Saturday, February 23, 2013

Three Great Wines From Hunt Country (NY)

I like Art Hunt. Art is always great if you need advice. He’s friendly, accessible, and has a great sense of humor. And he’s got all the experience in the world. He is also the most ubiquitous personality in the wine world. He is everywhere….festivals, conferences, trade shows. He could be one of the most well-traveled winemakers in the state. And oh, by the way, his winery makes some really good wines. Last fall, I tasted three of his wines I had to write about. I’ve been so back logged I can’t believe it’s taken me until now.

So here are three I really enjoyed….

The first and most amazing among them was Pearl. Pearl is a very unique blend of unoaked Chardonnay, Cayuga White and Pinot Gris. And my first thought was, “what the hell?” What kind of blend is that?! I will admit now I wrinkled my nose and sipped carefully. Why would you pair unoaked chard with Pinot Gris and then a grape like Cayuga?
It was a revelation!!! The nose was a big tropical fruit bowl, with mango, star fruit, and numerous flavors shining through with some green apple and lemon. It was bright, light, and refreshing. And it is relatively inexpensive, and so makes it a perfect summer wine for sipping and slurping on the back deck or by the pool. Great light dry white blend. Fantastic!

Next was the Dolce di Moscato. I admit, I come predisposed. I love Moscato. The nose is all orange blossoms, honeysuckle, and apricots. This is a deliciously well balanced semi-sweet wine with just enough flavor and acidity to keep it honest and refreshing instead of mistake of sticky sweetness. Very nicely done and very affordable. A wonderful wine! CONCORDANCE GOLD MEDAL (Double Gold equivalent), 2012 Indy International Wine Competition

The last was also among my favorite styles of wine – Cream Sherry! Now, I know I’m supposed to be sophisticated here and tell you that I prefer dry sherries, and I’m so correct, blah, blah, blah. But here’s the flat out truth….I like my sherries sweet. Screw it!
This Cream Sherry is a great quality wine. The foundation of their Cream Sherry is a blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and lightly oaked Cabernet Sauvignon wines. They then bubble oxygen through the blend for a month or more to produce the beautiful "darker" flavors. Finally they fortify the wine with pure grape distilled spirits to achieve the perfect balance between these flavors, sweetness, tartness and alcohol.

Aromas of raisins, nuts and caramel all climb out of the glass. The taste is out of this world. Smooth and delicious. Just enough of the cellar in there, but the fruit begins to shine through. This wine was winner of a MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE (Gold) at the 2011 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. Absolutely wonderful!

Hunt Country is one of the most dependable producers in the Finger Lakes. And these wines are not to be missed.