Friday, January 18, 2013

Wine 101: Corot noir

Corot noir courtesy of
Double A Vineyards
Is Corot noir, the new Pinot Noir for cold climate vineyards? Of course not; but this cross between hybrids Seyve Villard and Steuben has its converts. Developed  at the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, its wines "are free of the hybrid aromas typical of many other red hybrid grapes, and can be used for varietal wine production or for blending. The distinctive red wine has a deep red color and attractive berry and cherry fruit aromas." This in the words of grape breeder Bruce Reisch. And according to Double A Vineyards, a New York nursery,  "The wine has big soft tannins with a structure that is complete from the front of the mouth to the back, suitable for a varietal wine or for blending. Pairs well with beef, game, and other hearty dishes."

Hunt Country Vineyards
Classic Red
Diane Forsee of Forsee Vineyards and Winery (Coffeen Illinois) is one convert: "it just happens to be one of our best sellers here at the winery". The grape handles the Midwest winters well, the hot humid summers, and even poor clay soil. The negatives, do not over-crop and "you have a very small window within which to harvest, because the 'numbers' are perfect for a short time. Otherwise, the acid is too low and the wine becomes the perfect blender." But in the winery, the grape is versatile. They produce a dry red aged in American oak; a fruit forward semi-sweet blush; and a semi-dry "Chianti" styled wine blended with Leon Millot.

In Branchport, New York, Al Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards grows Corot Noir to keep his wines competitively priced. His customers demand wines below $10 and their Classic Red fits that bill. Plus this five varietal, medium bodied blend has won several Golds, including a recent one at the Florida International Wine Competition. We need to get our hands on this one.

Corot Noir seems to have found a home in New York and Illinois, but is also grown in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and even Colorado and South Dakota. Here is an alphabetical list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found out that Corot Noir is a component of my favorite red blend: Hunter's Red. From Hunt Country Vineyard, this wine is a wonderful any-time wine, and I am now curious to try Corot Noir by itself or in other wines as well. Thanks for talking about it!