Barboursville is owned by the Zonin family, well-known wine producers from Italy's Veneto region. Aside from being one of only a handful of wineries in the States to make varietal Nebbiolo, the difficult Northern Piemonte Region Italian grape, Barboursville also produces an impressive range of other wines. The nonvintage Bordeaux-style blend called Octagon is named for the octagonal parlor that forms the centerpiece of the nearby mansion that Jefferson designed for James Barbour. This third edition of Octagon is herbal and ripe with complex flavors, ripe fruit, and lots of spice. Jefferson would have matched it with classic French cuisine.
CHADDSFORD 2000 CHARDONNAY, PENNSYLVANIA ($33)
Former New York state winemaker Eric Miller and his wife, Lee, began Chaddsford in 1982 in a converted 17-century colonial barn in Pennsylvania's historic Brandywine Valley, just southwest of Philadelphia. With historic Valley Forge not far away, George Washington is as much a presence around these parts as Jefferson is in central Virginia.
From a small start of around 3,000 cases which they sold locally, Chaddsford has grown into Pennsylvania's largest winery, producing 35,000 cases a year. Varietals range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to not-so-common varietals such as Chambourcin. The wines are distributed mainly on the eastern seaboard and in selected restaurants nationwide. The fresh and bright 2000 Chaddsford Chardonnay made with fruit sourced from the Philip Roth Vineyard in nearby Gettysburg, has lovely, lifted fruit, toasty oak, and a long and elegant finish.