The weather finally cooled down enough on Sunday to enjoy a day on the Patio standing over the grill. Just the three of us, but decided to have a little party of our own. We grilled up some free range beef tenderloin steaks, chicken legs coated in Shirley's own bread crumb mix, shrimp on the barbie, corn on the cob, steamed beet greens and grilled radicchio. It was also a right time to open up a nice full bodied red wine. Just in time, my white wines were depleting fast with this long heat wave. The wine of choice was from the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent NY. The winery is situated on a former dairy farm, with views stretching to the Berkshires and the Catskills. It is Columbia County's first winery. This I believe was there first release of the Old Vines Baco Noir
The Baco Noir grape is a French hybrid and tends to be vigorous and fairly resistant to the common ills of grapes in the eastern U.S. and parts of Canada. It is also gaining popularity in Oregon.
In New York there are an estimated 590 acres of Baco Noir currently grown. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of the hardy red grape here in New York in the future.
About two years ago I tasted the Hudson-Chatham Reserve Baco Noir. A very nice wine, but not on a par with the 2009 Old Vines. Lighter, medium body, with lots of cherry and plum.
The old vines is made from Finger Lakes grapes grown on 60 year old gnarly vines on the Masson Place Vineyards, which I cannot find any info on. I believe it is located on the west side of Keuka Lake near Pulteney NY. The grapes are crushed at a local crush facility to retain the freshness of the fruit and then shipped approx. 200 miles to the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent. The wine is then placed in French oak barrels, racked in the early Spring, bottled in early autumn and released in November.
Whenever I open a dark red wine and smell aromas of tobacco, leather and some damp soil, I know I am in for a treat. That is what I got. Seconds on the sniffing brought out some black cherry and plums and hints of cranberry and vanilla. Very pleasant taste of dark berries, black plum, some tobacco or herbal and a bit of pepper. A nice finish, not overly long, was dry with blackberry, cranberry and a touch of pepper with some hints of chocolate.
The Hudson-Chatham Old Vines Baco Noir 2009($28) is one of the best New York red wines I have tasted in a long time. Think it's time to take a tour on the Hudson Valley Beverage Trail