“The wine on your left is Chateau Montrose 2006,” said Rutger de Vink. “The middle glass is RdV 2008, and the third is Dominus ’07.”
I tasted the wines in order, beginning with the classic Bordeaux acidity and elegance of the Montrose, a highly regarded second-growth chateau, and ending with the Dominus, a Napa Valley blend brimming with power and finishing with a slight alcoholic burn. Then I focused again on the RdV as de Vink, its creator, looked on patiently. It bridged the gap between Old World finesse and New World power, with a surprisingly lush core of red fruit and a luxurious texture that caressed my tongue with velvet.
Could this really be from Virginia? I wondered. There was no hole in the middle where the flavor disappears before coming back for the finish, no green vegetal tastes from unripe fruit. A few Virginia winemakers have solved those problems. But that velvet — I had never experienced it in a Virginia wine before. Then I did the math: The Montrose sells for $90 to $110 a bottle and received a 94-point rating from Robert Parker. Dominus sells for $150, and Parker gave the 2007 a near-perfect 98 points. Is Virginia ready to play in this league?