By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

Hudchat_08bacoOf the red wine hybrids, baco noir is among my favorites. And, based on the few examples that I've had from the Hudson River Region, it seems like a variety with a real future there, especially if more wineries plant it and really focus on it. The region needs a signature red variety and it doesn't seem as though any vinifera is ready to step up.

Hudson-Chatham Winery is a relatively new winery but its already established itself as one of the more quality-focused producers, one that is embracing what the region can do best rather than apologizing for it.

In that vein, not only are they making baco noir, they have already positioned it as one of their flagship wines.

Hudson-Chatham 2008 Baco Noir Reserve ($21) shows ripe black cherry and plum aromas on the nose with a little cranberry and a healthy dose of vanilla and oak.

Rich and fuller bodied, there is an intensity to the black cherry flavors here with vanilla to round it out. Layers of chocolate and oak bring a little complexity before a sour cherry/cranberry note emerges on the medium-length finish.

Fresh, but balanced, acidity provides most of the structure here, keeping it from being too soft or flabby. Acidity isn't uncommon in red hybrids, but it's not excessively high here like it can be.

It's fruity, but not as simple as some baco noirs I've had. The oak is perhaps a bit obvious right now, but I'm curious to see how this one ages in bottle.

Producer: Hudson-Chatham Winery
AVA: New York
ABV: 11.5%
Price: $21*
25 (2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good)
(Ratings Guide)