Tasting notes for wines in the October release! We’re always on an adventure to find new wines so you may get a wine in your package that isn’t on the list. Most are accounted for!
Producer: LedgeStone Vineyards
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Country/Region: Lake Chelan, WA
Cabernet Franc. If you were to ask what a go-to favorite red wine of ours is, hands down it’s the Cabernet Franc. We’re now on the sixth harvest that we’ve been working with this vineyard from Washington State. The property runs along side the Columbia River providing hot days and sandy soils which produces fruit with outstanding flavor.
As soon as this bottle was opened the aromatics poured out with notes of stewed red fruit and a savory, black pepper spice. The tannins completely cover your palete but in a balanced, full falvor sort of way. It’s a wine that makes you stop what you’re doing and have a serious thought about the style. It’s fruity yet dry, lingering and clean. For a grape that is generally used for backbone blending in a lot of wines, it’s a stunning example of Cabernet Franc riding solo. Per usual, this wine saw roughly 25% new oak which contributes to the sweet spice. Overall, this wine is a favorite and we’re proud to bring it back to the LedgeStone line up, the third time we’ve had a Cabernet Franc release. Roughly 145 cases bottled of this beautiful red wine.
Producer: LedgeStone Vineyards
Grape: Frontenac Noir
Country/Region: Wisconsin Ledge AVA, Estate Grown
There is something special about producing a wine made from grapes grown on the property and the Frontenac Noir from LSV is a prime example. The Wisconsin Ledge AVA is the only registered AVA in our state! Frontenac is a ‘cold hardy’ variety meaning that it can survive our cold winters and have ripe fruit in a short growing season. The pocket of land that the vineyard grows on is unique because it provides this micro climate allowing the fruit to ripen to perfection and beyond.
Our Frontenac generally sees about 30% new oak with a medium, medium + toast which contributes to the sweet baking spice characters in the beverage. This year we get a ton of raisin flavors, milk chocolate notes and of course, the signature notes of cherry. Frontenac is a perfect everyday wine as the tannins are low but the flavor is bold. It’s easily become one of the favorite styles at the winery and we can certainly see why! Although this wine is lovely with pork dishes, it’s also great to simply share a bottle with a friend. Roughly 125 cases bottled of the 2020 vintage, the fourth release of the Frontenac Noir.
Producer: LedgeStone Vineyards
LaCrescent. An absolute show stopper when it comes to an aromatic white wine. LaCrescent is again one of the cold hardy grapes that is becoming more challenging to find growers that have it planted as it’s a more tricky to care for in the vineyard. The LaCrescent we sourced is from Minnesota, a state that has a booming viticulture industry. This grape has roots closely related to the grape muscat and it’s clear in its characteristics of that relation.
LaCrescent blooms with notes of citrus and honeysuckle. It’s a wine that can stop me in my tracks to just take in those aromatics. On the palate it’s bright and balanced, with just a hint of sweetness to help tame the acidity, much like a traditional Chenin Blanc. After fermentation we pulled off wine destined for two barrels. In barrel malolactic fermentation was introduced, which essentially converts acids to a softer form. Then it’s blended back together for a more interesting wine! This wine is fantastic with food, roasted vegetables, creamy pastas – you name it. It’s the third time we’ve been able to get our hands on LaCrescent grapes and good news is, we’ll have it again next year! Enjoy this beautiful white wine down to the last sip.
Producer: LedgeStone Vineyards
Grape: Frontenac Blanc
Country/Region: Wisconsin + Minnesota
The Frontenac Barrel Blanc! It’s the first time we’ve experimented with barrel aging Frontenac Blanc. Traditionally at LSV Frontenac Blanc is made into a semi-sweet wine but we knew the main flavors would lend well to a full bodied, dry style. After the wine finished fermenting in the tank, we pulled seven barrels to age in a different way. We gathered a small amount of sediment that the wine aged on (lees), creating more body and depth. In addition, that malolactic fermentation we mentioned in the La Crescent was done to all seven barrels. Most of the barrels saw MLF that contributes to buttery and baking spices and some, simply rounded out the wine and emphasized tropical fruit notes.
After nearly 9 months of oak again we were happy with the flavors and body that the wine has achieved. If you want to compare this to another style, it’s similar to a Chardonnay. Rounded characteristics but still a backbone of acidity which helps keep freshness in the wine when there are a ton of characters like toffee, caramelized tropical fruit and baked lemons. It’s a stunning and best enjoyed when it’s a little warmer than cold. So after you pop the bottle, keep that wine on the table and be a part of the transformation of flavors.
