Friday, February 5, 2010

Cedar Ridge Vineyards 5 Seasons Red

Our local winery was my next addition to the Iowa Wino blog as I think its important to support local. I've had this wine on multiple occassions both at the winery and in the comfort of my own home with friends.
5 Seasons Red is a blend of St Croix, Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Geneva Red and Merlot. To me this wine is close to a Pinot but more full bodied.

In the glass I get a smell of cherry and raspberry with a hint of spice at the end. The taste in the beginning is very raspberry, dark cherry and a spice/earth finish. I've spoken with a few Iowa wine makers and asked why all reds (or what seem to me all reds) have a bitter/earthy taste on the finish. Multiple explanations dealt with the vines and how these hybrid vines are developed to withstand our at sometimes extremely cold Iowa winters. The vines are hearty and this leads to a very earthy red wine. Distinct unique flavor and one you should try. Check out their website at



Brad "Iowine" Johnson said...

Hey Dan,

Why the funky, hybrid flavors? I agree it is probably an artifact of the varietal but I think as much, if not more, is in how we (the winemakers) manage the fermentation. Marechal Foch, for example, if you were to macerate this French-American hybrid for more than a few hours (at regular fermentation temperatures) you'd have something indescribably nasty -- very "Fochy" as some of us describe it. So, in my opinion, these hybrids just need a different approach: short skin contact (if any), cool fermentation for the whites, and maybe even a heat extraction for the reds to by-pass skin contact all-together.

Welcome to midwestern wines. Lots of winemakers have figured this out already...and the ones that haven't...we'll, you'll quickly figure out who they are.

Brad Johnson
(Two Wine Brothers)

lakerpolo said...

Hi Dan,

I concur with Brad... one of our varieties to be another example is Sabrevois, if you have to long of a cold maceration the wine will have a smokey or bacon hints in the bouqet...

We only use Foch for our Nouveau-style wine, (also 4% Foch in "In the Dark") but we have found the midwestern varieties St. Croix, Sabrevois, (hopefully Marquette) to make good to excellent wines.. Any you will find a lot of Foch wines around the Midwest.

As the winemakers continue to master the grapes they are working with the wines will continue to improve! Which will bode well for local wine consumers too!

Derek Whittington
Tassel Ridge Winery