards in Cumberland, RI

Approaching the tasting roomEvery year, at least once, we take the short drive up to Cumberland and Diamond Hill Vineyards, laden with picnic basket and always thirsty.  Diamond Hill is one of our favorite New England wineries for several reasons.  One – they tend to have good wines, always made from 100% grapes or fruit, never a grape wine with fruit essence added.  Second – in favorable years they actually make a very good estate Pinot

The family on the porch

The family on the porch

Noir.  Lastly, it’s just a great place to bring a picnic and hang out for a few hours.  Sometimes it’s just Cheri and myself, and we sit on the porch and drink a bottle of Pinot while Cheri beats me at backgammon.  This time we had the family with us, so we took over one corner of

The days wines

The day’s wines

the porch, broke out backgammon and other board games and even the bocce set made a lengthy appearance.  We probably spent the better part of three hours there.  You can read last year’s review of Diamond Hill here.

Of course there was wine, and Claire was there pouring the still free (that’s right, I said free) samples of their wines.  There was a lesson here however, as they were already sold out of the Peach, Blueberry and Spiced Apple wines.  Next year we need to go earlier.  Here are the wines we did try:

River Valley White – 50% Chardonnay and 50% Riesling this had some very nice fruit, but it didn’t carry through well.  There was also a little bitterness at the end.  The finish was quite long.  Good, but not excellent.  Some will like it a lot.  $13.50

2007 Pinot Noir – aromas of red berries and spice.  This is red going to amber in color, and brings oak and subtle tannins along with fruit on the palate, and is very smooth.  The finish is very long.  Somehow they make a good Pinot Noir here.  Quite nice.  Spends a year in french oak (mais bien sur!).  We got one for the porch and bought two to take home.  $25

Scarlet Run – this is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  It can be served cold or at room temperature.  We had it cold, and unfortunately the acetic acid sort of overwhelmed everything else and it didn’t work for us.  This did not see any oak.  $15

Cranberry Apple – a perennial favorite this wine once again screams for Thanksgiving dinner.  This year’s effort is a little more tart.  Made from 75% apple and 25% Falmouth cranberries it is delicious.  We brought some of this home.  $13.50

Blackberry – another perennial favorite, this is sometimes very sweet, sometimes not so much, and always delicious.  This version is sweet, but not overly so.  Two years ago the blackberry was almost off dry, and we used to sip it like any other wine.  Prior to that we’ve had them super sweet, where they are strictly dessert wines or for pouring over ice cream.  This is in between.  Very nice, and two bottles somehow found their way into our car. $16.75

Crush – made from rasberry, blueberry and blackberry this is a fruit bomb.  It’s smoother than last year’s effort, and the berries are in a more equal proportion.  Even so the rasberry dominates the nose, as you would expect.  It finishes long with pure fruit to the end.  At 14% alcohol it’s not shy either.  It’s quite good and different. $16.75

We always enjoy ourselves at Diamond Hill.  You can’t find a free tasting very easily anywhere these days.  When you combine hospitality, a great. relaxing spot and quality wines you can’t miss.  Don’t forget their Club 11, which gives you a free bottle of your choice when you buy 11.  We turned ours in for a free bottle of Pinot on the porch this trip!

I’m hoping to get up there to help pick the Pinot this year, but if not we’ll be back next year, maybe earlier.  You should check them out.

Diamond Hill Vineyards

3145 Diamond Hill Rd.,  Cumberland,  Rhode Island 02864
1 800 752 2505

http://www.favorlabel.com/wedding_favors/Winery.php

A votre sante!

 

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