BARKING NEWS:

2017 VA Gov Cup goes to Barns at Hamilton Station; Veritas' Emily Pelton Wine Person of the Year; King Family's David King Recognized for Lifetime Achievement... Jim Law (Linden) & Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge) James Beard Award Semi-finalists... VA Wine Strikes Gold in SanFran (7 double golds; 2 best of class)... VA Wine Sales Up 6%; Cider taking off... International Winery Review "Virginia Wine Has Come of Age"...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reds Make the Case for Virginia Wine

 
Representatives of the wineries producing the 12 highest ranking wines in the competition -- the Governor’s Cup Case
 
Virginia Governor's Cup Gala
Richmond, Virginia

The results are in from the 2013 Virginia Governor’s Cup.  This year, 377 wines from 93 wineries competed; 20 won gold. Reds, especially blends, dominated the competition claiming 11 of 12 spots in the Governor's Cup Case.

The 2013 Governor's Cup goes to the 2009 Octagon, a Merlot-based blend with 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Munchkin and Pomeroy at Barboursville
It was produced by Wine Dog Pal Luca Paschina, general manager and winemaker at Barboursville Vineyards, outside of Charlottesville. 
The Octagon, along with the next 11 highest ranking wines in the competition will be combined in the Governor's Cup Case.  These award-winning wines will be used to showcase the best of Virginia's vines and vintners, including use by Governor Bob McDonnell on international marketing missions and other events to promote Virginia wine and winery tourism, including the Governor's upcoming trip to California..

The Wine Dogs salute Barboursville and the other case members:

Jeff and Karen Cooper of Cooper Vineyards toasting their gold medalist, the 2010 Petit Verdot Reserve. 

King Family Vineyards winemaker Mathieu Finot produced a Gold Medalist with the 2010 Meritage. King Family was a Governor's Cup winner in 2010 for their 2007 Meritage. 

Ed and Jane Puckett of Lovingston Winery celebrate their gold medal winning 2009 Josie's Knoll Estate Reserve, another of the Virginia Meritages in the Governor's Case.

Philip Carter Strother and teammates Jeremy Ligot and Dat Metzger are taking home gold for Philip Carter Winery with the 2010 Cleve, a distinctive blend of Petit Verdot and Tanat. Visit Cleve Hall and say hello to wine dogs Fairfax and Cortoman.

For the second year in a row, Potomac Point Winery's Heritage Reserve is a gold medalist -- this year it's the 2010 vintage happily displayed by owner Cindy Causey . The Wine Dogs recently visited this impressive, dog-friendly winery and enjoyed the 2009 vintage.

Owner John Delmare pours a glass of Rappahannock Cellars 2010 Meritage, a Gold Medal winner in the Governor's Cup competition.

2012 Governor's Cup winner Jeff White samples RdV Vineyard's two Gold Medal winning Meritages -- the 2010 Rendezvous and the 2010 Lost Mountain. 

Scott Spelbring, Assistant Winemaker at Sunset Hills Vineyards, was pouring the gold-medal winning 2010 Mosiac, a Meritage blend.
 
The Governor's Case wouldn't be complete without some bubbly -- Trump Winery's Sparkling Rose'.  Cheers!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Octagon Is Top Dog in Governor's Cup Competition


Governor Bob McDonnell presents the 2013 Governor's Cup to Luca Paschina for Barboursville's 2009 Octagon
Richmond, Virginia

Virginia's vibrant wine industry celebrated its own as the results of the 2013 Governor's Cup competition were announced.  The night's big winners: Barboursville (Guv Cup), Mary Beth Williams (Wine Person of the Year), Willowcroft's Lew Parker (Lifetime Achievement), Del. Dave Albo (Legislator of the Year) + 12 Gold Medal Wines for Governor's Cup Case (a total of 20 wines were awarded gold).

Dr. Jeff Cooper (Cooper Vineyards) chaired the Governor's Cup Committee and served as the night's emcee.  "We wanted to create the premiere wine competition in the U.S.," he explained, going over the major changes adopted in 2011 that have made the Virginia's Governor's Cup competition one of the most stringent and comprehensive wine competitions in the United States.

Willowcroft Founder Lew Parker received the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the extensive time he has devoted as an active proponent of the growth and vitality of the Virginia wine industry. 

Mary Beth Williams, Virginia's "Wine Lawyer," was recognized as "Wine Person of the Year" for her contributions to the industry, helping wineries, vineyards, and future winery owners navigate the ABC and other laws.

