I never hide how much I love our local vineyards. We always try to put in appearances several times over the course of a summer. When the wineries opened this year on Memorial Day weekend, we were there. Of course, we chose to go on a rainy Monday, but that was alright. Even the rain couldn’t dampen the fun.
Our first stop was Kinkead Ridge in Ripley. If you haven’t been to Kinkead Ridge, the winery is in a little house on a residential street. The first time we went, we thought we were at the wrong place. Then you walk in and you see barrels and tanks everywhere. And people. The winery always seems to be filled with happy people mingling, tasting, and enjoying the wine.
This year they were able to release a bunch of new whites, including a Riesling, Traminette, Viognier-Roussanne, and the Revelation blend. Since their whites are actually my favorites, I was excited to try them. We were also lucky enough to get to taste the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the tank, and even two 2008 reds from the barrel.
I thought I’d taken better notes. When I sat down to write them up, I realized they’re terrible. So my apologies on that. The best endorsement of all, of course, is what we went home with: 3 bottles of Viognier-Roussanne, 3 bottles of Revelation White, and 2 bottles of the River Village Cellars Traminette. We’re thrilled enough with these that Kevin is taking a bottle of Revelation White and a bottle of the Viognier-Roussanne to the Wine Bloggers Conference with him in July.
Ron Barrett, the winemaker, creates what the grapes tell him to make. These releases are slightly higher in alcohol than you might expect. I heard that from several local winemakers this year though. The wines are balanced, however, so the alcohol will sneak up on you, as opposed to banging you on your head.
My absolute favorite of the Kinkead Ridge wines is the Viognier-Roussanne. The 2008 is 14.8% AbV, which means that I’ll happily drink an entire bottle and then probably happily fall down. I am usually fairly sensitive to high-alcohol wines, but this one isn’t hot at all. Ron may have contended with high alcohol, but he dealt with it superbly.
After the jump are the few notes I managed to scribble down. Did I mention how poor my notes were this time?
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: Sampled from the tank, bottled last week, to be released on Labor Day. This was pretty tasty. It had nice flavors of cherry with acid on the finish. Well-balanced.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: Has one more year in the barrel. This is a fruit forward wine with a lot of complexity and structure. It’s got a real full mouthfeel.
Cabernet Franc 2008: Has one more year in the barrel. I didn’t like this one at all at the first taste. A few minutes later I realized my glass was empty. It definitely grew on me. It was peppery and big at first, but it seemed to settle down as it got used to my glass, sort of like a happy puppy when you first come home. This wine had an amazing jewel-tone color. I look forward to tasting it in a year.
2008 River Village Cellars Traminette, Rock Springs Vineyard: Ron bought these grapes from a local vintner who is just getting started. We’d already purchased two bottles when Ron informed us that the grapes weren’t in the best condition when he got them. Once again proving his abilities, he made a heck of a wine. Traminette is a white grape – French-American hybrid. If you like sweeter wines, or what I call summer porch wines, you’ll enjoy Traminette.
2008 Revelation White: This is a blend of a little bit of everything. It’s another fresh, light white but what caused us to buy several bottles is the spice. There’s a little bit of Semillon in there, and I think it is adding a light spicy finish to the wine.
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