Thursday, April 20, 2006

Famed Critic Michael Broadbent Raves About Barboursville!

(above photo MIchael Broadbent and Luca Paschina)
- From Barboursville Vineyards
A historic evening for the winery, and for Virginia's wine recognition worldwide, began as so many do, with the most conventional expectations. On November 1st, the world's most trusted writer on the wines of Bordeaux came to Palladio to host a dinner to raise funds for Charlottesville's Discovery Museum, with signings of his just-published masterpiece, Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine: Fifty Years of Tasting Three Centuries of Wines. Having won an incomparable 3 Glenfiddich Awards for estimable writings of lesser scope, his "magnum opus" was clearly the star of this exuberant fund-raising dinner.

The dean of the international wine-writing establishment, Decanter editor, and Christie's director of wines, Michael Broadbent was "braced to be benevolently critical but not too condescending," when he learned that local wines would be served. His tastings from that visit, reported at length in his 308th column for Decanter (February, 2002), constitute more than a discovery, as he writes -- they were a "revelation."

Under the title, "To be perfectly franc," Broadbent describes his astonishment at the Cabernet Franc he discovered that night, grown in Virginia. Commenting on Octagon Third Edition, his tasting note found an "opaque core, impressive; despite a high Merlot content, the 15% Cabernet Franc, with an arboreal crisp fruit aroma shone through; ripe though leaner, full bodied and seriously good." (A tasting as enthusiastic as "seriously good," Broadbent readers will know, perilously approaches that "over the top" praise he humorously strives to avoid).