Sunday, March 14, 2010

Briar Valley Lemberger 2007

Briar Valley Vineyard and Winery is owned by Tod and Jean Manspeaker. With the aid of Penn State Enologist, Stephen Menke, Vineyard Consultant, Phillip Ponton and a couple years of research and study, Tod laid out the vineyard in 2005. In the meantime, Jean read, studied, attended winemaking classes, completed an internship at a Lake Erie winery, all the while making her own wine. They were making their dream happen.

Briar Valley Vineyard & Winery is located in historic Bedford, Pennsylvania at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains. They are unique, in that they are the first winery in Bedford and the surrounding counties to produce all vinifera wines styled after classic European wines. At an elevation of 1,200 feet, their vineyard is located on a southeastern slope and possesses the terrior that is highly favorable to the growth of premium vinifera grapes. Thus far the vineyard is comprised of Chardonnay, Riesling, Gew├╝rztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Lemburger.

What attracted me to Valley Briar is the Lemberger. I am not a Lemberger fan. But having recently tasted Laurita Winery's Lemberger (from New Jersey) I have again become curious and even, nay, enthusiastic, about Lemberger?

Lemberger is a traditional red grape of Austria (along with Zweigelt). At its best it is an easy drinking wine with soft fruit flavors with hints of pepper.

The Briar Valley Lemberger 2007 is a soft, subtle wine, with big fruit flavors, and a touch of tannin. It's nicely balanced, and smooth drinking. This is a very nice Lemberger.

A nice wine indeed! Chalk up another NJ Lemberger I like.