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Judgment of Bordeaux

Judgment of Bordeaux

I am writing this post from aboard the beautiful AmaWaterways ship the AmaDolce as we are sailing around Bordeaux on the “Taste of Bordeaux” river cruise. As wine host, I was responsible for delivering three presentations on Bordeaux wines, as well as educating the other passengers while on board the ship and on our wine tours.  You can check out the itinerary here:


This morning I conducted a blind wine tasting of Notaviva Vineyards wines against Bordeaux wines during my first presentation entitled “The History of Bordeaux”. Figured if I’m going to progress as a winemaker I needed to put it on the line and see how we measure up. Each bottle was wrapped in a napkin so that our attendees could not see anything about the labeling. At the end of the presentation we revealed the wines and the guests revealed their favorite wines. Here they are in order of preference:

  1. 2012 Notaviva Vineyards “Excelsis” Petit Verdot
  2. 2014 Château La Croix Saint André
  3. 2012 Notaviva Vineyards “Ode To Joy” Meritage
  4. 2014 Notaviva Vineyards “Cantabile” Cabernet Franc
  5. 2013 Château Macquin

Our PV garnered about 70% of the first place votes—it wasn’t even close—and it was overwhelming to be greeted by the applause when the winner was revealed, and the kind words of the people (both passengers and crew) who came up to me after the presentation. Choruses of “I had no idea Virginia wines were this wonderful!” are still ringing in my ears. True, we didn’t go head-to-head with a Petrus or Château Haut-Brion (thankfully) but I believe we made some believers out of our fellow passengers, and gave them an experience they will not soon forget.

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