Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Coyote Moon Cold Climate White Impress (NY)

Coyote Moon is a family affair. Like many in the industry, Phil Randazzo, owner and winemaker, was inspired to open Coyote Moon vineyards after a family trip to wine country - in specific, in this case, Italy. Phil and his wife, Mary, took their daughter, Kristina, to Sicily as a graduation gift. It turned out that their visit to Sicily did the trick. By 2008 the Randazzo family planted their first vineyard and began selling Coyote Moon wine in 2009. Soon after opening, Phil's son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Lori moved across the country to join the Coyote Moon family along with Kristina's husband, Christian Ives. 

I was at a wine tasting last year, and I tried two grapes I had real interest in - Frontenanc Blanc and LaCrescent.

The original 'Frontenac' was introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1996, by the University of Minnesota as the prototype cold climate grape. They also introduced Frontenac Gris. However, more recently, several growers in Minnesota and Canada have independently discovered white-fruited mutations of Frontenac and Frontenac gris that have now come to be known as 'Frontenac blanc'. These Frontenac blanc lines lack pigment and make white wine.
This is an exciting new development for cold climate growers. Frontenac has proven to be an outstanding vine and Frontenac gris shows exactly the same vine growth and disease resistance traits. The University of Minnesota released Frontenac blanc in 2012.

When I first saw the bottle of Coyote Moon Frontenac Blanc, I did a double take. I hadn't seen a varietal wine from this grape yet in New York or anywhere. I had to try it! This wine starts off smelling like a fresh cut fruit salad with white plum, nectarines and apricot. It smells like it would be sweet. But the white wine here is lovely. Light, bright, and with a citrusy finish I was most, most impressed. A wonderful dry white wine!!! A rare treat!

According to the University of Minnesota: "The La Crescent grape is a very cold hardy grape cultivar that produces a white wine of excellent quality, reminiscent of the cultivar Vignoles. Its relatively high sugar and acidity levels have encouraged winemakers to ferment La Crescent in a sweet or semi-sweet style. La Crescent wines commonly have aromas of apricot, peach, citrus and pineapple and lack strong herbaceous aromas or those associated with V. labrusca."

Try to their word, this Coyote Moon Vineyard LaCrescent has a HUGE nose of apricot, peach, and pineapple. But the light white wine, which was completely dry, was exquisite, with a nice, citrusy tang to finish it off! I absolutely loved this wine!!!

Phil Randazzo has done an excellent job of making classic dry white varietals from these grapes in the best sense of classic wine making. Terrific and surprising stuff!!!!!