Results of First Virginia vs. Oregon Viognier and Cabernet Franc Judging

Nov 04

ON Sunday 11/4, a bi-coastal blind tasting took place which pitted viogniers and cabernet francs from Virginia against those from southern Oregon. The Virginia half took place at the Wine Loft in the West Village Shops in Short Pump, and featured the following judges: Frank Morgan (blogger, of “Drink What YOU Like”), Christine Iezzi of The Country Vintner, Bartholomew Broadbent of Broadbent Selections, Emily McHenry, sommelier at the Wine Loft and Booth Hardy, Richmond-based sommelier.

The tasting featured six viogniers and six cabernet francs, half from Virginia and half from Oregon. The serving order was randomized and the vintages in the viognier tasting ranged from 2009 to 2011. The vintages ranged from 2007 to 2010 for the cabernet francs.

Presiding over the tasting in Oregon was Neal Hulkower, Ph.D. and consultant, and in Virginia, this author and consultant.

The wines were scored according to the Borda system, which is relative ranking by taste preference rather than numeric scoring on a point system (ties are allowed). The panel consensus score, and each separate set of judge scores, are included in the table below:

Viognier All Judges
2011 King Family Vineyards Viognier (VA) 1
2010 Narmada Viognier (VA) 2
2011 Spangler Viognier (OR) 3
2011 Troon Viognier (OR) 4
2009 Michael Shaps Viognier (VA) 5
2010 Del Rio Viognier (OR) 6
Cabernet Franc All Judges
2009 Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc (VA) 1
2009 Spangler Cabernet Franc (OR) 2
2010 Troon Cabernet Franc Reserve (OR) 3
2010 Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc (VA) 4
2007 Cliff Creek Cabernet Franc (OR) 5
2009 Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve (VA) 6
Virginia retained first place in both viognier and cabernet franc, as well as second place for viognier, affirming its reputation for both grape varieties.  However, Southern Oregon made a strong showing, especially in cabernet franc, with second and third places, while taking third and fourth places for viognier.

Stay tuned to this site for more complete reporting on this unique tasting.

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