For those naysayers out there who are still clinging to the false narrative that you can’t get a good red wine with body, ripeness and complexity from the Finger Lakes, we say–sip on some of this, oh yee of little faith. It’s a worthy red blend of Chancellor, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Lemberger and Merlot grapes from Hector Wine Company.
That’s a lot of grape variety per mouthful, but given that Hector Wine Company co-owner Jason Hazlitt comes from the Sawmill Creek Vineyard family located across the road from the winery, he has access to quality fruit. He might as well include the best in this annual blend.
Jason Hazlitt may have the fruit connection, but the creative force behind this wine is HWC associate winemaker Alex Bond. When we asked women winemakers of the Finger Lakes to suggest wines for our Women’s Issue that they were proud of and that captured their style as a winemaker, the Soul Red was her top choice.
“Soul Red really represents what I love about making cool climate reds. It’s about freshness with layers of complexity,” she said.
“The last few years there has been a larger percentage of Syrah than ever before which adds this great component of black pepper that balances the fruit forward approach we’ve always had. Even though it’s non vintage, it is all from 2017 which was one of my favorite vintages and I think one that really defined me as a winemaker.”
“Taking risks, letting the grapes hang as long as possible, even if it makes the vintage itself more challenging to work with, is what I’m all about, and the wines are evident that it is worth it to work this way,” Bond states. She’s quick to add that winemaking is a team effort at HWC with founder and co-owner Justin Boyette serving as head winemaker.
Plum in color with ripe black cherries on the nose, this wine is medium bodied with soft acidity. Syrah leads the way in the blend with some warm spices and subtle oak. Medium tannins stick around once the velvet mouthfeel fades. It’s a good choice for those who want a versatile, affordable red that pairs well with a variety of foods.
Maybe it’s because we wrote this review on a Friday, but we’re craving a spicy pepperoni pizza to go along with this wine. You could pair it with a juicy steak, roast chimichurri pork too. A simpler approach for a pairing would be to chunk up some aged cheddar from Muranda Cheese. The salty, nutty crumbles will be delicious with this juicy red blend.
And just stop doubting our ability to make solid red wines, will ya?
This wine was included in our Fall 2019 Wines of the Season: Wines made by Women edition.[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d11765.493984811601!2d-76.8751852!3d42.5048702!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0xe5a674d7db9d1979!2sHector%20Wine%20Company!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1577475571188!5m2!1sen!2sus&w=600&h=450]