Snus Hill Winery 2008 Frontenac

Snus Hill 2008 FrontenacThis red table wine is an excellent example of a dry red Iowa wine. Not all wines made in Iowa have to be sweet, even if that is the regional preference.  The wine itself is garnet, has “legs” (an indication of higher alcohol content), and is semi-transparent. It has a fruity smell, but the taste is oak, tannin, pepper, and then fruit. It is somewhat opinionated oaky and strong. This is not a pinot noir. The bottle says that it is barrel aged for 10 months. I sometimes judge a wine by whether two of us down the whole bottle in a single sitting.  We got about 60% through this bottle, but that isn’t bad considering that this is a strong wine. 

Just a quick note. Frontenac is a hardy French-American variety. According to the label, the grapes are indeed grown in Iowa.  The term “table wine” means that under TTB regulations (formerly known as the ATF), the wine has between 7 and 14% alcohol. It does not mean, as it might in Europe, that it is a lower quality wine.

If you are fond of dry oaky red wines but have had trouble finding a Iowa red wine to try, I recommend the Frontenac.


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