Monday, September 29, 2008

Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery: Cynthiana

This week we stayed in the Midwest and opened a bottle of Cynthiana from Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery. Located in eastern Kansas - not far from Kansas City - father and daughter duo, Les & Michelle Meyer, produce about a dozen varieties of wine from indigenous and hybrid grapes. And these grapes are quite unique: St. Vincent, Melody, Aurore as well as Vignoles, Chardonel, Seyval, Foch, Leon Millet, Chambourcin, and Cynthiana (Norton). The Cynthiana has been quite successful for the Meyer's; winning several double gold medals over the years plus the 2004 Jefferson Cup - which honors the best of the best among US wineries from all of America’s wine regions.

We tasted the release following the Jefferson Cup winner and quite frankly, were not really impressed. Even though the wine was aged 12-16 months in oak, the wine was still extremely young and acidic. And only a slight grape flavor. We've stored several purchased bottles in our cellar and after three years in the bottle, we retested the wine. What a difference. The wine has transformed into a good, full bodied wine. It is a little less spicy than the Mount Pleasant from last week, but contains the same rich cherry flavor. This spicy characteristic may be a Midwestern trait, because we have not tasted it with Eastern produced Norton wines. And there were just a few traces of the standard grapey Norton flavor. Once again, the wine could easily pass for a viniferia based wine. Now, if we only had an aged bottle of the Jefferson Cup winner; but this is defiantly one proof that Norton\Cynthiana wines need to age a few years in the bottle.

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