Spring has sprung, and that means that area wineries are--or soon will be--pouring their latest bounty for everyone to enjoy. We touched base with five of the most popular wineries around to see what they have in store for fans of the grape this season.
"Our 2012 whites are just fabulous across the board," according to Chuck Dressel of Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta. "I've never had wines with this much flavor and aroma." While the latest drought was hard on many crops, Dressel says it helped produce some fine grapes and consequently, some exceptional wines. He says Mount Pleasant's 2012 Vignoles is a great dramatic wine, due out in mid- to late-April, while the 2010 Villagio, a white blend in a pinot-grigio style, should prove to be a big winner, as well. Crisp, dry and very fruit-forward, it should be out by Memorial Day. Dressel says the winery's tawny port, which has garnered quite the cult following, also will be back in circulation come April.
Another popular wine that hasn't been available for a bit is the 2012 Dry Vignoles from Nobleis Vineyards, also in Augusta. Owner Bob Nolan says the wine, which sold out last September after a summer release, will hit stores again at the end of April. He says vignoles tend to be more of a semi-sweet style, but this expression has no added sweetness. It's sourced completely from Nobleis' estate vineyards.
Chuck Gillentine, chief executive of Chandler Hill Vineyards in Defiance, has two new nortons, a non-vintage offering and a 2012 that he says "will blow people away. It's unlike any norton I've tried." Chandler Hill also will have a big and juicy 2012 Chamborcin and a 2012 Vignoles available this spring, as well as its 2011 Chamborcin. But oenophiles need to act fast when that wine debuts: Gillentine says there will be just 48 cases available. Speaking of nortons, Randy Hamann, co-owner of Weingarten Vineyard in Ste. Genevieve, is planning on presenting an exceptional 2010 Norton, as well as a 2010 Chardonelle, to the public this spring. Both wines will have done time in Missouri oak barrels.
Sometimes, rosés don't get the attention they deserve, but Hank Johnson, owner of Chaumette Winery & Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve, aims to change that. The winery will be uncorking another of its popular dry rosés this spring, and Johnson says, "we think this is the best yet." The wine, made with chamborcin grapes, is great for sipping solo on the patio on a warm spring day and is also a good bridge between white and red wines. It pairs well with hearty fish or fowl, as well as lighter beef dishes, lamb and pork. Chaumette also will be bowing two vignoles for the season, one dry and one semi-dry.