In April I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a unique wine judging event held at Fabbioli Cellars. This was a judging of 2010 Cabernet Francs from across Virginia.
2010 was one of the best Virginia vintages in recent memory, even surpassing 2007. Given the prominence that Cabernet Franc plays within Virginia Wine, and that we were tasting 2010 vintage I was sure it was going to be a great event.
And it was, it was also a very interesting way to do a wine judging.
The judging was done bracket-style and was a mix of bloggers, professionals and lay people.
Our host, Jimmy, has a detailed write up here, here, here, and here.
The way it worked was that they broke us down into four groups, each group blind tasted a different set of wines, the winner from each of the groups advanced to the next round.
This means that not everyone tastes all of the wines, until it gets down to the final groups. I think this method helps remove some of the bias that can be inherent in a judging. For example, every one knows I am big an of Doug's Cabernet Franc, and it is one of the wines I can recognize blind - even amongst other Virginia Cabernet Francs. Since I wasn't in the group that initially tasted the 2010 Fabbioli Cabernet Franc my bias couldn't (subconsciously) inflate the score.
Each wine was judged on several different characteristics and the wines with the highest scores advanced to the next round.
In the end, the winner was the 2010 Jefferson Vineyards. You can see the progression in the chart above, provided by Chris at Beltway Bacchus.
Congratulations to Andy, at Jefferson Vineyards, and to the staff at Fabbioli Cellars for putting together a great judging and I look forward to future judgings like this.