My hosts for the weekend are members of the Talon wine club, so we got discounted tasting. Most 1 ounce tastes at Talon are $1, or 6 tastes for $5. A few of their premium wines are $2 for a taste. I tasted a combination of vitis vinifera and hybrid grapes. Most of their wines are still non-vintage dated.
Moondance Pinot Grigio (NV) Kentucky – $21/bottle. Gunsmoke and flint aromas, with an oily body – very Alsatian in style. Some citrus on the tongue. Finishes a little quickly, but still nice.
Traminette (NV) Kentucky – $16/bottle. A spicy/sweet Gewurztraminer-style nose. Off dry with a good, full body. Nice spice notes plus lychee and orange peel, and a touch of star anise. I bought a bottle – recommended.
Reserve Chambourcin (NV) Kentucky – $25/bottle. The reserve bottling of this variety indicates a longer fementation. This has a heady nose with some licorice. A good body for the grape – balanced acidity and berry fruit. Nice.
Syrah (NV) Kentucky – $30/bottle. Some heat on the nose. This is medium bodied, with lots of pepper. I’d consider it a good $10 bottle, but $30 is asking too much.
Cabernet Sauvignon (2008) Kentucky – $29/bottle. Some smoke and bacon on the nose. A medium body for a Cabernet, not particularly fruit-forward. Nothing special.
Monarch Cabernet Franc (2008) Kentucky – $25/bottle. A classic pepper and cedar nose. Too tart on the palate, however. Disappointing.
We hung out for a while at the picnic tables with an afternoon snack, and passed around a bottle of the Coyote Red. This is a blend of Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin; darker than a rosé, so the Chambourcin is the dominant grape in the blend. Very interesting to see how it got sweeter at lower temperatures. A fun wine for $17 a bottle, with great notes of rhubarb – this would be a great wine to have with strawberry shortcake or other fruity summer desserts. I purchased a bottle for the cellar.
My overall impression is that they need to work on concentration of fruit in their reds – their land is flatter, and they may need to do something else with pruning or green cropping to boost the intensity of flavor.