By Rachel Forrest email@example.com
Portsmouth Herald (NH) February 28, 2007
While Sakonnet Vineyards of Rhode Island produces some great reds -- a little Cabernet Franc here and a Pinot Noir there -- it was the whites that sparkled at the final event of the Winter Wine Festival at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Spa in New Castle. Paired with the New England cuisine of Chef Mary Dumont from The Dunaway Restaurant in Portsmouth was a crisp, floral Vidal Blanc, a Gewurtztrauminer with hints of white peach and a Chardonnay with a touch of crisp apple, all created by a microclimate just perfect for making great white wines.
"The Gewurtztrauminer thrives in cool climates," says Susan. Paired with Chef Dumont's foie gras torchon with a touch of quince, the fruit and honey flavors mellow out the rich duck liver.
The vineyard also produces a champagne, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that produces a sparkling wine with a bit of citrus and nectarine along with a touch of cherry and honeysuckle. For those who think that an American winemaker can't use the term "champagne," think again.
"We made it during the time the French were 'misbehaving,'" says Earl. "So we just wanted to irritate them. It doesn't have to be from Champagne to be called that. We passed it through the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and they approved it."
For their next vintage the Samsons say they'll go back to calling it Samson Brut, made in the Champagne method, but without the name.
The wineries signature wine is their Vidal Blanc.