FROM Barboursville Vineyards: It is my pleasure to notify the friends of our vineyard that the 2009 vintage of Octagon was awarded the Virginia Governor's Cup this Thursday in ceremonies in Richmond. Already designated by Chicago's Beverage Testing Institute as Virginia's "Best Red Wine," awarded Gold Medals at the Winemakers Challenge and Critics Challenge, and the Platinum Medal at the Sommeliers Challenge - competitions in California - and granted the rating of 90 points by Wine Enthusiast, Octagon 2009 emerged from nearly 400 wines to win this year's Governor's Cup. It was exactly 10 years ago, this month, when Decanter published Michael Broadbent's praises of Octagon Third Edition (1998 vintage), informing the wider world of wine of our region's strengths in Bordeaux red varietals. Much has changed in international expectations of Virginia wine in those years, and we have been pleased to see Octagon consistently leading the way in these advances. Regionally and nationally, since the 1998 vintage, Octagon has won more than 30 Gold Medals, two Monticello Cups, and extensive praise from wine critics.
Receiving this 4th Governor's Cup in my tenure at Barboursville, following two for Cabernet Sauvignon and one for Cabernet Franc, is especially rewarding because Octagon is the product of the most stringently disciplined standards of selection, blending, and crafting of all our wines. It is harder for a grape to get into a bottle of Octagon, than any other wine we know. It is created only in a fine vintage, and only from the best lots we produce in our Bordeaux varietals. It will be superb, it will evolve stunningly over time, and it will cellar well for many years; or it would not have been made.
All excellent wines have an optimal release date. For this Octagon we envisioned two years of bottle age before release. On schedule, we will be presenting it this August, with more precise announcement of the date to follow. In the meantime, we are pouring the excellent 2008 vintage (also a Gold Medal at the Beverage Testing Institute) in our Tasting Room and it can also be purchased through us, online.
On behalf of our viticulturist, Fernando Franco, associate winemaker Daniele Tessaro, and founder Gianni Zonin, whose tireless support has made our pursuit of Octagon so fulfilling in every way, I cannot close this Note without thanking also the friends of our vineyard, who have rewarded Octagon with the most constant loyalty any wine has ever earned from our region.