Friday, May 27, 2016

The United Grapes of America - Nebraska's Mac's Creek Vineyards & Winery Poncu

Mac's Creek Vineyards & Winery came through with another interesting wine at the annual Wine America Congressional Tasting. This was their Poncu ($25) port styled wine. The weather is too extreme in the Cornhusker state for vinifera grapes so Mac's Creek specializes in cold hardy hybrids, many created at the University of Minnesota such as Edelweiss, LaCrescent, and Frontenac.

The United Grapes of America
StarChefs.com: The United Grapes of America
Founder Max McFarland explained how the Poncu is made.  They ferment Frontenac and then send the wine to a distillery where it is distilled into grape brandy. The winery then purchases the brandy, ages it in oak barrels, and then use it to fortify batches of semi-dry Frontenac. As you can see, Frontenac all the way.  The label and name honors the McFarland Family cattle brand and Max's father Dale "Bud" McFarland. Bud enjoyed Stetson hats and Poncu is what 3rd generation and co-owner Barry McFarland called his grandfather as a little boy.

The Poncu is very nice. The nose is cherry, wood, and a bit ethanol.  The oak character persists throughout and with the alcohol dampens down the sweetness.With this wine, Mac's Creek proves with a little ingenuity and working within the state regulations, a winery can produce a unique and tasteful wine - in this case a highly recommended port styled dessert wine. Cheers.
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