The St. James represents our first foray into Chambourcin, and we could not have gotten a more solid introduction to the varietal. From when we first brought it out of its shipping crate, the presentation of the â€™08 Chambourcin is classy, with labeling that calls forth the seventies and early eighties while maintaining a current sort of flair. This red wine can be enjoyed on a number of levels, be it as a perfect companion to a home-cooked meal or through careful dissection by even the most veteran of wine tastes.
This is because the wine itself is complex at all get out, providing considerably different notes with each sip. Of course, a more fruity flavor is dominant with the wine, but a more bitter, nutty and chocolate-based bite is here as well. Rather than the fruit notes being more of the â€œcoldâ€ grape type, there is a little bit of sweet meets tart, similar in taste to a cherry or an apple, that tasters will be able to pick out of the â€™08 Chambourcin. The wine, taken in a dinner atmosphere, is possessing of a substantial body that allows a palette cleansing with strongly-flavored or meat-based dishes. When the temperatures drop a little too low, the hearty feeling that a stew or meat and potatoes dish provides will further be bolstered by the Chambourcin.
At a price that is closer to $5 than to $10, there is really no reason why this impressive-tasting wine should not be your first journey into dry reds. If the Chambourcin style is not for you, the strong foot forward that the St. James Winery has taken with this wine should extend well into their other offerings. This means that their Chardonel, Norton, and Cynthiana should all be well worth oneâ€™s time, and should hopefully be a little outside oneâ€™s comfort box.
St. James Winery â€“ 2008 Chambourcin (Wine) / 24.8% ABV / http://www.stjameswinery.com / 1-800-280-WINE