an excerpt from A nice 90-plus, LaBelle’s Americus, and Sam
JIM BEAUREGARD, June 26. 2012
I was on the LaBelle Winery website (www.labellewinerynh.com) this week — I recommend you check it out. The new winery is proceeding quickly, and when they broke ground, they set up a web camera that has been taking a picture hourly since then. You can view the progress over a few minutes on the website. We had just been talking about it when our friends Dan and Francine arrived for dinner, Dan toting some beer he had made at Incredibrew (very good) and a bottle of Labelle Americus. I had written about the Americus when it was first available, and had the pleasure of meeting with Amy LaBelle for a barrel tasting when it was on its way. Here’s what it’s like now that’s it’s had a little time to develop:
LaBelle Winery Americus, Amherst, N.H., 11.5% abv. A New Hampshire red from New Hampshire grapes, French oak aged. Purple color, medium hue, tight on the first sip, though with a few minutes decanting it blossomed into a broad palate of red and black fruit, smooth and enticing. Black fruit and hints of very ripe red fruit, peppery hints in the background, dry as a bone, good acidity, medium alcohol, medium flavor intensity, some good weight and flavor. Amy suggests pairing with steak and other grilled meats — I agree completely. Long finish, with the spice moving toward the front on the finish. I mentioned the French oak above because this struck me as a classic European-style food wine (which was the reason they started making wine in the first place). What California set out to do 50 years ago — make wines that could hold their own against the wines of Europe, is happening out in Amherst right now.