Friday, November 16, 2012

Sampson Valley Vineyard nouveau

So I admit it, I like nouveau wines.   I look forward to the third Thursday in November when Beaujolais Nouveau is released.  Unfortunately, judging the scarcity of nouveau wines in local liquor stores this year,  I'm apparently one of the few people in Wisconsin that actually enjoy nouveau wines.  

I've personally made nouveau wines at least 4 times in the last 10 years.   Of the nouveaus I've made, a couple were mediocre; one was horrible, and one was excellent.    The excellent one was this year, 2012.  I only wish I knew which type of grape it was made from, since it was made from two vines of unknown cultivar.  (it got mixed into some lacrescent root stock that I planted 6 years ago)   So I don't know if the reason it turned out so well was the cultivar, the weather, the vinification or the grape stompers. (see below)
Alexandtra, Jack, and James crush the grapes for the 2012 nouveau wine.

Most of the nouveaus from Wisconsin are made from marechal foch grapes.  Wollersheim Winery in Prairie Du Sac, WI reliably makes one of the best.( Ruby Nouveau)  In fact,  most years I prefer theirs over the ones from Beaujolais.   Last year's Ruby Nouveau was especially good.   This year's was good too, but lacked some of the fruitiness I had experienced in previous years.  That could be attributed to the especially hot summer, and lower acids in the grapes.  It was a very nice wine none the less.

Karen and I did a blind tasting between Sampson Valley Vineyard Nouveau and Wollersheim Ruby Nouveau.  We both picked the Sampson.   I'll take that as quite the compliment.