We'd met Seth and Tina, winemakers and proprietors, at the Wine Festival this year but hadn't had a chance to get to the winery. Since they're also in Ripley, not that far from Kinkead Ridge, we popped in before heading to Harmony Hill.
The first thing I learned is that Meranda-Nixon is wonderfully scenic. I got some great photos, despite the rainy, cloudy weather.
The next thing I learned is that Meranda-Nixon is open year-round, except for January. On weekends, they also offer dinner. Their tasting room/restaurant is lovely, decorated in a decidedly Tuscan style.
Like any winery after my heart, they have a couple vineyard dogs hanging around as well.
The last thing I learned? They make a large variety of wine. Whether you like sweet or dry, red or white, they've got it. I know we tried at least 10 different wines, of varying vintages, although I didn't get notes on all of them. Once again, I get busy chatting and my note-taking skills suffer.
As usual, a good endorsement is the fact we left with some wine. In this case, we took home 2 bottles of 2008 Traminette and 1 bottle of the Red Oak Creek red blend. Not that there weren't others we wanted -it's just that by winery #2 we were already up to a case.
After the jump, you'll find notes on several of the wines we got to try.
2008 Chardonnay Reserve Estate: This wine was filled with oak, honey, and butter. It held the oak well. Even though it wasn't really my thing, I have a girlfriend who would just love this wine.
2008 Chardonnay: This non-reserve wine was also fermented in stainless steel, not oak. These were grapes from California's central coast, which helps to explain the slightly tropical flavors we found in the wine.
2008 Traminette: This one has 1.8% residual sugar, and was nicely dry, with a long finish. Traminette is just a perfect summer porch wine. It was an interesting contrast to the sweeter Traminette we'd just had at Kinkead Ridge.
2007 Traminette: Seth thought that this one was around 2.3% residual sugar. It was definitely a sweeter wine, and more acidic. I decided it was more for the back deck than the front porch. Both are good, but distinctly different.
Catawba: I'd read good things about the Catawba. In case you're curious, Catawba was the first grape grown locally by Nicholas Longworth. (Suddenly Longworth Hall and Longworth's the bar make more sense, yes?) Catawba is not really my thing, but it was nicely dry and not overly sweet, which I definitely appreciated.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate: This one was light and easy to drink. Looking at my notes, I'm surprised we didn't pick up a bottle. There was a lot of bing cherry and the flavors were all nice and round.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Estate: As a note, this one was 15% AbV, continuing that streak of high-alcohol wines we were running into. We found this one to be a little bit hot, but overall it had nice depth.
2008 Red Oak Creek: I loved this wine. It might be because I was encountering a new grape (I love that) or because it was one of those fun blends between red and white. I'm also a Syrah-Viognier fan. This was a blend of the De Chaunac grape and Traminette. This was off-dry, with flavors of cranberries – a bright and cheerful wine on a rainy day.
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