Looking back over my notes, it appears that Christy and I only selected five wines (2 whites, 2 reds and 1 dessert wine) each, rather than the six we were entitled to. I’m trying to remember if that’s because we each chose the same wine in two cases – or if we just counted wrong. Knowing us, it was probably the latter.
Anyway – having finished the whites, we moved on to the Reds. First up was the
Cock of the Walk Red – Like its counterpart Cock of the Walk White, the tasting notes also describe Cock of the Walk Red as having “lots of ATTITUDE.” And unlike the white, with the red I did get attitude. A blend of Lemberger, Cabernet Franc and Chancellor, this is a medium-bodied, fairly complex wine. The color is a lovely dark plum and the nose has rich notes of plum. In the mouth the wine opens with notes of spice and a hint of cinnamon and has rich notes of plum and cherries on the finish. There’s an interesting musty earthiness, particularly on the finish, that gives the wine some character. It’s a more complex wine than I expected, and Christy and I were divided; I liked it much better than she did. The one thing we did agree on is that you’re unlikely to be neutral about this wine – you’ll either like it or you won’t.
Petite Red This is a new wine for Sakonnet, released for the first time this year. A blend of younger estate grapes (interestingly they don’t share the specific varietals), this is a decent table wine. Red-purple in color, the nose is bright and fruity, and there are bright notes of berries and cherry on the palate. The Petite Red could pair with a wide variety of food, and would definitely be a”utility-player” wine to keep on hand.
Cabernet Franc 2005 As my regular readers know, I’ve been preferring Cabernet Francs lately. The grape does well in the colder, northern climes, and the wines produced are dispelling the myth that the Northeast is too cold to produce strong reds. While I’d probably rank this in the middle of the pack of New England Cab Francs I’ve tasted to date, I did enjoy this wine. A lovely garnet color that caught the light nicely, the wine has an interesting plum & pepper nose. In the mouth, the wine has notes of black currants and a touch of grassiness. The oak brings out notes of musty leather in the nose and an earthiness in the mouth that provides a sharp, dry finish.
Rhode Island Red The final wine we chose was the Rhode Island Red, which Sakonnet calls “New England’s Signature Red.” A blend of Cabernet Franc, Chancellor and Lemberger, this, like the Petite Red, is a nice “utility-player” table red, although this is a richer, more complex wine than the Petite Red. The nose has soft floral notes, and in the mouth there are light notes of blueberry, a touch of grassiness, and a very light toastiness from the oak.
That finished the reds, and we had just enough time to squeeze in one dessert wine each, Christy opted for the
Port 2006 Made from estate-grown Chancellor grapes and aged for two years in American Oak before being fortified with brandy. The result is a rich port wine, with notes of cherry and a slightly peppery finish.
My choice was a late harvest Vidal Blanc
Sirrius Christy and I both really liked this wine. The nose was lovely (in my notes I actually underlined lovely several times) with that rich, deep sweetness that you so often get from Vidal Blanc grapes. In the mouth, the wine is smooth and rich, with soft notes of apricot. Definitely a nice dessert wine, the Sirrius would also be good sipped on its own as an aperitif.
Comparing notes, we both agreed that the three Vidal Blanc wines (Vidal Blanc 2008, Fume Vidal Reserve 2007 and Sirrius) are Sakonnet’s stars and really stood out from the rest of the pack. With that, we packed up and headed back down the road to Newport and dinner on the water.
Sakonnet Vineyards is located in Little Compton, Rhode Island. You can find their wines in local package stores and restaurants throughout Rhode Island, or purchase wine directly from the winery or their website. They offer free shipping on cases over $150 and also offer a Rooster Rewards program in which you earn points towards discounts off future purchases.