Monday, October 21, 2013

They Make Wine There: Missouri Edition

Deep in the heart of the midwest, you'll find Boulevard Brewing Company crafting some of the finest brew Kansas City has ever seen.

Kansas is that Kansas, or Missouri?

Missouri...or Missoura?

One could argue the intricacies of pronunciation all day long, but we'd rather you crack open a cold one and read along as we tell you the tale of an improbable wine coming out of Kansas City, Missouri.

The Story

You see, in 2006, Boulevard opened a new brewing facility with a quite delightful event space incorporated into the venue. With wide eyes and a brewery downstairs, dreams of hosting weddings and other beer-fueled moments of joy soared throughout the Boulevard team.

Imagine their disgust upon learning that Boulevard didn't have a license to sell their beer onsite. Furthermore, according to Missouri's backwards alcohol laws, breweries aren't even eligible for retail licenses. Finding the notion of bringing outside kegs in to an event venue on Boulevard's property wholly unacceptable, enter Boulevard Wines. Believe it or not, Missouri law does in fact allow wine manufacturers to sell alcoholic beverages on lickety split Boulevard set up a little winery operation and the rest is history.

Initially importing California fruit, in 2010 Boulevard starting producing about 350 cases per year using homegrown Missouri grapes which is how the Henry County 2009 Cabernet Franc came to my palate.

It actually came via my friends Drew and Kate who attended a wedding recently in Kansas City and were gratious enough to bring a bottle back to share.

So yes, Missouri...they make wine there!

The Wine

So say the winery:
In the rolling hills of west central Missouri, our tiny vineyard is nestled in a pastoral paradise of family farms, meandering streams, and hardwood forest. This estate-grown Cabernet Franc pours a deep ruby color, with an inviting aroma of black fruits, cassis, and spice. On the palate, layers of blackberry, plum, and currant reveal earthy notes with hints of pepper and tobacco.
So say Josh, Drew, Kate, and Gomer (the cat):

Upon pouring into three glasses and a cat dish, we found the wine was accurately described visually with a deep red and slightly rusty notes. Drew mentioned that the vineyard is likely on an old tobacco field, which might influence the fruit.

Kate immediately commented that the wine smelled like an anorexic cab, and Drew got notes of gasoline which I echoed with some pepper. Gomer picked up hints of tobacco; American Spirit, not Camel. Classy cat.

Upon tasting, we found the wine to be spicy and tart; Drew indicated it was "pretty good" and Kate guzzled it down commenting that it was better than other Missouri wines. I didn't realize there were other Missouri wines.

All in all, we found the Henry County wine to be more fruit forward that the gassy nose would have led us to believe. Once you get over the conflict of the smell and the taste, it's one of the better "They Make Wine There?" offerings that I've had.

Not that it compares to a Washington cab, but after all, what does?


Post a Comment