For the last year, I’ve been exploring Virginia’s burgeoning wine industry, now over 200 wineries strong. My journey started at last year’s 4th Annual Virginia Wine Expo. The neat thing about attending this year’s Expo is I had favorites to visit. In the next two articles, I’ll share my favorite wine each was tasting at the Expo.

Breaux Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

  • Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Aroma: Crisp citrus
  • Taste: Honeydew melon and green apple with hint of goat cheese
  • Price: $15
  • My thoughts:  Really like this wine! As a Sauvignon Blanc fan, I like that it’s familiar yet with a hint of something different…I got goat cheese. :) There Viognier, Virginia’s official grape, was named to Oz Clarke’s Top 250 Wines of 2012 list. Fun to see Jennifer and introduce Breaux to friends.

Chatham Vineyards Late Harvest Dessert Wine

  • Varietal: Cabernet Franc and Merlot
  • Aroma: Nuts and spice
  • Taste: Brown spice, hazelnut, tobacco
  • Price: $25
  • My thoughts: This is a yummy dessert wine…not too sweet with lots of layers! It would be perfect with a cheese plate. Unfortunately it was sold out so I couldn’t take it home. These grapes are naturally dehydrated on the vine and produce a wine with only 3% residual sugar (typical ice wine is 9%). Great to meet Jon and taste through his wines with him. I discovered Chatham at last spring’s Mount Vernon Wine Festival.

DuCard Vineyards 2009 Petit Verdot

  • Varietal: 100% Petit Verdot
  • Aroma: Big spice and red fruit
  • Taste: Dark red fruit, silky smooth with a hint of anise
  • Price: $30
  • My thoughts: I discovered DuCard at least year’s event. It was great to taste this lovely wine with their talented winemaker, who unfortunately after five years is headed back to Bordeaux.

Barren Ridge Vineyards 2008 Meritage

  • Varietal: 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Petit Verdot
  • Aroma: Red fruit and spice
  • Taste: Silky combination of red berries, vanilla and spice
  • Price: $32
  • My thoughts: First met French winemaker Pauline Dubier at last summer’s Wine Bloggers Conference (she too is headed back to France). This lovely wine won Silver in the 2011 Virginia Governor’s Cup.

Next…wines from my other old favorites at the Expo. Click here for additional discoveries from this year’s Expo.