Producer: Abbazia di Novacella
Grape: Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir)
Country/Region: Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
What an interesting version of a Pinot Noir! The grapes are grown in Northern Italy in a Montessori community where each person contributes to elements of everyday life. Tucked in the mountains, this region has a cooler climate elevated in the plains but doesn’t see frost. It’s a region heavily influenced by German winemaking and culture, more so seen in the white varieties done by the Abbazia di Novecella producer.
For so many of us, Pinot Noir is a grape that is filled with fresh, bright red fruit characters and silky tannins. However, when you are able to grow Pinot in a cooler region, much more secondary characteristics come through. This wine is intriguing as you get notes of leather and tobacco, earthy notes that give depth to the otherwise fruit driven wine. I love this as a transition wine into the cooler months and a perfect wine to pair with items on the Thanksgiving table.
Country/Region: Soave Classico, Italy
Soave is a region in Northern Italy and Soave Classico is a spot with specific volcanic soils while Soave straight up is more flat lands with loam and clay. Italy has a lot of native varieties that aren’t grown in other regions and Garganega is one of them! It has similarities to Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Blanc but also has a touch of an oily palate. As many people are transitioning to reds in the season, there are white wines that are round and rich to compete with any full-bodied red.
The white grape of garganega has notes of white peach, nectarines, stone and almonds and fresh flowers. It’s a dry white wine that would be amazing with food of any sort. This wine is one to take notes on as you venture through the world of wine. Soave is a region filled with history and maintains its quality from one vintage to the next.
Producer: Olivier Morin
Country/Region: Burgundy, France
Bourgogne Blanc or White Burgundy, whenever you see these listed on a label, transport yourself to Burgundy, France – the home of Chardonnay. Back to basics on a Chardonnay, the first question typically asked is it American style or French? An American Chard generally has full MLF in the buttery side and sees American oak contributing to a big, sweet palette (although arguably American Chardonnays are easing up on those qualities so one example does not fit all). French Chardonnays are aged in stainless steel or neutral French oak and if they do see MLF, it’s mild and maintains the acid rather than converting to those buttery notes.
This wine is beautiful – it’s been a while that I’ve had a French style Chardonnay that has me quickly finishing the glass. This region is located just across the road (literally) from the famous region of Chablis. So much of the soil and style is similar to the more expensive Chablis and this wine even maintains a lot of the slate characteristics that would be expected. It’s fermented with natural yeast and carries notes of pear, melon and brioche. A full body wine that is fresh and easily paired with Charcuterie items and the starting wine before a big ol’ savory dish.
Producer: Alma Negro
Grape: M Blend (Bonarda x Malbec)
Country/Region: Argentina, South America
Alma Negro is a winery out of Argentina making some incredible wines. Looking at their portfolio, they have quite a reach in the traditional sparkling wine styles and this big ol’ red wine. The brand is a bit of a mystery with their website only disclosing that wine should be something in which you close your eyes and appreciate the aromatics and the flavor of the wine. I think we can all get behind that.
Even the exact blend of this wine is hidden deep into the internet. The best that I could come up with is that it’s a Malbec based wine blended with a native Argentina grape; Bonarda. Bonarda hangs on the vine late into the season, creating bold ripeness and massive flavor. It’s aged in a combination of both American and French oak with a portion of it in New American giving that baked sweet spice backbone (I hope you have learned American oak characters by now). The wine is bold and perfect for a late night fire. It’s filled with notes like blueberries and stewed cherries, a little acid to keep it youthful but plenty of spice, structure and tannin to keep it interesting.
Producer: Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken
Grape: Riesling, Kabinett
Country/Region: Mosel Valley, Germany
Many of our wine club members prefer a dry wine and I’ve promised to only include sweet wines when it is purposeful. No other sweet style comes to mind than a Mosel Valley Riesling! Riesling from Germany has five levels on the scale of sweetness and this wine technically stands in the ‘bone-dry’ kabinett category. I still pick up a little bit of sweetness that’s found in the lush characteristics of peach, beeswax and apple. This wine has acidity which is always important in a sweet wine because it’s the balance that keeps it from tasting like candy.
We just have a few bottles of this available so it won’t be available for everyone but if you are a big riesling fan and love wines that go perfectly with food or company, please mention that you’d like this in the allocation.
What are you looking for?