Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic 2012 - Results, USA

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Chris Pearmund from Pearmund Cellars - one of six Platinum Award Winners.

The fifth Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic, organized by the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, took place in Suffolk, in the south of Virginia during the day of Monday, 21 May. Annette Schiller and I were judges at the contest. For more, see: Judging Virginia Wines in Suffolk, Virginia - Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic 2012

The results were released in the Summer/Fall 2012 issue of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine.

Pictures: The Full Article in the Summer/Fall 2012 issue of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine

Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Awards

All submitted wines got an award: either a platinum, gold, silver or bronze medal award. There were multiple winners in each category. Following the tasting, the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine tallied each judge’s evaluation and came up with an average and placed each evaluation in one of four categories:

90% or higher: Platinum
70 to 89%: Gold
50 to 69%: Silver
49% or lower: Bronze

The results were only released Virginia Wine Lover Magazine. An electronic version of it is available on the internet.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Frank Morgan, Contributing Editor and Patrick Evans-Hylton, Executive Editor, both Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, at the 5. Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic

Picture: Annette Schiller (Ombiasy Wine Tours) and Christian G.E. Schiller - Summer/Fall 2012 issue of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine

6 Platinum Awards

6 wines were in the 90% or higher category and received a platimun award.

Chatham Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2009-2010 Blend
Fox Meadow Winery, Cabernet Franc Reserve, 2009
Naked Mountain Winery, Chardonnay 2009 Barrel Fermented
Pearmund Cellars, Malbec 2010, Mt. Juliet Vineyard
Rosemont Vineyards, Cabernet Franc 2009
Vint Hill Craft Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Crown Orchard

Judging in Suffolk, Virginia

The tasting was a one day event. We started at 10:00 am and we finished at around 4:00 pm, including a lunch break. We were 11 judges, with most of the judges from the restaurant scene in the Norfolk/Suffolk/Virginia Beach area.

There were about 200 red and white wines. Half of us tasted and rated the red wines and the other half tasted and rated the white wines. I was in the red wine group.

The wines were judged, double-blind, using the modified Davis 20-Point system by a panel evaluating each on their relative merits within their category. The Davies system assigns a certain number of points to each of its 10 categories ranging from bouquet to color to taste to aftertaste.

Pictures: From the Summer/Fall 2012 issue of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine

Wine Producer Virginia

Virginia is the 5th largest wine industry in the US, with nearly 200 wineries and 2,500 acres of vineyards.

In the original charter of the thirteen colonies was a royal commission to pursue three luxury items that England was unable to provide for itself: wine, silk, and olive oil. Every colony made attempts to satisfy the requirements of its charter. Despite many years of failure, the early Americans persisted in their efforts. A big step forward was made in 1740 when a natural cross pollination occurred between a native American grape and a European vitis vinifera. Other successful crossings followed.

In 1762, John Carter, who had 1,800 vines growing at Cleve Plantation, sent 12 bottles to the Royal Society of Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce in London for their evaluation. Minutes of their meeting on the 20th of October 1762 declared Carter’s wines to be “excellent” and a decision was taken to reward Carter’s efforts with a gold medal for his wines. These were the first internationally recognized fine wines produced in America.

Over the past 30 years or so, Virginia wines have experienced a tremendous development - to elegant and balanced, mostly European vinifera-based wines. Recently, Donald Trump as well as AOL founder Steve Case bought a Virginia winery.

Today, the vitis vinifera grapes Chardonnay and Viognier are the leading white varieties.Increasingly they are made without any or with neutral oak, to retain natural acidity and freshness. It appears Viognier is on its way to becoming Virginia’s official “signature grape”.

For French-American hybrid varieties, Seyval Blanc is still popular, but resembles now the fresh and crisp wines from France’s South West. Vidal has become the backbone of the artificially frozen (cryoextraction), ice wine which I am not a great fan of.  Cryoextraction is an approach, developed by the French, which kind of simulates the frost in the vineyard in the wine cellar.

As far as red wines are concerned, there has been a shift from straight varietal wines to blends, with the blends now being dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Mirroring the Virginia white wines, there is an increasing focus on neutral oak and clean, vibrant fruit.

Tannat, Uruguay’ signature grape from the South West of France, is showing up in more Virginia wines, usually as a blend. The only red French American hybrid which has performed consistently well in Virginia is Chambourcin, which resembles the Gamay grape of Beaujolais.

Finally, Claude Thibault, a native from France, has taken Virginia sparkling wines to a new level. His NV Thibault-Janisson Brut, made from 100 percent Chardonnay, which President Obama offered his guests at his first state dinner, is as close as you can get to Champagne outside of France. See more: As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Northern Virginia Magazine October 2012: Wine Recs from Local Winos

North Gate Vineyard in Virginia, USA – A Profile

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont

The Wines of Veramar, Virginia, US

The 2010 DrinkLocalWine Conference in Virginia, US

Norton and Other Wines of Chrysalis Vineyards in Virginia

Fine Virginia Wines from Corcoran Vineyards

As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

Touring Virginia Wineries - Fabbioli Cellars, 8 Chains North and Breaux Vineyards - with Virginia Wine Expert Allan Liska

Visiting Jennifer Breaux Blosser and Breaux Vineyards in Virginia, USA

Visiting Wine Maker Doug Fabbioli and his Fabbioli Cellars in Virginia, USA

An Afternoon with Jordan Harris, Winemaker of Tarara, Virginia, USA

Tasting the “German” Otium Wines with Gerhard Bauer and Ben Renshaw at Otium Cellars, Virginia, USA

Virginia Wines Shine in San Francisco - 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition, USA

Judging Virginia Wines in Suffolk, Virginia - Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic 2012

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