Jon, what I meant by the “top producers” reference was that these weren’t unknown producers whose facilities might be run down, or whose wine making practices might be in question. If you’ve not run into any brett with the producers you’ve tried, please let me know who they are as I’d like to give them a try as well.
I wouldn’t say there’s more Brett than your typical non-spoofulated Old World region, but I have had wines from Joguet, Dom. de la Butte, Mabileau and Alliet that have showed varying degrees of farm-funk. I suspect storage is part of the issue as many of these are made in a less interventionist manner with lower sulfites I’d bet, and any heat along the way would encourage microbial growth. If I look at cellartracker notes indeed there is apparent bottle variation in many of these wines which points to heat along the way from the Loire to US retailers.
Calling Virginia ‘a bit damp’ is like calling Scotch ‘A bit alcoholic’.The state is pretty much a damp armpit most summers, even in the mountains. The places where you may have some reprieve can have serious frost issues. Witness last week where we had a record low on Monday the 26th of 33 degrees at the Charlottesville airport, then turned around and had a record high of 89 six days later. I’ve always felt that Virginia’s largest failing as a wine growing region is that there is no large body of water to our West to help moderate temperature fluxuations. We get weather fronts from Canada and the Gulf of Mexico with equal frequency and intensity at almost any time of year, making it near impossible to create wine with any sort of real consistency. The best winemakers here are the ones that don’t work by formula and take what the season gives them.