Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tug Hill Marquettte Estate 2011

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!!