Vynecrest Winery2006 Chambourcin
Red French-American hybrid vines are notorious for their susceptibility to disease and for producing thin wines with excessive vegetal aromatics. Not so with Chambourcin and not so with this wine. While Vynecrest’s effort shows both green pepper and black pepper on the nose, it is true-to-type and not excessive or stemmy. Warm raspberry flavors and a dash of oak spice enter on the palate. Medium bodied, the wine finishes soft with a pleasant, if short, ripe fruity finish. The wine is suitable for a range of dishes, from pasta and marinara sauce to barbecue.
The wine includes about 15 percent of the new variety Noiret, the product of the Cornell Grape Breeding Program at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. Noiret was selected for release because of its inky color, richness, and peppery flavor. It makes a difference in this wine, adding depth of color to the wine and aromatics to the nose. The brawny Noiret may overexert itself over the gentler Chambourcin.
Chambourcin has been tapped as the trademark grape of the newly approved Lehigh Valley American Viticultural Area, a designation Vynecrest will use in subsequent vintages. The grapes does well in the region, said Vynecrest owner and winemaker John Landis. Unlike most varieties, Chambourcin vines never need to be replaced, he said. But the grape is vigorous, and prone to excessive fruit set, so he cluster thins. The wine is crushed and fermented on the skins for five to seven days at about 80 degrees and finishes in steel with an oak stave system to impart oak character. Landis feels American oak works better with Chambourcin. The winemaking team tastes the wine in tank and if needed, will micro-oxygenate to simulate the effect of a barrel aging. Available at www.vynecrest.com
Reviewed April 30, 2008 by David Falchek.
Other reviewed wines from Vynecrest Winery
2010 Cabernet Franc
(Lehigh Valley)Clark Smith 3/6/2012
David Falchek writes a weekly wine column for several newspapers in Pennsylvania, including the Scranton Times-Tribune. He also contributes regularly to trade publications such as Vineyard & Winery Management and Beverage Media. David has judged regional, national, and international wine competitions where he likes to think he lauds outstanding Seyval or Foch just as readily as Cabernet or Riesling.