Friday, June 07, 2013

Knob Hall Winery Shines With Prestige and White Oak (MD)

I first came across Knob Hall while at the Grand Tasting at DLW 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland, in the warehouse building behind the right and centerfield wall at Camden Yards.
Over two hundred years ago, four brothers came to America from Germany in search of the American Dream. They first settled outside Lancaster, PA, but the times for that area were very turbulent as this was during the French and Indian War.  During an attack on local settlers, one of the women in the party was scalped – and survived. Soon after, the Seibert brothers decided to leave Lancaster in search of more peaceful places. Jacob Seibert settled in Maryland, in the Cumberland Valley, beneath the forested slopes of Fairview Mountain. His property was named “Good Neighbor Farm” or “Knob Hall”.

While the house at Knob Hall has been added onto several times, it still stands as a testament to this philosophy. It only took 200 years to plant a vineyard at Knob Hall.  Approximately 30 acres of vines have been planted along the gentle slopes of limestone-rich soil.  The planted varietals have been carefully chosen and include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Albarino, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Traminette, Vidal Blanc and Viognier.

Knob Hall is an estate winery maintaining a tradition of sustainable agriculture. Dick Seibert is the man who runs the show.

There are three levels of wine at Knob Hall. They have fun picnic wines. They have their medium priced better table wines. And then they have their top of the line series, which these two wines represent. These are made is somewhat small quantities, but are not to be missed.

White Oak 2011 is Knob Hall's high end white wine blend. It is 60% Chardonnay, 20% Traminette, and 20% Vidal Blanc. This is a classic style white blend, with lots of beautiful aromas and flavors. Meyer lemons and key lime pie definitely come across as promised. And the green apple jolly rancher flavor is a some what apt. But don't let all this fool ya....this is a lovely, elegant white wine, with great acidity and a nice, clean finish.

Knob Hall Prestige 2010 is a very big, excellent red wine. It is the highest expression of their terroir and abilities at Knob Hall. 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Chambourcin, this very big and sophisticated Bordeaux-styled bend is very impressive.

With these two wines, Knob Hall makes its case that they should be counted among some of the better wineries in Maryland. And deservedly so!

p.s. This is not the first time I've written about Knob