The sun is setting on a humid June day; rain drops hang on the leaves outside and drip lazily onto the deck. Six of us — my parents, Richard, Roger, Trish and myself, a complex set of discerning palates if ever there were — are gathered and are ready to pop the cork on two of Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard’s red wines.
The first wine we decide to open is the 2012 Noiret [nwahr-ay].
On the underside of the cork, tartaric acid crystals had formed, which likely means this wine didn’t completely finish going through cold stabilization — the process of clarifying a wine through cold temperatures — but this doesn’t detract from the wine in a noticeable way.
A gorgeous deep red fills the color of this wine and likely comes from its Chancellor parentage.
Initially, volatile organic compounds are present which hide the pleasant aromas of this wine.
To truly enjoy the aroma, I’d recommend decanting/aerating it to give it a chance to shine. Once the wine was allowed to breathe the aroma burst forth with hints of currant, black pepper and a touch of smokiness that delight the nose.
The flavor echoes the aroma: fresh fruit transitions into a peppery smokiness with mild tannis. Best of all, for all you lovers of acidic wine, this Noiret finishes with copious amounts of acid.
This is a fun wine and should be paired with equally fun foods like burgers or brats. The smokiness of this wine makes it the perfect companion to any bonfire — the kind of bonfire where wispy columns of smoke and embers sashay through the night sky in harmony while friends reminisce, smile, laugh and make plans for the future.
The sun is nearly sunk completely behind the neighbor’s house as the last drops of the Noiret are being finished by the group. Richard slides the bottle of Macabla over to himself. There’s an expectant pop as the cork is released from the bottle.
According to their website, Fruit Hills’ Macabla is a blend of Marquette, Cabernet Franc and Seyval Blanc wines.
Like the Noiret, the Macabla needs time to breathe to be appreciated. Red fruit immediately greets the nose, while secret hints of earthiness build at the end of the aroma.
The fresh red fruit follows through into the flavor of the wine, as does the subtle earthiness. The finish on this wine is nice clean and filled with acid.
The conversation around the table lulls and my mind wanders. I imagine myself with a glass filled with Macabla, sitting in a lawn chair at a cook out and the smell of sizzling meat on the grill. I can’t find anything wrong with the picture in my mind.