Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New England Wine Reviews – Jewell Towne Vineyards Steuben

This week I opened a bottle of Steuben made by Jewell Towne Vineyards located in South Hampton, NH. I am lucky enough to have had a nice variety of wines from Jewell Towne, both because they aren’t far away, but even better because our local grocery and liquor stores carry them. We have been out to the winery twice and know Peter Oldak, the owner and winemaker, from our membership as amateurs in the New Hampshire Winery Association. We see him and the winery staff most often now at tasting events like Live Free and Wine held in May this year.

This wine has a pale red color and very much looks like a rosé. The taste is unique, with what I immediately felt tasted like a cross between a dry Muscat and Niagra. The aroma is reminiscent of a light Muscat as well. I tasted some tart cherry and red raspberries. Margot thought this wine was the one she has had that tasted the most like a fruit wine, our Strawberry was in fact the example. I agree, although the Niagra sensation to me screams green grape. We mixed this and another wine up when we last purchased wine at the tasting room, meaning it didn’t come home with us, so when I saw it in the store I figured we could give it another whirl.

What information I could easily find about the grape is that is a 1947 release from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, New York with a stated parentage of Wayne & Sheridan, but nothing more to support that. It is a French and Native-American hybrid with a slight amount of the “foxiness” attributed to Native-American grapes also derived from the labrusca vitis, like Concord.

The blue-black grape lends itself to traditional rosé making, i.e. some soak time of skins and juice before pressing and primary fermentation.

At the winery’s web site the wine is described as an off-dry rosé with aromas of strawberry, pineapple and mulberry. The mulberry is starting to grow on me from my limited past experience. I feel the wine is focused enough that the berry is there, but just a different berry.

The wine is medium-bodied, very drinkable with a long tart finish. It also screams summer like it’s rosé brethren. The wine is medium to off-dry with plenty of zip for most people; no dessert wine here.

At a price point of $12.99 I feel I got a great deal on a wonderfully drinkable bottle of sociable summery wine. I’d easily recommend this to anyone looking to focus on a unique wine from a small winery on the New England seacoast.




Winelady Cooks said...

Thanks for doing the tough job of tasting for us. The Steuben sounds interesting. I especially like rose wines for summer so I'll have to try and track this down and give it a try.


Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

Sounds like a great winery and wine. Do they sell it in California??

Magic of Spice said...

Great review...I have not tried anything by them. Will have to take a look at some of the wine stores. I don't think I have seen any at the grocery store?