This evening my husband and I had the opportunity to taste the current line of wines from Snow Farm Vineyards. This tiny winery in South Hero, Vermont, grows all its own grapes—indeed, it was Vermont's first grape winery, founded in 1995. I'd tasted and reviewed their 2007 Léon Millot last October, and this vintage was included in tonight's tasting along with eight of its brethren. Below are my tasting notes, from whites through reds to dessert wines.
Estate Seyval Blanc, 2008 ($12)
Pale gold, the nose delivers apple and citrus, plus a subtle, buttery edge. On the palate it offers crisp acids and a full, bright pineapple flavor, with a little oak. It finishes a little hot. A good deal for the money.
Snow Farm American Traminette, 2007 ($17.95)
Light gold, it presents with full, almond-honey aromas, plus an odd, almost rubbery note. On the palate it tastes strongly of honey, mixed with pineapple and green apple. Fuller bodied than the Seyval Blanc. It finishes short.
Snow White, 2008 ($12)
Pale gold with almond, citrus, and honey aromas. It's light bodied, with strong acidity to balance its mellow honeyed notes. It delivers a long, acid finish. This blend of Cayuga and Seyval seems somewhat simple after the Traminette; it should perhaps have been tasted sooner.
Estate Léon Millot, 2007 ($14)
Clear, pale red; on the nose I got celery and very little red fruit. On the palate it's peppery and a little bitter, a very light-bodied wine with very little fruit. It finishes short.
Estate Baco Noir, 2008 ($14)
Like the last, this wine is clear, pale red. The nose smells strongly of green pepper and rubber, and there's hardly a hint of any fruit on the palate. It left a quick, bitter finish.
Crescent Bay Red, 2008 ($14)
Light red, it surprised me with its a plummy, deep cherry nose with a little toastiness. Supple on the palate, with ample cherry and a nice complement of bright and dark fruits. It finishes a little short, but this blend of Baco Noir, Leon Millot, and Frontenac is wonderfully balanced and easy to love.
Rose Red, 2008 ($14)
Not a rosé, but a "rose"—a pink wine blended from white and red: Seyval Blanc, Leon Millot, and Frontenac. The color is pale reddish-pink, with a nose that's sweet and a little soapy. This wine is off-dry, but it's also crisp with good apple and strawberry flavors. Again, it has a quick finish, but it's fun and could be a great aperitif wine, served very cold on a very hot day.
Estate Vignoles, 2007 ($25, 375 ml)
This late harvest wine is deep gold. The nose delivers herbal notes, plus honey and orange blossoms, but as with the Traminette, I also caught a hint of rubber. It's huge on the palate, filling the mouth with honeyed fruit. The finish lasts beautifully. This was my husband's choice for Best of Tasting.
Estate Vidal, 2007 ($45, 375 ml)
This true ice wine is the color of light caramel and delivers a huge, waxy noseful of honey, caramel, and pear. On the palate it's even bigger, with spice and honey; it tastes like pears cooked in caramel. The finish lasts forever. This wine is so dense I found that alternating sips with an aged cheese brightened the wine, the cheese providing an earthy ground against which the wine's fruit could shine.
The Estate Vidal was my Best of Tasting because it's so beautifully crafted, but the Crescent Bay Red is a more practical pick as a table wine. I'll look for it again soon.
Updated 9/25/09, noting grape varieties for the blends.
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