Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Noiret, Cayuga, and Cabernet Franc from Clearview Vineyard

During the Hudson Valley Taste Camp from several years ago, Clearwater Vineyard poured perhaps the best Noiret wine I had ever tasted. This hybrid grape variety was bred at New York's Cornell University with the labrusca Steuben and the undistinguished NY65.0467.08 as its parents. This Noiret was completely free of Steuben's funky and foxy character with deep juicy black fruit flavors and I vowed to someday visit this winery within the Shawangunk Wine Trail

This month I finally was able to visit their Warwick estate after a hike along the nearby Appalachian Trail. The winery's portfolio has increased since its first vintage in 2010 but due to covid, the wine tasting consisted of four of their signature wines. The 2017 Estate Noiret ($20) is just as rich and full-bodied with some mint and a solid tannic structure. The 2019 Dry Riesling ($19) was also solid with a hint of petrol with stone fruit. 

But the two most interesting and preeminent in our opinion were the Estate Cayuga White and Cabernet France. Cayuga was also developed at Cornell by crossing Schuyler and the French hybrid Seyval Blanc. Too often dry versions of this wine are too bland and sweeter versions are too cloying.  The Clearwater Vineyard 2019 Estate Cayuga White ($19)  is dry but full of bright fruit, depth, and refreshing acidity.  Similarly, the 2018 Cabernet Franc ($20) is excellent. The wine is medium-bodied, without a hint of green, but a velvety texture and approachable tannins and balanced acids.  And what a bargain. This wine would be priced over $30-$35 if produced in Virginia. 

I envision more hiking and wine drinking during our return to the Hudson Valley and as always theCompass Craft Beverage Finder will guide you to these beverage destinations. Cheers. 

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