Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stoney Ridge 2004 Forte - $14.95 (375ml)

The buzz over at the Ridge, besides the new winemaker I mean, is that they have made a “Port”. Now before ya’ll go running out to Stoney Ridge to buy Canadian “port” let me quickly point out that what they are calling ‘port’ is a bit of a misnomer – it’s a fortified; and as we all know, not all fortified wine is Port. Port is usually dense, very sweet and very luscious … this wine lacks the density and a high sweetness level (I’d say it is about a 4 or a 5), the luscious is up to you. What I can tell you is that the smells are plumy, pruney and raisiny, while in the mouth it’s sweet black cherry, very smooth with a little tannin bite on the finish … there’s even a kick from some spices. It’s a wine made from Baco Noir and Cabernet Franc – as a quick aside, when I was in New York State this past summer I had the pleasure of trying a 100% Baco Noir port that had all the port-like characteristics; but this effort from Stoney Ridge is not “port” in the traditional sense. Don’t get me wrong, this fortified wine (19% alcohol) is very tasty, well made and great for dessert (especially for those not into the intensity or sweetness of icewine or real port) and I can say without a doubt it is priced very well. But I can’t stress enough: it is not “Port”, which is Portuguese for sweet and luscious. But the name of this wine, if taken literally, says it all – it’s “Forte” (French for “strong”), which rhymes with “Porte” – French for “carry” – meaning you’ll want to take some with you once you try it.

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