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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

An Old Dominion Viognier

Barboursville Viognier Virginia Reserve 2010

Thomas Matthews
Posted: September 26, 2011

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.

Greg Stockslager
Richmond, VA —  September 26, 2011 6:56pm ET
Glad you were able to experience some VA wine. Barboursville is my favorite VA wine.
Bartholomew Broadbent
San Francisco, California —  September 27, 2011 5:36pm ET
Thank you for recognizing this great winery. Anyone looking for it outside of Virginia should contact us at Broadbent Selections as we distribute for Barboursville. info@broadbent.com
Bartholomew Broadbent
San Francisco, California —  September 27, 2011 6:08pm ET
Sorry, I missed the s off my facebook. It is www.facebook.com/broadbentselections
Bill Kirkpatrick
Columbia, Maryland —  October 3, 2011 7:30pm ET
Next time you're there you must try their Octagon. It'll knock your socks off! Viognier is Central Virginia's forté. It's hard to find a bad one from any of the wineries in the Monticello AVA. I haven't yet.
Francesco V Corona
Hannover, Germany —  April 8, 2012 8:35am ET
My wife and I had dinner at Palladio's last night (7 April 2012) and it was superb! We also enjoyed very much the 2007 Octagon, a Bordeaux-type blend. I was quite surprised at the depth and quality of this bold red, and would highly recommend it even to my French buddies!

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