Gouveia Vineyards ~ The Reds (Connecticut)

Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer

I was on my own during this recent foray into Connecticut’s Eastern Wine Trail.  Christy, my normal wine trail buddy, had out of town guests that weekend and had to take a pass, and I found myself feeling more than a little lonely as I headed down I-91 to Wallingford.

But fate, if not the sun, was smiling on me that day, and I arrived at Gouveia just after another couple. They had just started their tasting, so I was able to quickly join in to both the tasting and the conversation.  Turns out they, like me, are also recent relocatees to Connecticut, coming from California, where he used to work for Gallo.  Unfortunately, I didn’t write down their names, but we spent a very pleasant 45 minutes talking about the joys of discovering your new home state one winery at a time.

Having finished the whites, we then all proceeded on to the Reds; Gouveia produces 4 Reds and 1 Rosé, but that afternoon’s tasting menu had only two of the reds available.

Stone House Red   Gouveia’s most popular red wine, the Stone House Red is a blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet franc grapes, aged for 12 months in American and French oak.   A dry wine, the nose has lovely notes of black cherries with their crisp tang and hint of sweetness.  Medium-bodied, the wine has nice notes of fruit, black cherry again and perhaps blackberry…  It’s nicely balanced, and the oak adds a touch of “toast” that gives the wine an interesting finish.   The Stone House Red is also a 2008 Big E Gold Medal Winner.

Gouveia Vineyards ~ Cabernet Franc

Gouveia Vineyards ~ Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc  A full-bodied red with lovely notes of cherry.   The color is a medium-ruby color with a slight matte finish.  The nose is bright with strong notes of cherry and other berries.  In the mouth, the wine is nicely blended, and the fruit notes are pleasant without being overpowering.  The wine is aged for 16 months in American and French Oak.  This is a very nice wine, and my favorite of the afternoon.

While not available on the tasting menu that afternoon, Gouveia also produces a Merlot, “a deep purple-colored wine with complex aromas and a touch of spiciness and blackberry”; and the Whirlwind Rosé, “a semi-sweet, crisp blend of … Cabernet Franc, Seyval Blanc, and Chardonnay.”

As I headed off to the next winery, I sent Christy a quick text letting her know we needed to come back – with dinner – some Saturday evening.  Soon!

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