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Wednesday 4 May 2016

Virginia Uncorked

Virginia Wines tasting and dinner

It is now around five years since I first got to know Virginia's wines - at the time, I feared I was late to the party, but it seems I was actually an early arrival.

Virginia wines still do not have a high profile in this country; think of US wine and California first springs to mind, followed by those cooler states further up the West Coast.

As Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe pointed out, the US is the size of Europe, so to equate all US wine a single state would be like thinking all European wine comes from just one region.
To summarise Virginia for the uninitiated, these East Coast wines are elegant and deft with a European food-friendly sensibility - and sometimes a European longevity. Priced more to compete with US wines and classic European regions than low-cost NewWorld, they may not always offer great value for money for UK bargain hunters.

On this tasting, the stand-out winery was Barboursville, represented by Luca Paschina who makes beautifully crafted wines for long-aging.

Pre-dinner tasting
Trump BdB 2009 (available at Trump Golf Resorts) 100% Chardonnay, this was sadly lacking in the comedy value one might hope for in a wine made by Donald Trump. Pleasantly inoffensive and elegant, it was a light, citrussy sparkler. And it didn't even smell "off".

Barboursville Viognier 2013 (£20, Zonin) apricotty, fresh and adept, with more of the palate weight of a Condrieu

Veritas Viognier 2015 (£19, New Horizon Wines) floral, apricotty, fresh

Boxwood Topiary 2014 (£28, New Horizon Wines) Bordelais blend, this is soft, supple and fresh, but still feels a little closed up
Starters - beetroot-cured salmon

Barboursville Chardonnay 2014 deft, fresh Burgundian chardie, with gentle oaking. Very Good.
Boxwood Rose 2015 delicate and fresh, minerally rose

Mains - lamb rump
Barboursville Octagon 2012 substantial, concentrated and fresh Bordelais blend. Good.
Boxwood Topiary 2010 right-bank style Bordelais blend; the most evolved wine of the three
Veritas Petit Verdot 2010 from a Bordeaux bit-player to a starring role; plump and soft with rich, dark fruit and spice.

Dessert - vanilla custard
Veritas Petit Manseng 2013 light, delicate and very fresh with floral peachiness and toasty beeswax-honeysuckle. Good.

Other related articles
Virginia Wines at CWW

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