2012 Baco Noir, Henry of Pelham

Three years ago we met Henry of Pelham on Christmas Eve, an international guest that made himself welcome in our family’s holiday celebration. He came back down from Canada tonight to bookmark our 2014 celebration and was once again excellent company for the short duration of his visit. What’s a Baco Noir, you ask?

2012 Baco Noir, Henry of Pelham, Ontario, Canada.

2012 Baco Noir, Henry of Pelham, Ontario, Canada.

Well, it is definitely not quite a Pinot Noir–at least the Californians that we often sample–and it’s lighter than a Napa or Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. I even remembered to pop a quick photo of the bottle this year. It’s less spicy than the Syrahs we’ve been tasting from the West Coast, but probably closest to that profile. The 2012 vintage has a deep, purple-red color and some nice woodsy flavors that lurk just below a fruity surface. A good beverage, and one that started our cocktail hour and merriment.

The winemaker pulls grapes for the the 2012 right from the Henry of Pelham family vineyard and handles the fermentation process in stainless steel tanks before aging the wine in American oak barrels for six to eight months. This wine enthusiast isn’t sure but believes oak often imparts some of the vanilla hints to a wine…a vanilla this guy doesn’t really relish. I’m happy to report that the 2012 Baco Noir doesn’t carry this taste to an appreciable extent. (And if you have a good, reliable resource that explains the process by which vanilla is infused into a wine please by all means share it in a Comment.)

The 2012 Baco Noir from Henry of Pelham was long gone before we sat for our excellent dinner–a glazed ham, cooked light and luscious, a potato medley consisting of white and sweet varieties, steam vegetables, and lots of great conversation with family. May the 2012 Baco Noir usher in your special occasion in similar, rewarding fashion.

Henry of Pelham 2009 Pinot Noir

Forgot to take a photo of this pinot noir (I think it is the 2009) that we enjoyed on Christmas Eve in Rochester, NY, with family.  The experts say it has “medium, ruby red color, with aromas of raspberry, cherry, and spice with light, tobacco notes; dry, medium-bodied, quite fruity with oak notes on the finish.

Now, I don’t know all that, but I do know it was delicious and I’d gladly enjoy another bottle.  Dad poured, Pat cheffed it all up, and the whole family traded stories and smiles while noshing down on seafood newburg, asparagus, delicious bread, olives, and some of the most perfectly cooked prime rib I’ve ever eaten.  Perhaps the end of a tradition, the above, but hoping the Pelham makes it on to whatever the future holds for us all!