San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC)

Muse Vineyards’ Rousanne 2020 Wins Double Gold – Nebbiolo 2016 & 2017 Win Gold

Muse Roussanne 2020

Double Gold Winner: Muse Vineyards 2020 Roussanne

As Virginia’s wines consolidate their place among the country’s finest, it’s interesting just how, well… interesting they can be. Muse Vineyards is a case in point with its recent awards in California’s premier wine show (the Kennel Club of Napa Cabs and the like) the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC). Muse won with a Roussanne and the notoriously difficult to ripen Nebbiolo!

For the past 22 years, the SFCWC has been billed as the largest competition of North American wines. The SFCWC has grown to become one of the world’s most respected and highly publicized wine competitions. In 2022 over 55 wine professionals gathered to taste and evaluate over 6,000 wines from more than 1,100 wineries throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Winning gold in the SFCWC means that the entry received an average of 90 points. Double Gold (the Gold Standard) is more difficult to achieve as it means that every judge awarded the entry at least 90 points.

Muse’s Double Gold winning Roussanne 2020 had been absent from their wine list for a few years, and what a glorious return it’s had. Roussanne is a white grape varietal that originates in the Northern Rhône Valley of France. It is frequently used in blends such as their very popular Thalia blend. Muse Vineyards’ Roussanne is aged for one year in new and neutral French oak barrels. It undergoes a partial malolactic fermentation and has notes of peach and apple and a long finish.

Their Gold-winning Nebbiolo vintages are something to be proud of. For those unfamiliar with the Nebbiolo varietal, it originated in the Piedmontese region of Italy and is best known for its expression as Barolo and Barbaresco from that region. The famous tannins of the Nebbiolo grape varietal are well-integrated and form a wine of great structure, balance, and elegance with a beautiful bouquet. Nebbiolo is famously difficult in the vineyard. It is slow to ripen and very susceptible to adverse weather conditions throughout the year. The 2017 vintage confirms that the effort put into growing Nebbiolo is proof that it is worthwhile to grow Nebbiolo in Virginia.

Visitors to Muse Vineyards can expect award-winning wines, beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley, friendly service, and gourmet food. Roussanne 2020 is available for purchase in the tasting room, however, the Nebbiolo vintages are exclusive to wine club members.