Monday, December 10, 2012

More Indiana: Chateau de Pique and Madison Vineyards

My touring of Indiana's wineries continues and there is good news and bad news.
Chateau de Pique provided the good news.  The setting is mostly idyllic.  That they hosted many weddings came as no surprise.
They grow their own cabernet franc (pictured above) although it turned out that the current offerings still came from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  The vines above should allow estate bottling starting with the 2012 vintage.
We tasted with the winemaker, the very engaging John McMahan (spelling?):
2009 chambourcin: I found it a bit tart, with a high-toned profile, featuring strawberry and light, red raspberry.  Although the tannin overwhelmed the fruit a bit on the finish, I liked the wine - it was tasty and the tannic bite could easily be handled with some food.
2009 cabernet franc: This was smoky and intense with deep, red fruit, darker than the chambourcin.  Apparently it ages for more than a year (two?) in bourbon barrels, which must be in good supply here in Kentuckiana.  I found that aspect of the wine a bit odd but it was certainly drinkable.  A spicy quality highlighted the finish.
2010 cabernet franc: Also from the Finger Lakes.  This was much more to my liking and had a classic cab franc nose.  The palate was simple and even a bit grapey but had elegance the 2009 lacked.  I thought this was delicious with real varietal character and plenty of the acidity that makes the wine so food friendly.
Then we headed to Madison Vineyards.  The visit was odd, right from the start.  The gentleman behind the counter seemed ill-at-ease with the entire situation, although he was certainly engaging and meant well.  The order of wines presented made no sense and he talked us out of tasting a prticular white wine (perhaps to his credit).
They claim all estate wines but the first one poured had about twenty percent Washington State fruit.  This was the Dimensions 2007, made from estate cabernet sauvignon and some cabernet franc mentioned above.  It was intensely purple in color with a meaty and minerally palate.  The minerality bordered on chalky and left me underwhelmed.
We also tasted a Ba Da Bing red and white.  Blend information was not provided but a handful of people arrived at this point, distracting our tour guide.  My tasting partner said the Rosso smelled of urine but I found it light, juicy, simple and drinkable.  The Bianco was dry and pinot grigio-esque, but it was awkward and inelegant.  We left here empty-handed.

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