Bet On Black


When you ask someone about their favorite winery in Maryland, a popular response will be Black Ankle Vineyards.   And I’d definitely place it near the top for me as well.  But there are many great places to visit and find a gem.

My friends and I were looking for a nice wine to pair with our St. Patrick’s Day feast, and I instinctively thought of the 2008 Leaf Stone Syrah.

I was able to purchase a few bottles a couple of years ago, at a sale price of around $30.00 each, at Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon, MD.  And this was worth every penny then.  So how does it taste a year or so later?

Well my response at dinner was that I am glad we’re having this now, and not a moment later.  It’s still great, but it probably just went past it’s peak.  Something just felt a little different.  It had lost a little potency.  The updated tasting notes match my findings.  I am proud of myself to pick up on this detail.


Nevertheless, if you can find this year I suggest doing so.  And then to drink it almost immediately.   It’s got the oak and full body that I always love.  And the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is usually always a delight to complement the other grapes.   As you can see above, on the back of the label, they have some fun facts that are easy to understand and are accessible.

So what else is great about this winery? Well I did visit once, and on the surface it looked unapproachable but when I walked in, the place was majestic.  The outdoor setting, outside seating, and tasting room area are out of a fairy tale.  It’s so beautiful that I can’t put it into words.  It was cozy enough to make you feel you’re on vacation.  In many ways, you are.

When I did the tasting room a couple of years ago, it was so packed that mine was done outside.  No complaints here. The wines I sampled were dynamite and fit the season we were in.  It’s been a while so I didn’t retain much from memory.  But I do intend to return this Spring or Summer, when the room will have since been reopened.

The wines do range on the higher end of prices.  Many are over $30, and as you can see on the site, that many are sold out and for good reason.  So I was grateful to get mine at the price that I did.


In the meantime, we enjoyed our wine with a beautiful corn beef brisket, potatoes, rolls, and a side salad.  What a perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Enjoy the week.