German Wine, 2010 Blaufränkisch from Otium Cellars

Otium Cellars Brings German wine to Virginia

Loudoun County's newest tasting room is well versed in tongue-twisting varietals.

The new Otium Cellars pours three whites and seven reds ($5 for five tastes of wine).

German winemaker Gerhard Bauer opened the timber A-frame building in April, naming it after the cooperative vineyard that supplies the shop's Cabernet Sauvignon.

The rest of the winery's fruit is grown on six and a half acres at Goose Creek Farms outside downtown Purcellville. There, Bauer cultivates two red varietals that are new to the area, but familiar to his homeland: Blaufränkisch and Dornfelder.

The 2010 Blaufränkisch ($28 for 750 ml) has a spicy, ripe cherry nose and can be enjoyed with tomato salads now, but would also mellow after a few more years in the bottle.

The inky 2009 Dornfelder ($20 for 750 ml) captures earthy summer fruits, while the oakier 2010 Dornfelder ($22 for 750 ml) is a darker wine, owing to that year's wetter growing season. The 2009 Dornfelder Reserve ($32 for 750 ml) is the best of the three. It aged for 18 months in French barrels, emerging with a green, peppery nose that trails off into a silky cocoa finish.

For a taste of the familiar, try the vanilla-scented 2010 Chardonnay ($22 for 750 ml), with honey notes, or the patio-ready 2010 Pinot Noir ($20 for 750 ml).

Otium Cellars at Goose Creek Farms, 18050 Tranquility Rd., Purcellville; 540-338-2027 or otiumcellars.com