After the first round was complete, we took the time to assess which seeds were winners and which ones were losers, but none of the wines were revealed yet. That could potentially taint the results as the survivors could be deduced by their absence from the ranks of the losers. In each succeeding round, the number of judges for each wine is greater than the last round so scores will be higher.
# 16 Catoctin Creek v #13 Fabbioli – The host wine from Fabbioli Cellars was thoroughly beaten 15 – 5 in this round. Our judges thought that the vanilla and spice notes of the Catoctin Creek entry provided greater depth of flavor that the Fabbioli representative.
#5 Pearmund v #9 Jefferson – Jefferson moves forward here in an absolute blowout, 18 – 2. One judge thought that the Pearmund entry showed more classic varietal nose and appearance than the Jefferson, but that was it.
#10 First Colony v #11 Cedar Creek – Cinderella’s glass slipper came off here but not without a fight. First Colony pulled out a 12 – 8 win on the strength of two judges giving 4-1 scores, but the other two gave 3-2 wins to Cedar Creek. Both wines sported deep colors with robust tannins but the First Colony was deemed the more drinkable of the two.
#14 King Family v #15 Rappahannock – Another close one with King Family scoring the victory 12 – 8. The King Family entry showed just a touch more typicity than the Rappahannock and that was the difference.
For Round there we are down to our final four contestants, all of which are fine representatives.
#16 Catoctin Creek v #9 Jefferson – This could be considered a contest of styles with the Keswick being a more classic Cab Franc and the Jefferson being a little more off the beaten track. Being daring certainly benefitted the Jefferson here as it pulled out the victory 19 – 11.
#10 First Colony v #14 King Family – In what could be viewed as a carbon copy of the other round three matchup, a classic Cab Franc and a more contemporary style did battle and once again the victor was the wine that was less traditional. First Colony takes the win 18 – 12.
#9 Jefferson v #10 First Colony – Both of these wines made it to the championship round on the virtue of not just being non-traditional but also by being very finely crafted wines. They were amazingly similar in their makeup, yet one was deemed more pleasing to the judges and by a score of 39-21, Jefferson Vineyards emerged the victor!
Just a couple of things to note in the aftermath of this contest. First, there is not one of the wines entered that couldn’t have made a good showing in this competition. All were finely crafted and it was only by subtleties of the judges personal preferences did one wine advance over the other. That being said, it should be noted, that of all these Cab Francs, only the Jefferson was awarded a Gold Medal in the Virginia Governor’s Cup, the rest either got a Silver or Bronze. Which I believe just serves to proves the moral of this story, the cream always rises to the top.
I do want to thank both the wineries that competed and the judges for their time to make this evening a success. The feedback I got from the judges led me to believe that there is certainly support for more of this type of competition. I’d love to hear what every one else thinks. Please drop a line to let us know, either in the comments section here of by sending an email to me.