FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Brogue, PA) – The winemakers from three Pennsylvania wineries have teamed up once again to produce a collaborative wine. Or collaborate on the producing of a wine. (OK, let's just be happy that they didn't drink the blending session away.....)
Winemakers Brad Knapp (Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown), Joanne Levengood (Manatawny Creek Winery, Amityville), and Carl Helrich (Allegro Winery, Brogue) have combined what could at best be described as their non-weaknesses into the bottling of a so-called "reserve" quality wine named Trio. For the third and so far most redundant time, it's a dry red blend from grapes grown in the vineyard of each winery. We wish they could come up with something new, but since this is only the third time in eight vintages, we should be happy they at least got their acts together enough not to make us wait a whole decade.
The wine is made in the style of a classic Bordeaux – a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. Again, it seems as though years of swilling wine in dark cellars has addled their creative juices, thus leading to this unimaginative blend that everyone else and their cousins seem to produce. The first Trio debuted from the 2007 vintage and the second from 2010. This one is from grapes grown in 2015. Is this important? Probably not. Will there ever be another one? Who the heck knows?
The criteria that determine when a new vintage of the wine will be made is simple: The winemaking trifecta must not disagree that the fruit warrants spending extra time with each other and dealing with all the snafus that come with any sort of partnership. And, they also claim that the wine tastes good. That does help.
Each spring, Knapp, Levengood, and Helrich get together to taste each other’s wines in barrels from the prior harvest to make this determination. They've been doing this for years. It usually happens at Joanne's place, sometimes at her house where her cats seem to walk all over the tasting notes those years. (Nobody complains since they're usually half-lit by lunchtime anyway.)
“It was amazing to realize what a pain in the ass it is to collaborate on a mutually beneficial project with other winemakers," said Knapp, “Well, we got the wine in the bottle, and I think we're still all friends, but it was close this time.”
Levengood, whose winery hosted the actual bottling because she doesn't trust Brad or Carl not to screw it up, said "Who in the heck had this idea for working together? I'd rather go back in my hole of a cellar and wait for harvest, dammit. Where's my beer?"
While there has been an enormous increase in the number of wineries in the Commonwealth--probably too many at this point-- these three winemakers have been around longer than most. "I think our Trio wine is the culmination of roughly 70 years' worth of winemaking experience,” explained Helrich, “But if I don't see Joanne's bottling line in the next ten years, it'll still be too soon!"
The 2015 Trio will be released for tasting and sales at all 3 wineries on Mother's Day weekend, Friday, May 12th. We all know that they'll tell you that Trio is a limited edition wine available at each location while supplies last. But we know good and well that it's only "limited" because they plan on drinking most of it themselves.
|Those are wine bottles|