"The world is your market," Governor Bob McDonnell told the winery representatives, adding that "The advancements in Virginia winemaking are on display in every bottle we have here tonight."  First Lady Maureen McDonnell (whose tireless efforts promoting the industry earned her the 2012 Wine Person of the Year honors) then revealed the 2013 Governor's Cup winner was Barboursville's 2009 Octagon. It is a record fourth time Barboursville has claimed the Governor's Cup.

Luca Paschina, Winemaker and General Manager of Barboursville, noted that 2009 was a fine vintage, calling the 2009 Octagon "probably one of the best wines I every made in my life" -- adding that he is 50 and has been making wine since he was 14.  The 2009 Octagon, which has also claimed a 90-point score from Wine Enthusiast, gold medals form the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, and the Winemaker's Challenge and Critics Challenge in California, and the Platinum Medal of the Sommelier Challenge in California, will be released August 1.
This year's competition attracted 377 wines entered by 93 wineries.  The 12 highest ranking wines will be combined to comprise the Governor's Cup Case and used to showcase the best of Virginia wine - including the Governor's trip to California in April. 
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wine Dogs Get to the Point


Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery
Stafford, VA

Pomeroy decided Prosecco was ready to begin her training as a Virginia Wine Dog. First stop, Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery, a short trip down 95 from Alexandria.

Potomac Point's large Mediterranean-style tasting room says “wine” from the moment you pull up, with an impish Bacchus poised out front ready to greet guests and gates embellished with sculptured vines enclosing an enticing outside seating areas (for warmer weather). 

Designed by homebuilder Skip Causey (his largest commercial project) and decorated and furnished by wife Cindi, the interior features a four-sided tasting bar, imviting fireplace, and impressive murals of la vita vino.
Potomac Point also offers Le Grand Cru Bistro for those who want to wine and dine (Wine Dogs are not allowed in the dining room, but are otherwise welcome).

Indeed, Pomeroy and Prosecco were warmly welcomed to Potomac Point by proprietor Skip, who provided them the inside scoop on the Potomac Point winery and wines.  
The Causeys have lived in Stafford for 27 years.  In 2005, Skip was looking for an investment and, having been bitten by the winebug in Napa and Sonoma – as well as a pruning class at Tarara – decided to start a winery close to home.  Potomac Point opened to the public in 2007 and currently has 5 acres in vine (Viognier, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Petit Manseng) and are exploring acquiring additional acreage.

Skip told the Wine Dogs that 2009 has been his best year for reds so far. Looking ahead to the 2012 wines, he expects the Viognier to be a star and anticipates an awesome Rose. In addition, Charlie Kidd will be coming to Potomac Point to make his Virginia debut as winemaker, after working in California and Texas.

Pomeroy and Prosecco opted for the Premier tasting and Erin led the Wine Dogs through a flight of 11 wines.  There were several standouts and unique offerings. 

Pomeroy gave paws up to the 2010 Chardonnay Reserve, a big and oaky offering while Ecco preferred the 2011 steel-barrel fermented Chard with its crisp flavors. 

Potomac Point offers two “custom label” wines, and both Wine Dogs gave paws up to the Custom Label Red (a blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Cab Sauv) playfully labeled “Drunken Reindeer” for Christmas. Pomeroy also liked the 2011 Norton , a classic presentation of the native Virginia varietal finished nicely with a touch of Cab Franc (10%) and Tannat (5%). 

Both of the desert wines are noteworthy. The Vin de Paille is crafted in the Itailian Passito style, with wind-dried Muscat grapes wind-dried on beds of straw from an old Virginia tobacco warehouse and blended with hand-des-stemmed very late harvest Vidal and Petit Manseng for a pleasantly sweet, peach-apricot wine which Pomeroy adored.

On the Port side, the Rabelos blends Touriga Nacional, Chambourcin and Tinta Cao aged in a bourbon barrel from the neighboring A. Smith Bowman Distillery for a lovely desert wine that had Ecco coming back for more.

The star of the lineup is the 2009 Richland Reserve Heritage. The Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Petit Verdot was the Wine Dogs’ pick for enjoying in front of the fireplace, where they were joined by Chianti, a 2-1/2 year old Australian Shepherd and “Miss December” in the 2013 Old Dominion Wine Dogs Calendar.

Heritage is one of the 12 Governor’s Cup Gold medal winners to be included in the 2012 Governor’s Case used to showcase the best of Virginia Wine across the country and around the world.   This year’s Governor’s Cup winners will be announced on February 21.  

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