$ 75.00

A wine of noble character, created by blending estate-grown Bordeaux varietals, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot, Octagon’s great prestige rests further on its being created only in fine vintages, and with the most astute selection from the harvest. This is the highest expression of our estate’s European derivation and inspiration, crafted to be a wine of distinctive character and age worthiness in every incarnation.

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Octagon could have been a white wine. Named to celebrate the estate’s diverse connections with the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, symbolized in the central octagon drawing room in his design for Governor Barbour’s mansion, there was nothing in Jefferson’s confidence in Piedmont Virginia as a winegrowing region, to suggest that the ultimate wine of any vineyard would necessarily be red. This we were told by our own ground, even as we grow ever more pleased with our development of white varietals since the turn of the century.

Our pre-eminent wine therefore is red, because its consistent core varietals, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, happened to outshine all others in the qualities of a wine of such stature, sooner than everything else, and at a time – the earliest 1990s – when we were motivated to craft a small blend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the estate. Those qualities include, in no particular rank, a recognized compatibility for blending with each other, not as a correction but as an illumination of each other’s strengths; a capability for development in bottle toward greater elegance and nuance over a long cellar life; an inherently graceful opulence of body and duration of finish; a many-layered dynamic range of red fruit and non-fruit aromas and flavors; and textural suavity, color intensity, and allure of earth proclaiming not merely a passion for fine dining, but a gracious dialogue with the senses.

There is a clear regional analogy between Octagon and the wines of Pomerol, blending the same varietals, from comparable clay soils, seasonal conditions, and ripenings of sugars.
However, our estate furnishes the ultimate shape of any Octagon edition, which will always be a blended wine, and restrictred to those years which give us superior lots of Merlot, and and almost always Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been planted at the estate since 1976, with Cabernet Franc being the first to prove itself here. By 1994 we were expanding Merlot into multiple vineyard sites, of carefully selected diversity in weather exposure. The great 1997 vintage repaid this Merlot planting program many times over, by giving technical guidance which has consistently yielded exceptional fruit characteristics, except only in the most difficult conditions.
Subsequent large expansions of Merlot cultivation identified even finer parcels, improved the standard in the harvest over all, and enable more highly selective Octagon to be produced.

With this diversification in sites and in every season’s fruit, it is harder for a grape to get into Octagon, than any other wine in our region. The highly competitive selection process begins in the ground, in every growing season, and leads us to expect the unexpected in the variations each season will bring to these parcels. In this way the qualities of each site’s plantings are continuously re-evaluated, as a guide for future plantings and for selecting the Octagon of that vintage.

After twelve months of barrel aging, the final blend is made through extensive and repeated series of barrel tastings. The chosen barrels will be then assembled in a stainless-steel tank to amalgamate for six months prior to bottling. What is set aside, only by fortunate excess, will definitively shape the Reserve bottling in each of the varietals. In this way, Octagon may be a poacher of supply in these varietal Reserves, but the standard they achieve is always the highest possible.

Since our first vintage-dated bottling of Octagon in 2001, the wine has drawn positive comment from critical media in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was Michael Broadbent’s Tasting Note 308 for Decanter (02/2003), on the non-vintage Octagon Third Edition (1998), which gave the first widely circulated notice of what could be expected of this wine — “opaque core, impressive; ripe, full-bodied, and seriously good.” The wine’s experience in competitive blind tastings demonstrates this with a consistency acknowledged widely today, and has supported Vineyard & Winery Management magazine’s naming of winemaker Luca Paschina among the 20 Most Admired Winemakers in North America (Nov-Dec, 2014), his naming by the James Beard Foundation among the country’s 20 leading food and wine professionals in the same year, and his designation by the Italian Republic as a Commendatore in the Order of Merit in industry and culture.


Osso buco alla veneziana
Chicken braised in Octagon and black olives
Sage and walnut-crusted lamb chop in rosemary jus


Attractive deep garnet color, elegant aromas of blueberry, black currant, fresh flowers and dry herbs, the structure expresses medium body, silky tannins and a cool, refined finish. Drinkable now, yet with a long future and evolution in the mouthfeel and aromatic profile . It is very reminiscent of the stellar Octagon 2009 from a vintage considered by many Virginia winemakers as “the perfect one”.



Cellar life 30 years

A unique and most challenging growing season, beginning with 8 nights of Spring frosts that reduced the yields. A wet late Spring, a record cold June followed by a very dry period in July, when we almost had to irrigate. Mid-Summer was a rollercoaster of rains followed by sunshine. At last we enjoyed a dry end of September for harvest. All white varietals show great aromatics, very fresh acidity, and medium structure. Our most reliable parcels of Nebbiolo, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot rewarded our dedication with very elegant and age-worthy wines.


6-10 days on the skins in stainless steel


15 days


Merlot 62%, Cabernet Franc 34%, Petit Verdot 4%


12 months French oak barriques, new 40%, used 60%


Alcohol, 13.5%
Residual Sugars, 0.1%
Total Acidity, 0.53%


We are pleased to share a summary of the latest awards won by this prestigious wine.