The overall standard of the wines at this Virginia tasting was again high - fresh, modern well-made wines with a more European sensibility than one typically expects from the US.
After a series of difficult, cool years in Europe generally and Bordeaux especially, these wines seemed distinctly plump, lush and ripe.
The appearance of varietal Petit Verdot was a new phenomenon; usually a characterful blending grape, it was not always a success- a bit like giving Joey from Friends his own series. Or Tucker's Luck for those on this side of the Atlantic.
2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve plum and redcurrant fruit with spice and cedar; supple texture and understated freshness.
2010 Octagon XIII Edition fresh, precise and concentrated; Pomerol-esque
2010 Malvaxia Passito sweet, ripe apricot and pineapple, with rich honey and an almondy texture. Refreshing acidity.
2011 Topiary from a cool year, this was a soft, elegant infusion; red fruits, violets and soft tannins.
Trellis 2012 a good year this time, black cherries, plum and redcurrant fruit, a touch of garrigue. Well-balanced with some firmness on the finish.
2012 Boxwood left-bank blend; light and fresh
2013 Viognier white flowers, melon and banana. Fresh, clean and mineral with apricots, pears and some sweet spice and blossom.
2006 Nebbiolo aged complexity, cherries and leather, with freshness and good structure
Cave Ridge Vineyards
2010 Cabernet Franc dark fruit, lavender, chocolate and spice. Sweet ripe vanilla, well-structured.
2010 Fossil Hill Reserve mostly CF but includes some Chambourcin; earthy, with leather, chocolate and dark fruit; minerality, spice and a smooth richness.
2011 Petit Verdot dark fruit, olives and lavender with blackberry, plum and cedar. Sweet ripe fruit but something of a one-trick pony.
North Gate Vineyards
2012 Viognier melon, apricot and banana; buttery and rounded.
2011 Meritage dark berries and gentle oaky spice, juicy red fruit with mocha.
2011 Petit Verdot sweet, ripe and spicy - a character actor given a leading role he can't quite carry off.
2013 Cab Franc floral; sweet, ripe raspberry and cherry fruit and sweet vanilla, pleasing firmness on the finish
2010 Petit Verdot Paul Shaffer 4th Edition dark fruit, black cherry, spice, florality. Plump and soft with rich fruit, spice mocha and coffee. A convincing varietal PV? Yes!
Williamsburg Winery2011 Acte 12 Chardonnay pineapple and orchard fruits, creamy vanilla with aromatic grass and straw and smooth, rich almondiness. Full and rich, yet precise.
2010 Adagio dense, concentrated and all about the structure; still very young and takes time (and food) to open up in the glass. Still very youthful; "will age" is an understatement.
Other related articles
Image credit: Matt le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/da/Matt_LeBlanc_as_Joey_Tribbiani.jpg