Continued from Tuesday, December 8th
After the Blush wines both Maree and I moved on to the Reds. Four Sisters produces 7 reds overall, but two were already sold out. Of the remaining 5, 2 were described as sweet or semi-sweet wines, generally not my preference, so I skipped those and settled on the remaining 3, dry, reds.
Chambourcin The wine is a beautiful deep rose-garnet color and has a very strong cherry nose. In the mouth the wine has strong notes of cherry which provide just a hint of sweetness to balance out the dryness of the wine. The oaking adds touches of vanilla which give the wine a smooth finish. Overall not a bad wine, although it felt a bit young and as a result the cherry was a bit strong.
Papa’s Red Made from Baco Noir grapes, which I’d never heard of no less tried before, this is a very pleasant medium-bodied red table wine. Garnet colored with a light earthy nose which was a nice change from the fruity noses I so often find in the northeastern reds, the Papa’s Red has pleasant notes of berries and a nice balance of acid on the palate. There’s a “bite” at the end which I found very reminiscent of Marechal Foch grapes, and while not unpleasant, was a bit of a surprise.
This being my first exposure to Baco Noir, I did a bit of research when I got home. A hybrid variety that while once grown in Europe is now predominantely grown in the colder climates of the US and Canada, particularly the Upper Midwest US and Ontario. According to Wikipedia there are 250 hectares of Baco Noir under cultivation in New York, so we’ll have to check in with the folks over at Lenndevours to see what they can tell us about New York Baco Noir wines.
In the meantime, I was on to my third red, the
Warren Hills Red Named for the surrounding area, also the name of the AVA, the Warren Hills Red was my favorite of the three reds I tasted that afternoon. Like the Papa’s Red, this also is a deep garnet color with an earthy nose. In the mouth, the wine has lovely notes of wild berries. The finish has the same “bite” as the Papa’s Red leading me to suspect there were Baco Noir grapes in this wine as well, although our host for the tasting couldn’t find her notes and wasn’t sure what was included in the blend. Overall I found this wine to have more depth and complexity than the Papa’s Red, very likely due to the fact that this is a blend.
Overall the three reds I tried were nice, pleasant table wines, although I found I was more impressed with the whites than the reds. But, we weren’t done yet, and there were still two Ports to try.
In addition to the two Ports, Four Sisters also produces 5 fruit wines and 1 sparkling wine. I’ve never been a fan of fruit wines and given the range of other wines available, decided to skip that category altogether, and given a choice between port and sparkling wine, I’ll generally select port. I can’t remember, and my notes don’t indicate if Maree tried the sparkling wine, Maggie’s Magic, but I went straight to the first port:
Pop’s Port Named in honor of owner Matty’s father (grandfather of the “four sisters”), Pop’s Port is made from Baco Noir grapes. Like the Papa’s Red, the wine is garnet colored with strong notes of cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Semi-sweet with a rich, soft mouth-feel, this is a nice port, although the tangy “bite” at the end from the Baco Noir grapes is a bit of an unexpected surprise.
The last wine of the day was
Matty’s Apple Port Made from late harvest apples grown on the Mattarazzo farm and brandy fortified. The nose is much lighter than I anticipated and in the mouth the flavor of the apples is rich without being overpowering. The apples provide a slight tartness which balances out the overall sweetness, resulting in a rich, smooth and very satisfying port. I definitely preferred this one to the Pop’s Port and found it to be a great finish to an interesting and extensive tasting.