Barboursville Blanc

In an effort to break my “blogger’s block” and get back on track, I cracked open a bottle of 2004 Barboursville Sauvignon Blanc. Barboursville is a small town near Charlottesville, in an area steeped with Revolution-era history and tradition. Thomas Jefferson’s mark is everywhere in the area, including (to some extent) the viticulture. As it turns out, Jefferson had visions of establishing European-style vinifera vineyards around his Monticello home and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Things might have worked out if phylloxera hadn’t wiped out the imported plants like it did in Europe. Barboursville Vineyards are keeping the dream alive by growing vinifera stock and turning the fruit into classic varietal wines.

This particular example introduces itself as a pale yellow wine in the glass, with a very light fragrance of grapefruit and minerals. It’s predominantly tart/tangy in the mouth and presents flavors of fruit, but the predominant character after a couple of minutes is herbal. There is light but lengthy herbal finish. I don’t normally drink sauvignon blanc, but from what I recall, this is a good version of that varietal. It has a rather subtle stage presence and would probably be best served with lighter fare, such as seafood or lightly seasoned poultry. The acidity of this wine would probably work well to cut rich foods, but not ones with very strong flavors. The finish might be unsettling after a while, and in some cases I noticed that it took on a surprisingly strong herbal trait, but overall this would be a good wine to pair with dinner. I found it best served cool, but not immediately out of the refrigerator. The taste goes decidedly more herbal — almost grassy — when the wine becomes too warm.

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