Monday, April 16, 2012

This Year's Bracket Challenge

Jefferson Vineyards was the Big Winner Among Stiff Competition
Once again, we stole a perfectly good idea from the NCAA and turned it into a wine tasting event. Unlike last year, which was co-hosted by Jessica Milby at One Classic Wino, this year's tasting was cosponsored by Fabbioli Cellars - last year’s big winner.

To level the playing field, this year’s Bracket Challenge consisted of all Virginia Cabernet Francs, with a number of bloggers, restaurant and wine industry professionals tasting and judging the wines. Other bloggers included Allan from CellarBlog, Kurt from Wine About Virginia and Frank from Drink What You Like. Unlike the men’s basketball tournament, there are a lot fewer fake injuries and poor refereeing during wine tasting.

Tools of the Trade for this Year's Challenge

The 16 wines tasted were from wineries from all around the state, and all had won Governor’s Cup honors. While all the wines were Virginia Cabernet Francs, the diversity of the wine’s appearances, aromas and tastes led to some interesting discussions and opinions. Some were overflowing with green pepper, some had more graphite to them, and others smelled like a cranberry bog.

Pitting 16 Virginia wines against one another demonstrated not only the diversity of flavors and growing regions around the state, but also of increasing quality. While some of the wines were on the light, thin side, others could more than hold their own with Cabernet Francs – or Cabernet Franc-heavy blends – from other winegrowing areas of the world.

Of the wines that made it to the Final Four, one was from Loudoun County and the other three were from the Charlottesville area. Jefferson Vineyards was the night’s overall winner. Congratulations to the winemaking team at Jefferson Vineyards for creating this year’s Bracket Challenge winner. 

This Year's Winner & Runner-Up.  Next Year, the Winning Winemaker will get to Cut Down a Net