Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office director Annette Ringwood Boyd reports from Richmond, Virginia:
Governor Bob McDonnell, who championed major changes to the Virginia Governor's Cup competition in 2011 that made it one of the most stringent and comprehensive wine competitions in the United States, awarded the 2013 Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor's Cup to Barboursville Vineyards’ 2009 Octagon 12th Edition.
By winning this year’s Governor’s Cup, Barboursville becomes the first Virginia winery to win the award four times. Barboursville also won in 1992 (1988 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve), 1999 (1997 Cabernet Franc), and 2007 (1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve).
The Governor’s Cup award announcement was made Thursday evening at the Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup Gala. Speaking at the Governor’s Cup awards, Governor McDonnell said,
“I congratulate Luca Paschina, the Zonin family, and the entire Barboursville team for winning this year’s Governor’s Cup for their 2009 Octagon, one of Virginia’s most iconic red wines. Luca’s Octagon wines are personal favorites of mine, and I know this award-winning 12th Edition will make the Virginia wine industry proud now and in the years to come.
"I also commend the winemakers of the other distinguished wines that comprise this year’s Governor’s Cup Case. I am confident that wine aficionados and enthusiasts alike will take notice of Octagon and the other impressive offerings in this case. The advancements in Virginia winemaking are on display in every bottle we have here tonight and the stringent requirements of the Governor’s Cup competition ensure that Virginia wines receiving medals have been through the most demanding evaluation process."
Barboursville’s award-winning Octagon is a Meritage-style blend of the winery’s best Bordeaux varietals. The wine is made only in top vintage years. The 2009 vintage is comprised of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Luca Paschina, Barboursville’s general manager and winemaker, said:
"It has been a pleasure and a reward to follow the evolution of the 2009 vintage of Octagon. Since harvest I took notice of its promising characters, and I was not shy to share with many that it was destined to be among the best wines I will ever produce in my life.
"The Virginia Governor’s Cup award is an honor and further validates the character of a wine that has already won 90 points at Wine Enthusiast, the Gold Medal of the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, of the Winemaker’s Challenge and Critics Challenge in California, and the Platinum Medal of the Sommelier Challenge, also in California."
In addition to Barboursville’s 2009 Octagon, the other 11 wines (along with varietal descriptions as appropriate) forming the Governor’s Cup Case include:
Cooper Vineyards – 2010 Petite Verdot Reserve
King Family Vineyards – 2010 Meritage
Lovingston Winery – 2009 Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve (Meritage)
Philip Carter Winery – 2010 Cleve (Petite Verdot, Tannat)
Pollak Vineyards – 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery – 2010 Richland Reserve Heritage (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petite Verdot)
Rappahannock Cellars – 2010 Meritage
RdV Vineyards – 2010 Rendevous (Meritage)
RdV Vineyards – 2010 Lost Mountain (Meritage)
Sunset Hills Vineyard – 2010 Mosaic (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot)
Trump Winery – 2008 Sparkling Rose (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)
Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2012 with more than 485,000 cases, or more than 5.8 million bottles, sold. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with 230. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer.