This posting is a tad later than I intended, so by now you know that the 2010 Governor’s Cup went to King Family Vineyard’s 2007 Meritage. It could not have happened to a more deserving winery and winemaker! Matthieu Finot, Winemaker, ascended the stage last Friday evening at the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond, to accept the Cup along with David King. Here is Matthieu’s notes on this wine:
A blend of 56% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Malbec. The wine has been aged in French oak for 18 months. There are dark fruits, especially black cherry and raisin, on the nose with a hint of toast. Full mouth of black cherry, smoke and clove. Perfect structure with firm, balanced tannins. The finish is smooth and lingering. A wine that will make you discover something new and enjoy more with every sip! Double Gold Medal Monticello Cup 2009, Gold Medal Governor’s Cup 2010. Drink now through 2015. 615 cases produced. Retails for $25.95.
While cruising through the Grand Tasting on Friday evening, I tasted, nibbled and chatted. It was fun being on the other side of the tasting table. The following wines (listed alphabetically by winery) stood out for me because they expressed the classic expression of the varietals, and all showed balance and flawless structure. I urge you to click through to the wineries’ websites for further notes and pricing. There were many food stations, and I was not able to sample from them all, so my notes are just on those that I did.
Barboursville Vineyards – Winemaker: Luca Paschina
2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Jefferson Vineyards – Winemaker: Andy Reagan
2006 & 2007 Meritage
Keswick Vineyards - Winemaker: Stephen Barnard
2009 Les Vents d’Anges Viognier
King Family Vineyards – Winemaker: Matthieu Finot
Pollak Vineyards - Winemaker: Jake Busching
2007 Cabernet Franc – unfined & unfiltered
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweely Estate Winery - Winemaker: Frantz Venture
2007 Cabernet Franc
Tarara Winery - Winemaker: Jordan Harris
2007 Cabernet Franc
Since I was driving back to Madison from Richmond that evening, I am sure that I missed some other outstanding wines…but, better to be safe than sorry!
Chef Melissa Close of Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards – Melt-in-your-mouth Brisket served over Polenta, with Barboursville 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve . Chef Melissa has been nominated, once again, in the 2010 James Beard Awards. If you have not eaten at Palladio, drop whatever you are doing now, call and make a reservation. The food is divine, the service impeccable and wine list exemplary.
Gearharts Chocolates – I had the Pistachio Toffee Orange with the Pollak 2007 Cab Sauvignon…if I wasn’t typing this right now, I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven!
Lollipop Lamb Chops in a blueberry reduction, compliments of The Bull & Bear, Chef Michael L. Hall – OMIGOD these were so yummy. I had some of Pollak’s Cab Sauvignon still in my glass…perfection.
Cassoulet by Millie’s of Richmond – one of my favorite winter comfort foods and it paired perfectly with the Sweely Estate 2007 Cab Franc.
It was a wonderful evening and had just enough attendees so that it was possible to taste and chat without too much elbowing.
Here are some photos.