★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Here are five of my favorite local wines among all those I’ve tasted this year, including some I’ve written about for the Food section. These wines are available primarily at the wineries, with limited distribution in retail shops and restaurants.
Barboursville Vineyards Octagon 2009
This flagship merlot-based blend won the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition this year and was released to the market in late summer. It is the best version yet of winemaker Luca Paschina’s effort to forge an iconic Virginia wine. Supple and elegant, yet powerful and refined. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.
Boordy Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010
One of Boordy’s initial releases from its replanted and revamped vineyards, this classy wine impresses with its style and elegance, and it makes a statement for vintages to come. It took Best of Show at this year’s Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association’s Wine Competition. ABV: 13.6 percent.
Ingleside Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007
The commonwealth’s Northern Neck does not get much attention for its wine, but Ingleside, one of the state’s oldest wineries, has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. This award-winning cabernet — Best of Class at Atlantic Seaboard — has textbook black-currant flavor with hints of smoke and spice. Drink with steak, roast beast or conversation by the fire. ABV:
Stinson Vineyards Rosé 2012
Made from Mourvèdre, a grape common to southern France and less known in Virginia, this wine is steely and redolent of spice flowers and sour cherries. ABV: 13 percent.
Old Westminster Winery Cabernet Franc 2011
Such a good debut — in a vintage marred by heavy and persistent rains during harvest — signals good times ahead for this new Maryland star. Definitely a winery to watch. ABV: 12.5 percent.