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Saturday, February 17, 2007

2005 Bald Knobb Owl Creek Vineyard

I was at a wine shop and this one caught my eye. We visited this winery about two years ago on a little Midwest wine weekend trip.

Owl Creek is part of the Shawnee Valley Wine Trail and it was one of the best in the region, which is why I jumped on this. If you’re in the mood for a weekend trip, that particular area isn’t bad (I’m assuming you’re within a few hours from Southern Illinois) but don’t expect much in terms of good quality red wine...lots of sweeter white dominates the area.

I think that’s why we liked Owl Creek–they had two excellent dry red wines. This particular one was not available when we visited. It’s made from Chambourcin and ran us about $15 (though it’s cheaper from the winery direct). I was hesitant because the label says “semi dry” but I figured it was worth a shot.

I typically find Chambourcin to be a strange wine and this one is no exception. The nose: big and weird. I can’t really place it...I’ll settle for raspberry jam and there’s also some spice.

The palate is more strangeness: almost effervescent with acid, big plum, peach, blueberry fruit, maybe some honey, and a touch of black pepper. I’m not sure if this has seen oak, I don’t really taste any, but there’s a lot going on here if it hasn’t. I think “semi dry” is an accurate description as it’s not dry, but it’s not terribly sweet either. No tannins, but the acidity which is interesting at first gets to be a bit overbearing after a while. I think this could benefit from a slight chill, so throw it in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so before drinking.

The finish fades quickly and leaves nothing discernable with perhaps a little bit of black pepper residue.

I’d compare it to a Beaujolais, but I’ve never had a Beaujolais this interesting. If you’ve never had Chambourcin and want to try one, I’d put this one as one of my top recommendations.

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