From the moment that I heard that the Wine Bloggers Conference 2011 (#wbc11) was going to be in Virginia, I was a little surprised. I figured that Paso Robles had the leg up on hosting the next gathering of more than 300 wine bloggers that came from around the country.
Either way, last year was my first year to attend the conference and I decided that I want to arrive at next years’ event much better informed about the region and its wines than I did in Walla Walla. My first stop was to do research on grape varietals – and I learned about the Norton grape by reading The Wild Vine by Todd Kliman. It’s a fascinating story about a doctor that basically loses everything that he has in his quest to make a world-class Virginia wine using the Norton grape.
My second stop came by happenstance and a friendship with @drinkwhatulike, who coordinated the tasting. I was invited to be one of the first bloggers to experience the release of a Virginia wine via Twitter. Mountfair Vineyards took a chance and gave about ten of us around the country the opportunity to debut the 2008 Wooloomooloo. The wine is named after a mythical spirit that roams the Blue Ridge Mountains. Like Dr. Norton, perhaps the spirit is seeking awareness and passion for Virginia wines.
The wine arrived in a nail biting day of delivery. I didn’t have the chance to chill and decant it the way that I would have because was a young wine. The red blend was 60 percent Petit Verdot, 30 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. It had a big berry taste with an almost “Cherry Icee” finish (which was a good quality) and almost a floral essence that I later identified as violet. The more that I let it open, the more it evolved in the glass. At $25, it definitely peaked my interest for the other wines in Mountfair’s portfolio.
I’m going to continue to do my research on Virginia wines and look forward to discovering the other treasures the state has to offer.