2011 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medal Tasting

It’s Virginia Wine Expo time, and before I attended the 2011 Virginia Wine Expo (thoughts to come later), I had the change to taste the gold medal winning wines that were vying for the 2011 Governor’s Cup for red wine. Those wines were:

  • 2008 Hiddencroft Vineyards Cabernet Franc
  • 2008 Fox Meadow Vineyards Le Renard Rouge
  • 2008 Cooper Vineyards Norton Reserve
  • 2009 Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Franc
  • 2009 Afton Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve
  • 2008 Barboursville Vineyards Petit Verdot Reserve

2008 Hiddencroft Vineyards Cabernet Franc

Arguably one of my favorite wines that I tasted, with a nice garnet color and lots of pepper both on the nose and in the mouth. I was disappointed that Hiddencroft Vineyards didn’t have a booth at the Virginia Wine Expo so that I could buy some of this wine, but it just means that I’m going to have to go out and visit their vineyard sometime soon to pick some up.

2008 Fox Meadow Vineyards Le Renard Rouge

The wine that won the 2011 Governor’s Cup (congrats guys). The Le Renard Rouge is a Meritage blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot. Light red in color with flavors of black cherry and a tartness to it that will let it pair well with pasta dishes.

2008 Cooper Vineyards Norton Reserve

A 100% Norton wine that was purple in color with plenty of berry on the palate. The wine was bright and juicy in the mouth with a bit of tartness on the finish as well.

2009 Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Franc

A 100% Cabernet Franc that was another of my favorites of the tasting. Purple in the glass with plenty of pepper on the nose, cherry in the mouth, and a nice green bell pepper hint on the finish that I know some people don’t like, but I’m a big fan of, but should fade from the wine with age if it’s not to your taste. I picked up a bottle of this the next day during the Expo and you can look forward to a fuller review in the future.

2009 Afton Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

A 100% estate grown wine aged in French Oak, there are notes of coffee on the nose and dark cherry in the mouth with a great tannic finish that just begs to be paired with a steak. Had they placed some tenderloin out to pair with the wine I honestly don’t know that I would have left their table. I was already a fan of Afton Mountain for getting me back into Gewurztraminer, but this Cabernet Sauvignon just makes me like them more.

2008 Barboursville Petit Verdot Reserve

And finally there was Barboursville. I’m a fan of Petit Verdot, so I was happy to try this. Deep ruby coloring with flavors of plum, dark olives, and just a hint of chocolate and the typical velvety finish of Petit Verdot that I find so enjoyable.

All of the gold medal winners were good and deserved both the award they won and the Governor’s Cup. Had I been choosing the award I’d be lying if it wouldn’t have gone to either Keswick, Afton Mountain, or Hiddencroft, but Fox Meadow was also very deserving of the award and I do recommend trying out their wines.

Thanks to Amy and Annette over at Virginia Wine for the invite and check back for my thoughts on the Virginia Wine Expo as a whole.

About George Perry 739 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.

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