Notes From the Winemaker - May 29th, 2012


With May drawing early Spring to an almost perfect close in growing conditions in the vineyard, I am writing to invite you to a mid-day feast on Sunday, June 10, to celebrate the release of only the 2nd vintage of a beautiful new wine of our cultivation, the Vermentino Reserve. Now, having just received the great news from the Critics' Challenge in San Diego, inset below, I cannot resist opening these superb Gold Medal vintages for a preview Tasting Welcome to all who are attending. Octagon and Nebbiolo continue to thrill us with the reception they receive, worldwide.

My winemaker father and IThose of you who had to miss last year's celebration lunch for the 2010 Vermentino Reserve, no larger than one barrel in total volume, have probably heard that the wine went on to win the Gold Medal at the international Winemaker's Challenge (also in San Diego), without enough left over for even our own Tasting Room. At this year's Vermentino feast on June 10, co-hosted by Chef Dean Maupin of Keswick Hall's Fossett's Restaurant, and Chef Tucker Yoder of Clifton, The Country Inn -- two establishments of longtime friendship with us, and of high esteem in the region -- we will also be releasing the new vintage in our rare, signature dessert wine, Malvaxia Passito 2007. And the ultimate good news is, the 2011 Vermentino Reserve, a high point of last year's vintage, was produced in enough volume for everyone to be able to take some home.

Vermentino ReserveVermentino is a wine so ideally balanced for Summer that we have very little hope of continuing to be in supply in this vintage by mid-Autumn. But if laid down now, Vermentino Reserve 2011 will age well in your cellar for up to 3 years very comfortably, and will repay dining with fish or shellfish and elegant pasta dishes, throughout the year. A grape well known to our founders, Gianni and Silvana Zonin, from their seaside wine estate in Tuscany, Rocca di Montemassi.Vermentino flourishes all along the Tyrrhenian Sea in Sardinia and in coastal Liguria as well, where I have met with leading growers to share notes on its cultivation there. At Barboursville we have demonstrated that it adapts beautifully to Piedmont Virginia, and, although we might remain its only known producer, we are deeply committed to it. Like Sauvignon Blanc, a bracing, uplifting wine, Vermentino possesses a fuller but piquant, complex palate of even longer finish, and is best produced without malolactic fermentation in stainless steel or in very neutral, used oak barrels. Its golden color is a special compliment to the table at an al fresco lunch or by candlelight. 

Now readers of our last Note, announcing the Vermentino Suite at the new Blue Run Cottage, will be able to put a palate profile to that elegant new accommodation in the vineyard. I hope you will join us for the pouring and discussion of this new vintage, which has been very much the "buzz" of our Tasting Room ever since last year, when it was all but consumed in one afternoon. As I believe you will find, short supply was not the only reason for this! Please telephone Palladio Restaurant (540) 832 - 7848 to reserve for this special celebration, while seating remains available.