Winery Visit: Elk Creek

Here are my tasting notes for Elk Creek in Kentucky from my visit last week. For more info on the winery, see my earlier travelogue post.

I purchase the $15 Premium flight – 2 ounces each of 5 wines, vitis vinifera with a combination of estate and purchased fruit.

Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay (2009) Kentucky – $18/bottle.  This had a toasty nose; not too much heavy butter or butterscotch. Good acidity and pretty well-balanced for an new producer. The finish is just a little short. Nice.

Kentucky Blue Pinot Grigio (NV) USA – $15/bottle [they were out of the estate Pinot Grigio, which would normally be on the flight, and substituted this instead]. Crisp, with notes of melon – not a thin, tart Italian style at all. Very nice – I bought a bottle.  Can’t wait to visit again and see what the Estate Pinot Grigio will be like!

Sangiovese (2008) Kentucky – $25/bottle. A nice color and an absolutely classic nose – I’ve never run across a Sangiovese east of the Rockies before and was very interested in this one. Unfortunately, it’s thin on the palate. Disappointing, especially for the price.

Merlot (2009) Kentucky – $25/bottle. Standard Merlot styling, but some nice notes of blueberry. This needed air – it was too tart and thin on the mid-palate, but opened up after 10 or 15 minutes. Not bad, but pricey.

Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) Kentucky – $25/bottle. A little stemmy – either picked early or pressed a little too hard to maximize yield. It got a little softer with air, but there wasn’t much fruit in it at all. Not recommended.

I also tried a sip of their Riesling from one of my friends’ tasting – oy! So sweet that you can put that in your hummingbird feeder!

The estate Merlot was also on the table – it had a lot more body for only $5 more.  Might be something to consider on the next trip, by the glass or to stock the cellar.

Overall verdict – their whites are superior, and priced appropriately as well. They make a Cabernet Franc (which I consider to be the most promising grape for the Ohio Valley and the associated limestone formations from the Ohio south to the Appalachian Piedmont) but it wasn’t open for tasting.

As I mentioned in my travelogue post, it’s a very comfortable place with great views and nice food. Something to consider if you’re road-tripping down I-75. I’ll definitely have to hit them again!



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