Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia (United States) “Paxxito” 2019

($40):  Barboursville, the first established modern winery in Virginia, remains a — perhaps THE — leading producer in that state.  This wine shows why!  It is a glorious, sweet wine, integrating apricot skin flavors with depth, a rich honey-like body, and most importantly, riveting acidity that holds it all together.  A sweet wine must be judged by its verve.  Lacking that energetic quality, it is just syrupy.  Barboursville hits the bull’s eye on that account.  There is sweetness to it, to be sure, but the counterbalancing savory quality is what’s really enthralling.  It would be a fabulous choice for a cheese course at the end of a meal or as dessert.  I would avoid serving it with “normal” dessert because the sweetness of each would detract from both.  For some technical information for those interested, it is a blend of Moscato Ottonel and Vidal that have been dried on racks for months to concentrate the sugar and acidity (a process called appassimento in Italian that results in passito wines), and then fermented and aged in older barrels.  Sold in a 375ml bottle.
95 Michael Apstein May 21, 2024