On the evening of May 31, we hosted a sold-out Library Tasting featuring a vertical tasting of Barrel-Select Noiret. This event was a fun and informative way to learn about our wines, and how wines age. Throughout the evening, guests had the opportunity to speak with owners and winemakers about the wines and the winemaking process. Guests sampled the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintage years of Liberty Vineyards Barrel-Select Noiret. The 2010 was available in our tasting room on the night of the event (but has since sold out), but all of the others were no-longer-available vintages that had been put up in our wine library.
Owner Gary Burmaster began the evening’s discussion with a bit of history and information about the Noiret grape. The Noiret grape was bred at Cornell University in 1973 and was commonly known as “New York 73” until 2006, when, after years of test growing and winemaking, the grape was deemed worthy of a name–Noiret. Gary also talked a bit about growing the grape at Liberty Vineyards.
After Gary’s discussion, consulting winemaker, Bob Green, led guests through a sensory analysis of the wine–we looked, we smelled and we tasted each year’s vintage. The 2007 wine was very silky and fruity, while the 2008 was earthier and spicier. The 2009 vintage displayed fruit notes similar to the 2007, while the 2010 had earthy notes similar to the 2008. The differences between the vintages were attributed not only to aging, but to the differences in growing conditions each year as well. As a special treat, guests were able to sample the unfinished 2013 Noiret out of the tank–the wine was completely “naked” with no oak chips or time spent in a barrel.
With the tasting, we all enjoyed a variety of international meats and cheeses as well as bread and melon to enhance the tasting. It was fun to experiment with pairing the different cheeses and other foods with the wines.
At the end of the evening, we took an informal poll to see which vintage most people preferred. While all the vintages were very tasty, the 2007 received the most votes, with the 2008 following closely behind (although each wine had its admirers–and all received votes).