Two weeks ago I tasted a wine that should create a stir, but it probably won't, just because it's from fruit grown in Ohio. The Ohio State University manages a research vineyard on the shore of Lake Erie, and they called Chip Emmerich, winemaker at Burnet Ridge Winery (based on the west side of Cincinnati), and asked him if he could use it. Obviously Chip said yes, since I'm writing about the wine, and he made a first rate wine.
Burnet Ridge generally makes wine from fruit grown in California and shipped on a train to Cincinnati. Burnet Ridge wines are reliably delicious. The most popular wine is called Purple Trillium, a delicious wine made from a blend of Bordeaux varieties. This isn't Chip's first foray into Ohio wine: a few years ago, he made an excellent Pinot Gris, also from Lake Erie fruit.
The Cabernet Franc that I tasted had just been bottled. It had a marvelous floral aroma that kept me coming back for another sniff again and again. So compelling was the aroma that five minutes passed before I actually tasted the wine itself. The wine was treated to some maturation in American oak, but the aroma didn't reveal this at all. It does show up in the flavor profile with a dusty cinnamon quality that is very attractive. Chip tells me that this is because he used Minnesota oak, which has a tighter grain than the more commonly used Missouri oak. Whatever the case, the result is delicious. It has been released, and you can inquire about getting some here.
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