Remember the world before the COVID-19 crisis? In March of this year the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the LCBO, and a handful of boutique wine importing agencies launched an ambitious project to bring a ‘Boldly, NY’ showcase of some of the best wines of the Empire State to Ontario. The plan was to introduce local wine enthusiasts to treasures from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes through this promotion at the LCBO website, and make the wines available online… then COVID struck and like so many plans in March, things didn’t quite go as expected.
The good news is that the wines have been safely stored in the LCBO’s climate controlled warehouse and are still very much available through their online shop. Back in the early spring NYWGF got the esteemed wine writers and critics David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato to host a series of video tastings of each wine with the legendary New York City sommelier and Terroir Wine Bar restaurateur, Paul Grieco. Good Food Revolution is working with New York Wines to help get this story out and connect Ontario wine enthusiasts and GFR readers with eight ‘Boldly, NY‘ wines rarely seen on this side of the border.
The first wine we’re featuring is the Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco 2018 ($34.90 – LCBO# 695469) from the Long Island AVA. Read Jamie’s notes and summer pairing recommendations below. Watch the video below for d’Amato, Grieco and Lawrason’s notes and impressions, as well as winemaker James Christopher Tracy’s introduction to the wine. And then follow the instructions on how to order however many bottles you’d like from the LCBO online shop. – Malcolm Jolley, July 2020
Jamie Drummond’s Notes on the Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco 2018
Every so often I pick up a glass of wine and it pushes all the right buttons whilst checking all the correct boxes simultaneously; the 2018 Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco is one of those wines.
It’s undeniably dextrous, frisky, and nimble on its feet, but with a fair bit of nuanced complexity that’s easy to miss amid its sheer enjoyability, shattering the widely held understanding that lighter/medium styles of wine are inherently simple “one trick ponies”. The bottle I cracked open last night was a veritable inverse Pandora’s box of vinous pleasure.
This particular vintage is an eccentric mix of both Gallic and Teutonic-ish varietals, being made up of Merlot (64%), Cabernet Franc (26%), Blaufrânkisch (6%), and Dornfelder (4%), each individual element bringing something to the party, and, most intriguingly, holding their own banner aloft amidst the glorious melee of olfactory and gustatory delights that is Rosso Fresco.
The ambient/wild fermentation doesn’t really bring any sense of hands-off winemaking artifact to the mix (something I so often have issues with with many more “natural” bottlings), but allows the pure and perfumed fruit to shine through, and this is a truly wondrous thing in my opinion.
Speaking of fruit, you’ll find a rich luscious dark plumpness, akin to ripe dark plums (Hello there Merlot!), surrounded by a delightfully snappy cranberry crunch (Dornfelder), with subtle piquant floral (Blaufrânkisch) and pleasantly herbaceous (Cabernet Franc) notes. Together, the delectable whole is undeniably greater than the sum of its parts. Bravo on that assemblage, as that level of synergy is sadly amiss in so many blends I have tasted over the years.
The palate is a rather fine balance of push and pull, with silky smooth tannins surrounding the Merlot’s darker fruit core, exquisitely crunchy acidity lifting the warm roundness, leading to a persistent and satisfying multi-layered finish. Another glass? Yes please.
All in all, this is one of the most enjoyable and pleasurable wines I have had the pleasure of tasting in 2020. It’s just such a pity that they only made 818 cases of the stuff. Grab a few bottles while you can.
HOW TO GET THE WINE
Order this wine, and any of the eight Boldly, NY wines available in Ontario at the online shop at this special LCBO Discover The Wines of New York page. Order for home delivery or store pick-up following the instructions provided.
Watch GFR every week for a new featured Boldly, NY wine, offered in Ontario for a limited time, while stocks last.
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