Thursday, December 10, 2009
Ohio Winery Visit: St. Joseph Vineyard
We started with a Riesling. This was semi-dry with flavor notes of melon. It was pleasant, but not the wine that St. Joseph is known for. We followed this with a Gewurztraminer, which we felt was nothing special.
The reds were up next and this is where the St. Joseph wines shine. We tried the Reserve Pinot Noir and it took the tasting to a new level. The grapes are hand picked late into the harvest to allow extra hang time. The gently crushed grapes go through a prolonged maceration in an open top fermenter which includes a cold soak. After pressing the wine is aged in French medium toasted oak barrels.
The Reserve Pinot is dark ruby red and was a moutful of black cherry and plum with complex layers of flavor including spice. It's easy to see why the St. Joseph Pinot Noir has won awards in California, New York and Michigan in competitions where they have gone against hundreds of entries, including those from Napa Valley, New Zealand and Washington.
We didn't have a chance to sample the ice wine, but we'll put that on our list for our next visit.