Friday, June 07, 2013

Two Impressive Wines From Slack Winery

Slack is a relatively young winery run by two you folks who have impressed a lot of people. In a short amount of time they have already made a name for themselves. I tasted a Slack wine for the first time at the Grand Tasting on the second day of the DLW 2013 conference at Camden Yards.

Slack wines have won over two dozen medals in state, national and international competitions.
Winemaker Tucker Grube-O’Brien is assisted by Anna Ferguson and these two young wine makers, age 29 and 22, respectively, have proven to be a particularly clever pair with natural instincts of good taste.

Slack White Shoals was the first of the two wines we tasted. According to their website, "This 100% Chardonel sparkling wine is made in the classic Méthode Champenoise style with a controlled, continuation of fermentation in the bottle producing an exceptional quality and longevity of bubbles. Similarly to the French Champagne traditionalists, we press our grapes quickly with the stems intact so the juice is extracted with a slight bitterness and with minimum skin contact. The juice was clear in color, delightfully sweet and generously yielding to our riotous yeast in double fermentation."

The resulting wine was a beautiful sparkling white wine. A straw-golden colored sparkler with a yeasty-bread-y nose, with vibrant green apple on the palate with zippy acidity, and a wonderful dry finish. A lovely, ovely sparkling wine. Many of the wine writers were asking each other if they had tried the Slack White Shoals throughout the tasting. Fantastic!

Dr. Joe Fiola had told many of us that Slack was growing Barbera, but none of us at the tie thought we'd get a chance to try that wine. According to the Slack website, "Barbera was the first vine we ever put in the ground. It now comprises 30% of our older vineyards at Jubilee Farm and we have planted additional vines at Woodlawn Farm. The soils of the Langhe region of Italy are similarly high in clay as ours are, and we believe the vines fare well here because the winters are also usually mild.
...This varietal stood on its own and required no blending to soften its expression..."

This was a serious bottle of red wine. The Slack Barbera 2010 is 100% estate grown Maryland Barbera. Black cherries and black berries came through as promised across the nose and across the palate. Hints of earth, spice, and layers of dried fruit like dried cherry and dark raspberry also came through. This was an extremely sophisticated red wine, complex and filled with subtle sub-textures. Beautiful!!!

They only  made 100 or so cases, so you better get some asap!

This too was a hit with the writers that day. A great wine! Slack continues to impress!