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Buongiorno ~

We will be celebrating this year’s growing season for many years to come, for giving us white wines of great intensity and fragrance, in the footsteps of the Vermentino Reserve 2018, just named Best in Class at the Atlantic Seaboard competiton, and giving us reds of unquestionably long age-worthiness. All of the elements of an ideal season presented them-selves like clockwork, from a frost-free Spring of abundant moisture, to a Summer of much more moderate rainfall and steady warm temperatures building to extended, emphatic heat, with clear skies permitting optimum pacing of picking in Fall. Truly, 2019 is an Octagon vintage, fine enough also to give us our second issue of Goodlow Mountain Cabernet Franc.

I write to invite you to join us for a celebration worthy of this year’s vintage, our Autumn Vertical Tasting, October 26th and 27th, 11 to 4:30 each day. Fittingly, we’ve selected superior vintages from our leading red wines of the past, and one equally bright star which has not yet been released, for tasting and sale for those two days. Palladio Restaurant’s contribution to the occasion will include house-baked breads and Chef Spencer’s select charcuterie, cheeses from our longtime purveyor Gail Hobbes Page of Caromont Farm, and a fabulously opulent wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, which I’ll crack open with Spencer on Saturday.

We will pour from Double Magnums of the vintage everyone asks for the most, which was hailed in The New York Times as a historic breakthrough, and launched Virginia wine irreversibly upon the national stage. The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1998, famously known as our “Secretariat” of red wines, won all of its competitions in its release year and repeated the feat in later years, taking the Virginia Governor’s Cup at the age of 9, in 2007. It was served at our 20th birthday party for Palladio Restaurant, and we can't resist pouring it at this Vertical Tasting.


Octagon is the name on the vintage, and rightly is front and center of our celebrations this month. I have just returned from Wine Spectator’s annual New York Wine Experience, where Francesco Zonin of our founding owner’s family and I were invited to present Octagon 2014, among the 270 leading producers in the world of wine. Of course the 2014 vintage will be presented at the Autumn Vertical Tasting, along with a preview tasting and sale of the wine James Suckling named among his top 100 American wines in 2018, Octagon 2016. 

We structure our twice-annual Vertical Tasting weekends to offer glimpses and purchase opportunities of wines which have met our high hopes for them, recognizing that not every vintage is going to be represented. At the same time, we think there can not be a more informative or stimulating way of exploring one's personal taste in wine, than to compare great vintages. And when we witness a growing season as fine as 2019, we know what we are seeing. When we play our part in such a season, it inspires the most generous sharing. Join us.

 Cordialmente ~
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