Taste & Nose: Big and brawny? Blended in a Bordeaux style? Something different altogether, perhaps lighter in the fashion of an Oregon Pinot Noir? Yes, Yes, and maybe even, yes.. Baco can take many forms depending on the direction chosen by the vintner, but generally speaking, you will notice flavors of cherry and raspberry. From the dark color you would expect bold and earthy flavors, but it is surprisingly fruity in both aromas and flavor. Baco is high in acid, low in tannin, and just the right amount of uniqueness. Some folks even note hints of lavender. We have had versions of Baco that range from semi-sweet to sweet.
Pairing: Baco Noir is a meat-eaters best friend (like spaghetti and meatball, Scooby and Shaggy). Try it with burgers, ribs, or even lamb kebobs if you feel like going all the way out on a limb. Due to the low tannins in the wine and the higher amount of fat retained in the meat, you will be able to notice the full fruit flavor in the wine. Thanks in part to the high acidity, dishes based around tomato sauce will also work wonders on the palate. An open bottle of Baco calls for my absolute favorite of the tomato sauce dishes, homemade pizza.
Selection: Based on the idea of a gateway red and the unique profile of this particular wine, Dale Hollow chose to include this varietal in the initial planting. More about this story is detailed below, but above all else, we are excited to work with such a unique wine: dark in color and abundant in fruit flavors and aroma. It is also a hardy grower that does well in our climate and thick soil. It has been said to be capable of being light like a Burgundy style Pinot Noir or a “rustic” version of Cabernet Sauvignon. We will definitely enjoy this: a versatile vintner challenge for Asher; and to those drinking it, a new experience altogether.
Parentage: Vitis vinifera and vitis riparia
A Bottle? I’ll Have a Case, Please.
Research: From reading about cold hardiness zones, disease resistance charts, and simply touring regional wineries, we had a good idea which grapes we could grow for winemaking. However, this told us nothing about taste. Our mission (and we chose to accept it) was to drink as much local wine as possible and decide on our favorites. We knew which grapes could grow, we just need to figure out which ones made exceptional wine. Obviously, we aren’t looking at copying other vintner’s methods but it’s nice to have a benchmark and they should consider it a compliment.
Rising Sons (2009/2010)
Rising Sons Winery out of Lawrenceburg, KY: A destination full of good cheer and no shortage of wine enthusiasm.
It was their Baco Noir that came to be my “gateway red”, with semi-sweet qualities that allowed the fruit flavors to shine through. Thanks in large part to this winery and this varietal in particular, my eyes, nose, and mouth were opened to the world of red wine.
Gateway Red: You may remember the red or white wine that turned you on to a new and exciting appreciation of the stuff. Like the arch in St. Louis and the symbolic gateway to the west that it has always stood for, certain wines can open the door to you and your exploration of this newfound world of wine. For me, it was Baco Noir and very quickly thereafter, Norton.
In 2013, Baco Noir hit the “big time” when it was mentioned by a contributor to Forbes:
“Well, I’m not sure it’s THE MOST quintessentially American, but it definitely American. Vitis riparia is one of the parents of the grape, and it has the widest and largest geographical range of any of the North American Vitis species. It is present across nearly the entire eastern half of North America and the most western portions of the Great Plains, and has also been found in Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Regardless, I’m in love with it; Baco can be so many things. You can make it big and brawny, and make a more Bordeaux style of wine with it if you blend it (it’s a great blender), or you can baby it and make it into something special on its own.”
Baco Noir is a lesser known varietal; but as with any wine, fame can be found in a flash, can last a moment, or can become the symbol for a region that lasts generations. It will be interesting to see how its fate unfolds.
Full Forbes article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/10/01/does-the-wine-glass-make-a-difference-in-enjoying-wine/