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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Virginia Wines Dinner‏

A dinner with Virginia Wine
One of the original colonies and the state in which Thomas Jefferson tried but failed to make wine for over three decades, Virginia is now the fifth largest wine region of the US.
Think of US wine and big, blowsy Californians spring to mind - over in Virginia, however, they do things a little differently.
Maybe it's the old world heritage, but Virginia wines are more nuanced and less in-yer-face. And this applies as much to the grape varieties as to the styles; you will as easily find Viognier, Cab Franc and Nebbiolo as Chardonnay and Merlot.
My first encounter with Virginia wines was a couple of years ago - they still haven't broken into the mainstream, and perhaps may never fully do so, but they continue to raise their profile over here, championed by Chris Parker of New Horizon Wines.
The ideal role model for Virginia Wines is Austria - small-scale, quality-led, cool-climate wines whose recent history is measured only in decades.
These are wines to be hand-sold to enthusiasts, to compete with the world's great wine regions in value-for-money terms, not slugging it out on the supermarket shelf with the BOGOFs from some arid corner of inland Spain, South Africa or Australia.
The stand-out wines for me from the dinner were:
Breaux Vineyards 2006 Nebbiolo from the most northerly of Virginia's vineyards, classical aged complexity with balanced freshness. Good.
Veritas Vineyard 2013 Viognier fermented in stainless steel, aromatic, delicate and fresh. Good.
Barboursville Vineyards 2010 Octagon M/CF blend, fresh, precise, concentrated and mineral - Pomerol-esque, will age. Very Good.
Williamsburg Winery 2010 Adagio CF/M/PV blend: still youthful and rather closed up initially, this is all about texture and structure. Dense and concentrated, but opens up with time in the glass. Very Good.
Other related articles
New Horizon Wines - website
Virginia Wine - website, twitter

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