Last weekend was our much awaited “Girls’ Weekend”. Among our other activities, my daughter and I took a day and planned a road trip to Clarksville, Tennessee. Of course we had to include wineries!
A quick Google search led us to Chateau Ross in Springfield, Tennessee. It was a bit out of our way but their wine offerings were very intriguing. Lots of reds! Tastings were by appointment only, but they were eager to accommodate us. Because it was a bit of a drive, they made sure we understood they currently only had reds. Not a problem! That’s what we wanted. We were even going to get to do some barrel tastings.
The winery was nestled back in the woods behind fields ready for new vine plantings. Their tasting room was in the lower level of their beautiful home.
Their quaint little tasting room was undergoing some renovations so we were only able to peek in.
Our tasting took place in the barrel room just outside.
We were greeted by the resident weener dogs, Rachel and Molly.
Very apropos for a winery with wine labeled “Gu-Vurtz-Tra-Weener”. A winery with dog themed labeling — we were in love already. (Unfortunately they were out of Gu-Vertz-Tra-Weener so we weren’t able to try it.)
Our tastings included the following:
- Zinfandel (barrel)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (barrel)
- Big Bitch Red – a red blend of 7 different grapes Creason – 100% Cabernet Franc
- Midnight Cabernet Sauvignon
- McMahon – A Left Bank Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
- Late Harvest Zinfandel (barrel)
I have to start out by saying that for red lovers, this winery is a treat! Owner and wine maker, Ross Proctor, who has traveled to Saint Emilion more times than he can count, provides a fantastic experience. We so enjoyed talking with him about grapes, wine making, travel, dogs and other stories. This is what we look for and so enjoy when visiting local wineries. Every wine we tried was wonderful. The hardest part was picking out our favorites.
The Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, while not quite ready, were well on their way. In a way, I suppose it was good that they weren’t yet bottled or it would have made our decision making that much harder.
Big Bitch Red, another dog themed label, named after their Rottweiler, was smooth, rich, and just plain delicious.
Creason was an excellent Cabernet Franc aged three years in new oak barrels. It was named after a very renowned artist in Nashville, Creason Clayton, who had provided other artwork Chateau Ross wines. I would love to some day have a copy of this print. It’s just beautiful. Such a relaxing scene.
Midnight Cabernet Sauvignon was a nicely balanced Cab Sauv.
McMahon was beyond amazing. I was immediately taken back to Bordeaux, France. This is their premium wine, and while a little pricey, definitely worth the splurge.
The Late Harvest Zinfandel was heavenly. I was truly disappointed we couldn’t come away with a bottle yet. Allowed to ferment for four months, it was rich and raisiny. It is definitely a dessert wine, sweet but not syrupy, and yet not overly sweet. We made our tastes last as long as we could.
We somehow managed to limit ourselves to a bottle each of Big Bitch Red, Creason, and McMahon. We shared Creason throughout the remainder of the weekend and my daughter even let me keep the bottle with its beautiful label!
Our experience at Chateau Ross was one of the best I’ve ever had and why we love the small local wineries so much. I am already looking forward to trip back for more wine and so that I can share this winery with Bushmaster too!