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Baco Noir (pronounced BA-koh NWAHR; Baco noir is also called Baco 1) is a hybrid red wine grape variety produced from a cross of Vitis vinifera var. (Folle Blanche, a French wine grape) and an unknown variety of Vitis riparia (an indigenous North American grape species). Baco Noir was first created by French wine hybridizer Maurice Baco (hence the name of the grape).
Baco Noir was originally bred to replace Pinot Noir during the phylloxera epidemic during the 1800s. It produces a medium body, deeply tinted, acidic red wine which is fruit forward and often carries aromas of black fruits and caramel.
Baco Noir Reserve Block Three is grown at our North Creek Vineyard at Hudson-Chatham. Block Three was planted four years ago, and has now finally come into its own. The block is planted with two varieties of Baco Noir. The first variety down below is the heartier and darker Finger Lakes variety which is ubiquitous in that region. The second, top half of the vineyard, is planted with the French/Hudson Valley variety, which has very dark berries, but which produces a light quality of wine, and which harvest about two weeks ahead of the Finger Lakes variety.
The grapes are hand-picked in October on the very steep slope that Block 3 is planted on. The grapes are brought to the crush pad where they were de-stemmed. At least one quarter to two-thirds of the fermentation is done with whole clusters. Steve believes in carbonic maceration, which gives a very pretty sense of fruit to the final finished wine. The must is then pressed by hand, the old fashioned way, in a 100-year old wood basket screw press. The juice is fermented in stainless-steel, and then transferred to neutral French oak barrels. All done by hand.
Then the wine sits for about 6 months in these casks, with a few carboys of wine that was also aged separately, with no oak. This was all according to plan. After six months, we take the best two of the three barrels we made, and blend them with the 10 or so unoaked gallons of wine.
This is a handmade wine. No fining. No filtering. Hints of vanilla and cherry are on the nose. Bright Bing cherry comes through in a flash, and is accompanied by a hint of vanilla in this wonderful, medium bodied red wine of great complexity. Plum and red currant also come through. It finishes with some spice, dry and smooth. An incredible soft, medium-bodied wine that will age well for years. This wine is excellent with cheese, pork, chicken, pasta, and other gourmet meals.