By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief


The Hudson River Region has a clear-cut signature white grape variety — Seyval Blanc.

On the red side of things, the most planted grape seems to be De Chaunac, but I don't know any winemakers who are excited about it. It's so widely planted because it's easy to grow. Period.

Baco noir is only being bottled varietally by a handful of wineries in the region, but it seems to show the most potential among the hybrids that thrive along the Hudson River, and Benmarl Winery in Marlboro, NY has been growing it and making wine from it for decades. In fact, it's a bit of a cult wine among its fans.

The Benmarl Winery 2008 Baco Noir ($28) shows classic baco cherry character with a little dried fruit/raisin and some spice.

Simple on the palate with sour cherry and plum fruit with subtle raisin and sassafras notes. Juicy up front, the low tannins are supple on the mid-palate before the acidity firms on the finish — to the point of being a bit harsh.

Producer: Benmarl Winery
AVA: Hudson River Region
Brix at harvest: 20.5
pH: 3.51
TA: 8.4 g/l
Oak Program: 13 months in 2-4 year old French oak
ABV: 12.3%

Price: $27*

Cases Produced: 151 cases
Rating:  20 (2 out of 5 | Average)

(Ratings Guide)