Octagon Gold at Monticello Wine Competition

2001 Vintage Sustains its Winning Ways

The 2008 Monticello Wine Growers Competition, conducted at Keswick Hall near Monticello on March 25, awarded its Gold Medal to Octagon V 2001, continuing the spectacular history of this vintage of Barboursville reds at the most prestigious regional wine competition in Virginia.

In 2002, Barbera Reserve 2001 won the Gold Medal and Monticello Cup. In 2004, this achievement was repeated by Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001. Now, 7 years off the vine, Octagon 2001 has capped an astonishing tasting career with its 10th Gold Medal in regional and national wine competitions. In its tasting of October 31, 2003, Wine Spectator had this to say about the red wine it favored above all others in Virginia: "Ambitious. Dark purple, with ample toast and spice notes, supple flesh and pure cassis and raspberry fruits for balance. Firm but ripe tannins drive the finish." With proper cellaring, we expect this wine to flourish into the 2010's.

This year's Monticello Competition drew a very strong list of entries in Bordeaux-based red varietals and meritages, showing how hospitable Piedmont Virginia, and particularly the Monticello viticultural area at its core, is to the successful cultivation of Bordeaux wine grapes. We salute the King Family Vineyard for winning the Cup this year, with a young Petit Verdot from a list of several entries in this varietal, which is also grown at Barboursville for blending in Octagon and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

Octagon V 2001 remains in very limited availability in magnum and double-magnum at the winery only. This vintage will be featured here at this year's "Octagon," a celebration feast scheduled for October 18, pouring different vintages of Octagon throughout the meal. Most famously, the 2001 was selected by the Governor of Virginia for hosting Queen Elizabeth II in Richmond, on her State visit in 2007 for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Octagon VII, which won the Monticello Cup in 2006 and the Double Gold Medal at the Taster's Guild International last year, is the current vintage, available at better wine shops throughout the region and here.