I went to Charlottesville, Va., to visit my parents recently, and took them to lunch at Palladio, the excellent restaurant on the grounds of Barboursville Vineyards, one of the state’s leading wineries.
Barboursville is distinguished by the ruins of a house designed in 1814 for then-Governor James Barbour by Thomas Jefferson. The winery was founded in 1976 and is owned by the Zonin family of Italy, vintners since 1821.
Winemaker and general manager Luca Paschina joined Barboursville in 1990, and has not only elevated wine quality, but added a fine restaurant and luxurious small inn to the operation. A constant innovator, Paschina has expanded the range of wines to include a number of Italian varieties, now planted among the estate’s 150 acres of vines, to the French ones.
At lunch, we paired an aromatic, generous 2010 Viognier with a delicious dish of local clams with linguine in a white wine sauce. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and kept on its lees for eight months, with no malolactic fermentation, giving it both plush texture and refreshing brightness. It sells for $22 at retail; I rated it 88 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the blind-tasting review for the 2009 vintage of the Barboursville Viognier Virginia Reserve and get scores and tasting notes for other recently rated Virginia wines.