Recently, at Viticulture 2013 I Rochester, NY, I tasted a
very nice Marquette from New York state. For those of you who may not remember the Marquette, let
me refresh your memory.
Marquette (which was developed at University of Minnesota)
is a cousin of Frontenac and grandson of Pinot noir. It originated from a cross
of MN 1094, a complex hybrid of V. riparia, V. vinifera, and other Vitis
species, with Ravat 262. Viticulturally, Marquette is outstanding. Resistance
to downy mildew, powdery mildew, and black rot has been very good. Its open,
orderly growth habit makes vine canopy management efficient.
According to Univ. Marquette website:
Marquette's high sugar and moderate acidity make it very
manageable in the winery. Finished wines are complex, with attractive ruby
color, pronounced tannins, and desirable notes of cherry, berry, black pepper,
and spice on both nose and palate. As a red wine, Marquette represents a new
standard in cold hardy viticulture and enology. Marquette was officially
introduced in 2006. Marquette vines are in very high demand and short supply.
I happen to really like Marquette and think it has a future.
Established in 2007 in Lowville, NY, Tug Hill Vineyards is
owned and operated by Michael and Susan Maring. The Marings have been involved
in the horticulture industry for 30 years, having previously owned a landscape
and nursery business.
They have a forty acre vineyard, 15 of which are planted to
vine. Many of the grape varieties they grow are from the University of
Minnesota. They are thriving. They also
grow ten varieties of cold hardy French-American hybrids. Tug Hill Vineyards also
features three acres of u-pick red and golden raspberries along with five acres
of u-pick high bush blueberries.
Tug Hill Marquette Estate Marquette 2011 was tasted at the
luncheon on the first day. I liked it very, very much! Though the wine had a
hint of sugar in it, with its big acid profile and big fruit, the wine came off
like a Rhone or Grand Cru Beaujolais in style and finish. It had a beautiful ruby
color, and some solid tannins to boot, which again enhanced the wine’s finish
as dry. Big flavors of cherry, raspberry, black pepper, and spice came through
as promised. A really nice wine!!