Hunt Country is one of the first New York state wineries I
fell in love with back when they were one of the first wineries selling their
wares in Union Square and Grand Army Plaza at the greenmarkets back in the late
1980s and early 1990s. The quality and their availability improve each and
every year. And once you meet Art and Judy Hunt, well, who can say no?
So it was Thanksgiving day, and me and my brother-in-law
(and partner in crime) Robin Hoover (formerly the chef at Alchemist in
Vermont), decided to investigate the cobwebbed chambers of our wine cellar in
search of “stickies.”
After all, if you’re going to sit around the fireplace after
dinner, and you’ve started with local cider and sparkling wines with cassis,
locals wines with dinner, then what to have just hanging around? A “stickie” is
the only proper solution!
So we braved the spider webs, and perused the shelves in
search of the golden nectar called dessert wine. I suddenly has an idea. Let’s
look for some of the older wines and see how they had fared. The argument is
ice wines and late harvest wines age well,
because the acidity and sugar start to really balance each other well,
and more exotic flavors should by now have developed.
One of the wines we found was the Hunt Country Ice Wine
Finger Lakes Vidal Blanc 1998. A fourteen year old bottle of wine. Now, there’s
a decent test, no? We pulled a couple of other bottles (those may or may not be
separate posts) and made upstairs with our booty determined to enjoy them while
the kids sat in the den and watched “Elf.”
Hunt Country refers to this wine as “Our marquee wine,
featured on NBC's Today Show….” The anticipation was intense, as we pulled the
cork and poured the wine. It was golden in color and smelled fantastic. It was
thick and viscous. Apricot, dried peaches, honey and other tropical fruits
burst from the glass. And on the palate honey, and raisin, and apricot all
layered on top of one another. There was some age to it, with a hint, a slight,
slight, slight essence of sherry, but it was incredibly complimentary. It added
another layer of flavor to the wine.
It was beyond expectation. Absolutely fantastic! 14 years
old and it could easily have taken another few years no problem.
Congrats to everyone at Hunt Country Vineyards!!!!!