Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saratoga Winery in Saratoga, NY

Saratoga! Horse country! A weekend or two ago, Dominique and I took the boys the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to the history of thoroughbred racing. We have always loved horse racing, and used to go fairly often to many different kinds of racing from Timber races, the Fair Hill races, to Monmouth, Pimlico, Churchill Downs, and Belmont. And yes, of course, we even went to Saratoga.

So it seemed right that for us to visit Saratoga, and not visit Saratoga Winery, would just be plain silly.

They are just finishing a sizable expansion, so the tasting room was quite big and roomy. An old barn, reoutfitted, it was filled with old, used wine barrles and wood bar top. Very homey and unpretensious.
They had numerous wines, including dry, semi-sweet, and sweet, and a few extras as well. You see, Saratoga Winery does traditional wine - and well. But they also make some non-traditional wines as well.
Bloodroot is one of the wines I had at the end of my tasting. Saratoga makes Melomels - grape wines made with honey. There are not many in all the east coast. This one is a dark red, port-styled wine. The wine is made from Malovasia grapes and aged in oak. It is also sweetened with honey. It's very much like a port, but you can taste a hint of honey. A very nice dessert wine.

Another melomel is Melo Yelo. It's made of Riesling and is blended with sweet wild flower honey. Aromas of apricot, pear, honey, and spiced apple come forward, with a big hit of honey. This is a big dessert wine. Perfect with creme brule', well made sugar cookies, figs and cheese. A different expereince for dessert. Fun to try.

As I said, they had more tradition wines. I tried a very nice Chardonnay and then had a lovely Riesling. We liked the Riesling very, very much. My favorite was next - Steeplechase. No. 1, it defintely had the best label - horses racing coming off a jump! Loved it! But what of the wine? This was a very nice blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Rougeon and Lemberger aged in oak. Medium bodied, it was very Burgundian as it's tones of black pepper, plum, pomegranate, and black cherry both on the nose and in the mouth. A nice, smooth finish. I liked it alot!

And then came time for more traditional fare. The Cabernet Franc 2009 was among my favorites. A medium-bodied red with hins of cherry and raspberry and plum, and just enough of a whiff of herbacenous and a whiff of vanilla sent me over the age. Nice mouthfeel. Good tannins. Light to medium in body. Really, really lovely wine. I liked this and the Steepleshase the best.

The Merlot was very nice, with all the characteristics of a wine you would expect. Raspberry, cherry, hints of vanilla. This was a lovely, red, dry, classic red. Very nice.

The Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was also good. Strong hints of dark cherry, dark raspberry, and a hint of cassis and vanilla brought to life in a glass. A big dark red wine meant for grilled meats.

Out back, the winery featured a beautiful deck, which, not unsurprisingly wasfilled with people al around. I just happened to catch a brief moment when no one was in the frme...but trust me, the deck was filled with people when we first got there! A great place to hang out with friends, and while away an hour or two!