Barboursville Octagon 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 Octagon is a blend of 62% Merlot (a big hike this year over the last I saw), 34% Cabernet Franc and just 4% Petit Verdot, aged for 12 months in 40% new French oak. It comes in at 13.4% alcohol. Despite that Merlot-dominated blend, to me this seemed more controlled in the flavor profile today by its Cabernet Franc. It is a touch herbaceous with some charred veggies on the nose and palate. Yet this is wonderful overall. It coats the palate and shows fine structure too. The firm finish would seem to suggest that this is built to age and develop. Here, you are going to have to have the patience to wait. This is going to be splendid, but it sure isn't today. More than most of the wines in this Virginia report, this seems to have a long life ahead and seems likely to reward cellaring. I'd bet it will be at peak closer to the end of the decade, not to say you absolutely have to wait quite that long. Best after 2024.
Diversity of landscape, terrain and climate make Virginia one of the most exciting American wine producing states today. Its viticultural history reaches as far back as 1607 when early settlers made the first wine from indigenous American grapes.
Thomas Jefferson imported the first French varieties to Virginia and grew the Vitis vinifera species (the European species), though not with great success.
Today, however, increased knowledge and optimal vineyard management techniques bring prosperity with a great number of diverse varieties. Virginia’s varied landscape has created seven distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Areas).
Encouraged by an enthusiastic state government, fine wine production in Virginia continues to flourish. The state achieves success with a variety of wine types and styles including sparkling wines, Bordeaux Blends, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Viognier and less common whites like Petit Manseng and Vermentino.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.