Virginia’s top wines were named a few weeks ago with 2013 Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup top honors going to Barboursville Vineyards’ 2009 Octagon 12th Edition. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with 230 and 93 of the wineries submitted 377 red and white entries for this year’s competition.
Barboursville Vineyards 2009 Octagon 12th Edition is a Bordeaux-style Meritage (70 percent Merlot, 15 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Petit Verdot, and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon) that’s made in only the best vintage years. It’s the fourth Governor’s Cup that Barboursville’s won, but the first for the Octagon, which Governor McDonnell called “one of Virginia’s most iconic red wines.”
Governor Bob McDonnell presented the award at the Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup Gala. Governor McDonnell championed major changes to the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition in 2011 that made it one of the most stringent and comprehensive wine competitions in the United States.
The 2013 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition was conducted over two weeks of tasting. The preliminary tastings were held over ten days at the Capital Wine School in Washington DC, while the final round of tastings was held at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. The Governor’s Cup award winner was selected from the 2013 Governor’s Cup Case, the top 12 scoring wines of the competition. The other 11 wines…
Cooper Vineyards: 2010 Petit Verdot Reserve
King Family Vineyards: 2010 Meritage
Lovingston Winery: 2009 Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve
Philip Carter Winery: 2010 Cleve
Pollak Vineyards: 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery: 2010 Richland Reserve Heritage
Rappahannock Cellars: 2010 Meritage
RdV Vineyards: 2010 Rendezvous
RdV Vineyards: 2010 Lost Mountain
Sunset Hills Vineyard: 2010 Mosaic
Trump Winery: 2008 Sparkling Rose
Accepting for Barboursville Vineyards was Luca Paschina, Barboursville’s General Manager and Winemaker. “It has been a pleasure and a reward to follow the evolution of the 2009 vintage of Octagon. Since harvest I took notice of its promising characters, and I was not shy to share with many that it was destined to be among the best wines I will ever produce in my life,” said Luca. “The Virginia Governor’s Cup award is an honor and further validates the character of a wine that has already won 90 points at Wine Enthusiast, the Gold Medal of the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, of the Winemaker’s Challenge and Critics Challenge in California, and the Platinum Medal of the Sommelier Challenge, also in California.”
Barboursville Vineyards is located in the Monticello American Viticulture Area of Central Virginia, in and around the Charlottesville region. The historic Virginia winery is located on the estate of James Barbour, former Governor of Virginia, in Barboursville. The winery was founded in 1976 by Gianni Zonin, a prominent Italian winemaker whose family has roots in Italian viticulture going back to 1821. The Zonin Group is based in Vicenza, Italy. Barboursville is Zonin’s sole American venture.
Noticeably missing from this year’s winner list…white wine and Virginia’s offiical white variety, Viognier. There’s been much talk about it online. Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like spoke to Virginia Governor’s Cup competition head judge, Jay Youmans, MW on the topic. Jay said, “It is not that Viognier has performed poorly; it has more to do with the fact that many of the reds simply reflect the strength of the 2007, 2009, and 2010 vintages. While Viognier may perform well in Virginia, it is not as commercially important in the global market as full-bodied red blends.”
Gold Cup winner 2009 Octagon 12th Edition, along with the other 11 highest scoring wines above, will comprise the Governor’s Case, and serve as drinkable marketing ambassadors for the local industry throughout the year.
The Virginia wine industry continues it’s unprecedented growth. Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2012 with more than 485,000 cases, or more than 5.8 million bottles, sold. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer. According to a recently released economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.
For more information on all the winners, here’s a great site from Virginia Wine.
Congratulations to the 2013 winners!