Saturday, June 07, 2014

Altamont St. Pepin Ice Wine 2010 (NY)

For those of you who don't know, St. Pepin is a Minnesota white grape bred by famed viticulturalist Elmer Swenson. It was first introduced in 1983. It is a cross of  Minnesota #78 x Seibel 1000 with Seyval Blanc. It's small to medium sized berries produce a white to pink juice.
Accodin tot Minnesota, "Swenson (8) described the ‘St. Pepin’ vine as vigorous with an upright growth habit and somewhat open canopy. He also stated that ‘St. Pepin’ is productive and fruit holds well on the vine with no shattering (shelling). The flowers are imperfect flowers (pistillate) and not self-pollinated so it needs to be planted near perfect flowering vines for cross-pollination to occur. Fruit set and low yields can be an issue."
The description for the wine it produces, is very fruity, comparable to many German style white wines. He produces high sugared grapes with on low amount of acidity. It is wonderful for making off-dry whites of great complexity and balance.
But lately, a lot of folks have found, with its high brix, that it make a lovely ice wine. Enter Altamont winemaker Mike DiCrescenzo. a graduate of SUNY Plattsburg, Mike has been the guiding hand, along with his father, of Altamont Vineyards. And this newest addition to their line of wines is a winner. Altamont is more west and somewhat north of Albany. They are located in the Upper Hudson Valley region, though they are not members of that trail.

Now, Mike makes a semi-dry St. Pepin wine that I very much like, but this new one is an eye opener. A beautiful, floral nose greets the drinker, and then the taste wows them. A lovely, tropical fruit bomb comes across the palate, but it is not too sweet, but just sweet enough. A perfect wine to pair with a cheese plate that includes a blue cheese of some kind, and maybe some dates and figs and nuts? Oh, I can just see me sitting underneath an arbor or a warm day, picking on that for the afternoon.
Another lovely wine from Altamont!