Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin AVA’

Of all the vinos in my diary from the early 00’s, this Jaune d’Or Port is still one of those extraordinary dessert wines that, to this day, have yet to be encountered a rival.

“But Porto is RED!”  I’m hearing you shout. “Rich, dense and luscious!”

Aha!  But, my dear readers, this most unique White Port is like nothing else I have ever tried!

On another trip to the TwinCities of Minneapolis/St Paul, an excursion to a couple wineries in this Minnesota AVA was planned and enjoyed. Chateau St. Croix is just over the state line into the recognized Wisconsin AVA in the flood-plain of the St Croix river. This is  a well-designed new-world winery with an old-world styled manor-house in a Classical French design complete with lion-topped entry pillars and two suits of armor!  This place felt really nice.

Pre-tour, the tasting bar offered a few standard varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.  As my tasting notes help me recall, the first three were run-of-the-mill.  The Chardonnay was dee-lish!  Fully oaked la-dee-da…  I even savored a full glass as the guide led us thru the tour.  Upon the tour’s completion, we were allowed to sample one more of their wines.

I chose this port as I just adore Port and have never seen a ‘white’ one.

The bouquet was crisp and sweet – like a freshly-baked sugar cookie. The first sip was overwhelmingly succulent with hints of papaya and anise.  Sip number two brought forth the full intensity of this most divine liquid!  Rich honey and licorice, long reminders of cream and vanilla and an almost whiskey-like presence has this 20.4% alc/vol stuff in a category all its own.

Available in VERY limited realease from the winery only, this American Golden Port is a rare treasure.  Keep your eyes peeled to their website for the announcement  of a new release. Be warned that the price is commensurate to its release and availability.

Chateau St Croix Jaune d’Or 2004.  For maximum experience, sip lightly chilled all by itself.

Truly unique – an unrequited love.



**image credit – Chateau St Croix winery – used under Fair Use Provisions for Review and Critique

A very unique fruit wine I’ve just had the opportunity to try is this semi-sweet blueberry table wine by Three Lakes Winery of Wisconsin. The most striking aspect of this fruit wine isn’t actually the wine itself; its the amazing cobalt blue glass bottle!  I’ve not seen a bottle like this in a very long time – though it looks totally awesome, I doubt it does anything to protect the wine.

Fruit wines are relatively simple to understand as they reflect the best essence the particular fruit has to offer. But aha! Therein lies the skill of the wine maker.  Non-grape fruits are typically grown to be eaten ‘as is’ with bright sweetness and muted acidity. To balance sweetness with acidity and alcohol content, the wine maker must know precisely what he or she needs to do to heighten the acidity and regulate the alcohol content without losing the panache the perfect fruit has by nature. This glossy blue wine glitters in the glass and has an aroma of the macerated berries.  At 11% alc/vol, I can only just feel a hint of the alcohol at the back of the tongue and into the nose. The sweetness wraps the tongue in a simplicity that reminds me of the  tiny wild berries picked as a child in New Brunswick.

Be sure to consume fruit wines as soon as possible – they don’t age very long; 9 months at most.  Enjoy this Three Lakes Winery Blueberry wine chilled or cellar temperature all by itself or with a nice piece of wildberry-topped cheesecake.




image credit: Three Lakes Winery