Baco Noir Reserve Casscles Vineyard

Baco Noir Reserve Casscles Vineyard

Baco Noir Reserve Casscles Vineyard


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 from Casscles Vineyards. The story of this wine starts at the home of our winemaker Stephen Casscles at Casscles Vineyards Athens at their farm Cedar Cliff. The grapes are grown on the Casscles family property, in small, well-tended vineyard blocks. The vineyard is not far from the Hudson River on the west bank, which gets the benefits of slightly warmer weather afforded it by the Hudson River. This farm was a recreational farm that was probably first planted in pear and cherry trees and some grapes around 1870s and was originally part of the much larger Thorpe Farm. The Casscles started planting grapes in 1990 or 1991. It is an experimental vineyard that grows primarily French-American hybrid grapes. The vines used to make our Baco Noir are more than 20 years old.

The grapes are hand-picked every October off of winding rows, and even a few craggy spots. The grapes are brought to Hudson-Chatham Winery 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.

Steve had been making the wine for years from his vineyard, and won numerous gold medals for it through the years. People in the town of Catskill and Athens were well in the-know about Steve’s wine for years, and his annual release to friends and family was much anticipated and talked about. The wine, when introduced at Hudson-Chatham was an instant success and sold out immediately. It has become something of a cult wine at Hudson-Chatham since it was first introduced in 2008.

This is a handmade wine. No fining. No filtering. Hints of vanilla and cherry are on the nose. The cherry comes through, as does a touch of vanilla in this wonderful, medium bodied red wine of great complexity. It finishes with some spice, dry and smooth. This delightful red has a bright sour cherry profile with big whiffs of plum and vanilla. 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.

Baco Noir Reserve, Casscels Vineyard is a small production, fine wine that has received praise from, Sommelier Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Edible Manhattan, Rural Intelligence, New York Cork Report, All Over Albany, The Fussy Little Blog, and numerous other publications.

baco Gilbert King

Praise for…

Hudson-Chatham 2010 Casscles Reserve Baco Noir (Hudson River Region) – While sweet and cheerful on the nose with scents of spiced cherry pie preserves, the palate on this dry, medium-bodied Baco Noir surprises with significant depth and nuance. Rich and ripe with concentrated blackberry and blueberry fruit, musky rose florals lead to a long, sweet biscuit finish.  87 Points               — A.I., Wine Enthusiast
Lightly scented with notes of black plum, grape and wood spice topped with a  touch of muskiness and a touch of dried cilantro. Bright on entry, this is  medium bodied with a nice base of supple tannins. The fruit is fairly intense,  picking up the black plum notes from the nose, yet a touch simple. More wild  plum notes on the palate are joined by well-measured oak and blackberry notes  that lead to the light, fresh black-fruited finish. Very well done in a style  that gently recalls Northern European red wines. Very gluggable. 85pts – Gregory Dal Piaz,


It really reminds me of a Barbera…With its zippy acidity, and medium light body…[the] 2007 baco noir carried aromas of blackberry and black cherry, and has a wild, brambly quality that added a rustic edge, making me hanker for a long-simmered , tomato-y veal stew.  – Amy Zavatto, Edible Manhattan

Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Reserve Casscles Vineyard 2010 Recommended: A fruity nose with notes if sour cherry and spice leads to a complex palate of red currant and berries, set off by tart acidity. Unfiltered, unfined, and age about 10 months in French oak, producing hints of vanilla. – Patricia Savoie, Sommelier Journal

The 2008 Baco Noir Reserve earned its accolades honestly. A deep-purple ruby it features complex aromas of briar fruit, menthol, and eucalyptus. On the palate, its medium  bodied with vibrant dark berry fruit on a long, earthy finish. A complete wine, it checks in at a refreshingly low 11.5% alcohol. – Christopher Matthews, Rural Intelligence

The 2009 Baco Noir Reserve is a pleasant surprise. While definitely lighter in color and body than the 2008, reflecting the different vintage, it has pretty, floral and plummy aromas reminiscent of Pinot Noir, and bright red fruit with a dash of pepper on the palate. The 2009’s lovely fruit and zesty acidity will make it versatile- and delightful…. – Christopher Matthews, Rural Intelligence

The Hudson-Chatham Winery’s Baco Noir Reserve is a clear and bright garnet. To me it smells of tart red fruit, and offers the impression of strawberries and tart cherries. I also get a little bit of sweet barnyard hay. On the tongue it is less fruity, but it’s filled with bright acidity and enough tannin to give it some structure. The finish leaves me with a lingering notion of cranberries. This wine would go well with something that was rich and did not have a lot of competing flavors, like a simple roast chicken, or bacon wrapped pork loin. – Daniel B. Fussylittleblog

Hudson-Chatham’s version is a silk glove with Burgundian sensibilities—like the hybrid it’s made from it blends the verve and bounce of America with the elegance and nuance of Europe. A style rich with raspberries, sour cherry, lavender and earth—and some cassis lingering on the edges, just a stunning wine. –  Katie Kelly Bell, 

We tasted mostly reds, all reds and I have to say they were nice.   I was very surprised at how nice the 2011  Baco’s were.  2011 was a tough year with the hurricane at harvest…I really liked the 2011 Baco Noir Reserve from Casscles Vineyard in Athens, NY. It was had a very  raspberry, fruity nose and was a tad smokey with a little hint of spice.  This will be great if aged a few years. – Debbie Gioquindo, The Hudson Valley Wine Goddess

The tasting kicked off with the Hudson-Chatham 2009 Baco Noir Reserve. The fruit comes from Casscles Vineyard in Athens, NY and retails for a reasonable $19. Ruby color in glass, an initial nose of red plum, cherry and cranberry with a hint of spice at the end. Plummy, jammy finish. Great acidity with just enough tannin for balance. Overall, an approachable, fruity wine that surprises. 70 cases produced. – Brian Kirby, The Other 46

Baco Noir Reserve 2007  Nose offers red cherry, raspberry and caramel-vanilla aromas. Medium bodied and  a bit rustic, this small production Baco (85 cases) is youthful and a bit tight.  Cherry and blackberry flavors are there, but not expansive. There’s also some  vanilla and oak, which are a bit front-and-center at this point. – Lenn Thompson, New York Cork Report

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. – Lenn Thompson, New York Cork Report
Hudson-Chatham Winery 2010 Casscles Vineyard Reserve Baco Noir ($24): Sour cherry, cranberry, toasty oak, black pepper and vanilla on the nose. Medium body with lively acidity. Crunchy red fruit with black pepper and earth. Juice mid-palate but perhaps a bit short on the finish. – Lenn Thompson, New York Cork Report
Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Reserve 2011 Casscles Vineyard, Extremely delicious Baco Noir from the  Hudson Valley Wine Country. Reminds me a bit of a Cru Beaujolais. -Wendy Crispell, SassySipNYC