Thursday, April 02, 2015

Lincoln Peak Marquette 2013 - The Best Marquette in North America! (VT)

Firstly, what you need to know is that Chris Granstrom is among the nicest people you will ever meet. He's quiet, self-effacing, and a downright good guy. He's also a very good farmer. He grows his vines with lots of hand touching, so important a part of winemaking. And lastly, he makes, without a doubt, the best Marquette in North America!

I recently saw the tall, unassuming Granstrom at the Eastern Wineries Exposition 2015 in Syracuse, NY. He was accompanied by his lovely daughter, Sara, and Lincoln Peak utility infielder Roxanne, who does everything from work the vineyard, to the cellar, to the tastingroom. 

Granstrom had brought with him, to the Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner a bottle of his newest Lincoln Peak Marquette 2013. Actually he brought several bottles. And people flocked from around the room to try to taste his wine.

The simple fact of the matter is this - if you want to make wine uing the Minnesota hybrids, there is one line of wine you must try - Lincoln peak. Granstrom's range with Frontenac Gris, Marquette and the others is easily the most consistently impressive range of wines I have ever tasted suing these varieties. He is easily the Randall Graham of the Minnesota school.

You see, up until that night, I thought Chris made the best Marquette on the east coast. But this tasting changed everything.

The new wine is at 14% alcohol, and has a deeper color than the previous vintages. It's clearly a much bigger wine. The previous vintages tasted like Pinot Noir or at least a Rhone-ish character. This newest vintage is a whole new animal, and in fact, not only advances Marquettte's stature, but advances east coast winemaking in a whole new way.

If I were looking for a comparison I'd be thinking California. And that's the first thing that's important to point out. This is a California wine. Grown, estate made and bottled, all in Vermont. But it tastes like California. This Marquette 2013 has more in common with  Turley Zinfandel than it does any east coast wine. Hugely concentrated it explodes with plum, cassis, and even prune, much like a Turley. And at 14% alcohol, or more as I recall, it is a big, heavy wine, with lovely, silky tannins, great layers of flavors and complexity, and a fantastic finish!

This is the best Mrquette in North America! And Chris Granstrom is a master with the Minnesota varieties!

And nicer people you will never meet.