March 29th-Baco Noir

Baco Noir is a hybrid red grape resulting from a cross of an American and a Vitis grape variety. It was created by a French botanist, François Baco, in 1902. Baco Noir was originally planted across France but presently is much more common in the Finger Lakes and Hudson River regions of upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. The number of plantings has been increasing over the last 15+ years with the increasing popularity of the grape. The resulting wines have a sharp acidity, making them ideal to pair with many types of cuisine.

Last week, I found my first Baco Noir while visiting the Finger Lakes region. I tried a 2019 Heron Hill Baco Noir during my tasting. Heron Hill was started by John and Josephine Ingle in 1977 and they continue to own the winery to this day. When seeking tastings, I was impressed by the variety of wines they offered and was excited for my tasting experience. When the Baco Noir was poured, I noted it had a light, bright ruby color with pale legs. Aromas of red and black cherries, cranberries, red currants and a hint of smoke rose from the glass. The dry wine had a bright acidity with a moderate level of alcohol and low level of tannin. It was a lighter bodied wine with flavors of red fruit on the palate, including unripe pie cherries, cranberry juice, raspberries, under ripe wild strawberries and red currants. There was also an earthy minerality to the wine that continued on the lengthy finish. This was a wine to drink now while it has its vibrant character.  This bottle would pair great with tomato based dishes, BBQ, hamburgers, fattier types of fish, and chili.


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