Browse Tag


The seven deadly chambourcins

Chaddsford “Portfolio Collection” 2007 Chambourcin Seven Valleys (Pennsylvania) – Blue plum, fat peak-season blueberries, a bit of tar. Succulent fruit with just a bit of gelatinous hybrid marking it as non-vinifera, but I need to stress that is likely only evident because I know what the wine is. Balanced, oaked just the right amount, with good structure. Will it age? I have no experience and thus no idea. I’d be wary; in terms of structure-fruit balance, it actually reminds me of a really good pinotage (it exists, believe it or not), and those do something more akin to “aging” than aging, if you get my drift. This is a lovely little wine, and while “…for a Pennsylvania wine” does come into play here, it’s not as strong a factor as one might think. (9/11)

Row, Chadd

Chaddsford “Proprietors Reserve” 2009 Red (Pennsylvania) – 100% chambourcin, which is pretty much my favorite red hybrid, due to its fascinating potential for both depth and complexity that most hybrids lack, and a proportional capability of avoiding the grape jelly character (“foxiness” to Brits and in the argot). Well, here neither is achieved, and the wine is both candy-grapey and simple-minded. I’ve had this in other vintages and liked it a great deal more, so I’m going to chalk this one up to vintage. (9/11)

No…walk, Chadd

Chaddsford “Proprietors Reserve” 2009 White (Pennsylvania) – Mostly vidal blanc, with some vignoles…and I’m not sure if I should pat myself on the back for guessing vignoles right away, but it most definitely marks this wine with it’s muscat-analogue floral fruitiness; less lurid than muscat and “wetter” (though that may just be a function of ripeness, which was most definitely not in abundance in this vintage), but still a dominant partner in any blend. Overall, there’s just a touch more plastic here than I prefer, but it’s a good, juicy, fun wine for parties, with puckery acidity actually marring the finish a bit. This is better than the red of the same designation, at least in this vintage. (9/11)