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Tasting at Vintner’s Cellar Winery, North Conway, New Hampshire

Here’s another post from the wedding trip,and this one is all about the wine.  Just off Route 16, or the White Mountain Highway, in downtown North Conway is Vintner’s Cellar.  It’s set back from the road down a little alley, so you have to look for it.  It’s on the same side as the train station, between that and the rock shop.  This is definitely worth stopping in.

Vintner's CellarThey do small batch wines, from juice and concentrate.  While that may not sound too exotic I suggest you try growing Cabernet Sauvignon in the White Mountains before you dismiss it.  And really, you will be hard pressed to find such a wide assortment of grape varietals turned into wine at any other establishment. They do everything here.  Whites, reds, fruit infused, clean, wood, you name it.  They also will help you design your own wine and then make it for you, which would be really cool for a function.  I personally prefer the double magnum of 2004 Brunello we opened at the wedding, but I didn’t have 200 people to deal with.  So, onto the wines.

This is what we tried.  They had more, a lot more.  So many here that they even have a hard time keeping up with them.  What’s on the tasting menu might not actually be what’s available for sale.  The labels fly fast and furious as well.  To be fair, some of these are pretty similar in style, but there are nuances and some really tasty wines.

Chardonnay – lightly oaked, this had a nice fruity nose and some fruit on the palate.  The flavors were a bit underdeveloped though, and I was not overwhelmed.  This we did not buy and would not.

Reisling (that’s how they spell it)- Excellent Riesling all around.  Pear, citrus flavors and off dry.  Some length here as well and the aftertaste was smooth.  Overall very yummy, and we brought some of this home.  Alex loved it.

Merlot – light to medium bodied.  This was complex, with subtle oak and good length.  It had pretty classic Merlot flavors and was quite good.  We didn’t buy it, but it was good and worth considering.

Vieux Chateau du Roi – this is a pretty classic red blend.  Red fruit on the nose and palate leads to a rather long finish.  It’s not really dry either, with just a touch of residual sugar.  Overall this is pretty good and we bought a bottle.

Valpolicella – who would have thought they’d be making good Valpolicella in North Conway.  Not me, that’s for sure.  But they do.  This is pretty classic in flavor, on the lighter side but not unlike many Valpolicellas I’ve had.  Nice fruit, good length, and tastes like a quality wine.  We bought this as well.

French Cabernet – this was pretty light bodied, and had the tiniest bit of tannin in the background.  With decent length it was good, but just too light for my taste.  It’s a blend of several of their Cabernets.  I wonder how many they have?

Malbec – this is a winner, and is probably the most complex of the wines we tasted here.  It has spice, with light oak and really good length.  We bought a couple of these for the cellar.

Cabernet/Shiraz – another winner.  This was light to medium bodied, had good fruit and a little spice.  This was also complex, but just a teeny bit beneath the Malbec.  We bought this as well.

Trinity Red – a Bordeaux style blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon and Merlot.  Pretty light in body it has some good flavors.  For the price you can buy a bottle of Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux that will be better and y0u can drink the real thing.  Far too light for me.

New Zealand Pinot Noir – halfway around the world now.  This was also light bodied, and also a little bitter with very restrained fruit.  This to me is a miss.  I did not like it.

Australian Cab – this also did not work for me – maybe it’s a thing with the juice from that area.  This almost had a fizzy quality to it.  There were none of the classic cabernet flavors.  It wasn’t unpleasant, but I wouldn’t buy it.

Nebbiolo – wasn’t expecting this, but here it is.  Unfortunately it really doesn’t come across as Nebbiolo.  It’s light, and that’s not a crime, but it just doesn’t taste like Nebbiolo,and Nebbiolo has a pretty distinctive flavor profile.  It says Nebbiolo, but don’t try it and think this is what that variety is supposed to be like.  Not a keeper, although it is a pleasant wine in its own right.

That’s it, as if it isn’t enough.  We essentially went around the world of wine in one small winery in the mountains of New England.  Crazy isn’t it?  I wanted to ask them where the rioja blend and the carmenere were, but they probably would have pulled one out of a closet somewhere.

This was fun.  You should go if you’re in the area.  And by the way, the wines are good.

Particulars:

Vintner’s Wine Cellar

Physical Address: 2724 White Mountain Highway Tarberry Building
North Conway Village, NH
GPS Coordinates: N44.01.801′ W071.07.128′
Mailing Address: PO Box 5002-202
North Conway, NH 03860
Phone: 603-356-WINE (9463)
Email: winemaker2@myfairpoint.net
Website: www.mwvwine.com

 

 

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