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September 21, 2009


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Lenn - Cheers to the Hudson Valley for finding a grape with outstanding local potential -- and then unabashedly touting it. I'm excited to try more Baco, and I'm looking forward to Empire in particular.

Any chance of a hybrid making to the Cork Club Monthly Shipment?

Well guess who is planning to bring a bottle of Empire to the Finger Lakes this week?

That's right, this guy.

Michael: Absolutely a chance. In fact, I picked a Hudson-Chatham Winery 2007 Baco Noir for a shipment a while back.

I've included some vidal ice wine and a Cayuga-Vignoles blend in the past as well.

New York is much more than vinifera.

Baco grows very well in the Hudson Valley. Hudson-Chatham and Benmarl are the only ones to my knowledge who produce a Baco wine.

Let the bottle of Empire breath for a little while.

It I would stop multi-tasking while I type I could spell/type correctly.

Let the Empire breathe a little while.

Debbie: I THINK that Warwick's Black Dirt Red is baco too, isn't it?

Lenn -

At Lucas the other day, Jeff Houck asked what other wines we wanted to try. I asked for the Seyval and Vignoles. He replied, "You're not supposed to drink hybrids, you know!" He was kidding, but damn, our cover has been blown. Turns out we're not allergic to hybrids, and assuming Jackson is yours, it also turns out that hybrids don't make you sterile.

What I like about baco is that I've enjoyed them AS baco because they are baco -- a unique grape with a unique-profile.

I've had vidal that tastes "almost like" riesling. Or seyval that tastes "almost like" chardonnay (oaked) or sauvignon blanc (not). It also seems like most wineries are TRYING to make those white hybrids be "like" something else.

From my limited experience, baco is baco. And when taken seriously, it can be very good.

Interesting that the Baco went with the smokiness as I've often found a smoky component in Baco wines that I have had, which I think is distinct from smoky oak.

I've had this wine from a few different vintages and have always been impressed. It's a clear indication of their dedication to this variety in the vineyard as well as the cellar. Nice work!

And here I was going to keep you anonymous, Rich ;)

I definitely enjoy it. Curious how it ages.

Anyone know what kind of soil baco noir likes?

"New York is much more than vinifera."

Lenn, really? Isn't that part of the problem? Isn't that the reason we sit on the sidelines of the big game and watch the rest of the world play? Because we insist on marketing clearly inferior hybrids along with our truly competitive grape set?

I have no doubt the Baco was nice to drink, but come one? Is this grape what we hope to get NYS to support with its tax dollars?

I think we should be comparing the Clair Cote-de-Beaune Villages with Hearts and Hands as a far more productive and informative thread, maybe?

* Cue the 'Jim's a snob' comments now *


I'd expect nothing less than such a comment from you!

And I do agree with you in that I do not think New York should focus on hybrids. It holds the Finger Lakes region back in many ways with regard to the world wine stage.

BUT, there is (and will always be) room for wines like this one. Every region in the world has minor, 'lesser' grapes that lead to interesting wines.

I'm thinking Aligote (vs. Chardonnay) here. I had a 100% Counoise (from the Rhone Valley) over the weekend that I really dug, too.

The other side is this -- the Hudson Valley isn't as appropriate for vinifera as Long Island or the Finger Lakes.

To sum up (because people sometimes only read what they want to read when I talk hybrids): I think that New York, in general, needs to focus on vinifera and push those wines hardest, but there will always be room for well-done hybrid wines.

Hmm, in the context of the Counoise and the Aligote, I definintely agree with you - but I consider them curiosities (even heirlooms!). And both of them are vinifera, but I do see your reasoning.

I suppose I wish the experimentationn was being done on vinifera grapes that are more tolerant to the climate, e.g. Sylvaner, Gruner, Muller (vinifera?), Lemberger, Cab Franc, Pinot Blanc, Ribola, Freisa, etc.

Jim - Perhaps add Zweigelt to your list, unless it's not pure enough... ;)

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