The Williamsburg Winery Achieves a Trifecta of Notable Distinctions
The Williamsburg Winery continues to set the bar among Virginia wines and nationally thanks to three notable distinctions.
The 2017 Petit Verdot Reserve was awarded a gold medal from the Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup Wine Competition on Tuesday. Gold-medal winners scored 90 or higher on a 100-point scale in one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the nation.
Jay Youmans — one of only 57 Masters of Wine in the United States — oversaw the 39th annual event, with 16 world-class judges sampling a record 544 entries from more than 100 Virginia wineries. The competition is the benchmark to which wines on the East Coast aspire.
“We appreciate the recognition,” said Matthew Meyer, winemaker at The Williamsburg Winery. “I love the Petit Verdot. I think it’s got a strong presence in Virginia and will continue to gain even more traction not just in Virginia but around the world as a single varietal.”
Bursting with ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherry along with some blueberry and blackberry, the Petit Verdot contains a hint of darker dried fruits along with a touch of cocoa and vanilla. Meyer touts its earthiness and its approachable yet big and bold tannins.
The wine lingers on the palate and pairs well with most any dish, though Meyer prefers it best alongside lamb.
“It’s consistent,” he said. “It’s got a lot of depth and makes for a lovely food wine.”
Achieving gold again is yet another example of The Williamsburg Winery’s consistency of excellence at the Governor’s Cup. In 2014, the 2010 Adagio earned the Governor’s Cup, the top award in the state for blended red wine. In 1989, The Williamsburg Winery also received the top honor with its 1988 Chardonnay.
The Williamsburg Winery, which started with three acres of vines in 1985, continues to be a trailblazer among Virginia wines. Founder Patrick Duffeler remains inspired to make wines with great character and urges consumers to enjoy them while enjoying life.
The Governor’s Cup recognizes wines made from 100% Virginia-grown fruit. Judging is done in two rounds in January and February.
In addition to the gold, The Williamsburg Winery received two notable mentions in Wine Enthusiast, one of the industry’s premier publications with a readership of 800,000 worldwide.
The Williamsburg Winery’s 2017 Merlot Reserve is pictured in the February/March issue of the magazine. Cherries, raspberry, strawberry, rhubarb and cassis integrated with quieter elements of dried fruits covered in a rich layer of chocolate define this vintage of the Merlot Reserve, listed among the “Virginia Bottles to Try” in a larger article titled “In These States, Merlot Is a Star in Its Own Right.” The editors credit winemakers in Virginia for putting their stamps on the classic Bordeaux variety.
The writer recognizes The Williamsburg Winery’s Merlot Reserve, noting, “Cigar box and weathered oak smother vanilla and black raspberry aromas, but become less domineering with time in the glass. The palate is more generous in fresh cranberry, raspberry and red apple peel flavors. Sandy tannins shape the structure, with oak tones hovering just below the surface. The finish rests heavily on the tart acidity, highlighting and lengthening the apple peel tone.”
In that same issue, reviewers gave The Williamsburg Winery’s 2017 Adagio red blend a rating of 92 points. Wines rated 90-93 are considered “a great achievement,” according to Wine Enthusiast’s ratings scale.
The accompanying notes highlight the robust blend of 37% Tannat, 33% Petit Verdot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon that “starts off with sultry aromas of black cherry, rose, vanilla and cocoa. Black currant and black cherry flavors combine with leather, cigar box and velvety tannins for an alluring experience on the palate. Tannins hug the mouth on the finish, with a dusting of pepper and oak.”
Meyer acknowledges both mentions as not only wins for The Williamsburg Winery but for the Commonwealth, too.
“The more Virginia wines that get points in the 90s, the more seriously we’ll be taken as a quality emerging wine region around the world,” Meyer said. “I’m happy anytime somebody from Virginia scores in the 90s. It lifts up the whole industry and shines a light on the quality of wines we are making here.”