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Brian A

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Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by Brian A » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:11 pm

Hi, folks. I thought I'd write a post about 3 very nice wineries that my wife and I had a chance to tour and the tastings at each. The three we visited were Barboursville Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, and Prince Michel Vineyards. My favorite site was Barboursville due to its past history of the land itself. The tasting allowed us to try 10 of their wines. Out of the 4 white wines we sampled, which I really liked all of them, my favorite white was the Chardonnay Reserve 2004. The other whites sampled were a Pinot Grigio 2005, Riesling 2005, and a Rose' 2005. The Rose' was a blend of 45% nebbiolo, 28% sangiovese, and 27% cabernet franc.

We sampled 3 of their red wines. They were Merlot 2004, Barbera Reserve 2004, and Octagon 2004. Although reds are not a favorite of mine, I am beginning to acquire a taste for the softer ones like merlot. But surprisingly, I really enjoyed the Octagon, which is the most full bodied they make. It is a blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot aged for 15 months in french oak. It was recommended that the 2004 7th edition be cellared until at least 2010.

Three desert wines were also sampled. Their Phileo wine has got to be the sweetest wine I ever tasted. It should be with a residual sugar of 8%. I remember it had a blend of moscato, gewurztraminer, and some others. This was way too sweet for me, but my wife absolutely loved it. I think its a cavity waiting to happen :P . `

Of the 10 we tasted my favs were the Chardonnay Reserve and the Octagon. I wish I had bought a bottle of the Octagon now that I'm back home, but forty dollars seemed a bit much at the time. If any one has any questions on the other wines that were tasted that I didn't give detail on, feel free to ask. I kept my tasting notes. Part II will be my experience at Horton Vineyards.

Barboursville Vineyards http://www.barboursvillewine.com/
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Robin Garr

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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by Robin Garr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:54 am

Brian, I thought I had commented on this when I moved the thread, apologies. Thanks, if belatedly, for a good post on a wine region that tends to get less attention than the obvious suspects but that perhaps deserves more scrutiny. Virginia is quietly developing a significant wine industry, and frankly, its high points seem to be very high indeed ... even if its climate isn't what we'd call "Mediterranean," it may be that its climate is close to the sweet spot between North and South that allows producers to get away with growing decent vinifera grapes that would be more at risk of freeze further north and too-hot summers farther south.
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James Roscoe

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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by James Roscoe » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 pm

Brian, nice notes. The Octogon red may be the best red made in Virginia. Unfortunately it is overpriced. If you liked that you will LOVE Bordeaux as it is a classic Bdx. blend, or at least was in '02 the last vintage I tried. I also love their Riesling. By the way, did you tour the ruins? They are worth the trip in and of itself.
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Brian A

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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by Brian A » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:47 pm

Unfortunately, this was a group tour and we didn't get to tour the ruins. After we left we went to Horton Vineyards where we tasted up to 40 different wines. Now, that was a fun time had by all :D .
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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by James Roscoe » Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:56 pm

Horton is fun. The first time I did it was at ten on a Sunday morning. Everyone was still suffering from the effects of Saturday night. We wanted to go to an outlet store, but it didn't open until noon. Horton opened at ten! What better way to start a Sunday morning than to taste 40 wines? Dennis Horton was there regaling us with his humor. The guy behind the table was wearing a kilt and had clearly not recovered from the previous night's festivities. A fun time was had by all. We went to Barboursville next. Quite frankly it was a little bit of a letdown. Some day I need to see one of the Shakespeare plays they put on in the ruins every summer at Barboursville. I understand they are fabulous.
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Peter May

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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by Peter May » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:31 pm

Hi Brian

Nice report -- how about part 2?
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Brian Gilp

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Re: Virginia Wineries Tours Part I - Barboursville Winery

by Brian Gilp » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:29 pm

There are still many wineries in Virginia that I have yet to sample but I just like so much about Barboursville I can't imagine that across the board there is anyone matching the quality. They are showing that with the right materials and attention, quality reds can be made in Virginia. The whites do not excite me as much but they are still quality wines. Those who have not had a chance to try the sweet wines are missing something.

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