Earlier in the week, I met with Susan Keuper from Kentucky’s Baker-Bird Winery in Augusta, KY. One of the oldest commercial estate wineries in the U.S., this historic producer is actually listed on the National Historic Registry.
I was a little late, having been with M. for an interview in some undisclosed locale, and having rushed through traffic to meet with Susan, I found her in the tasting studio, all set up. I usually don’t think of a meeting with me as a foreboding event yet I got the impression from Susan she was a bit nervous. Hilarious when you think about it – me, foreboding.
She had an urbane arrangement of the wines – making it way too formal for this whino – and we dove right into the wines.
Baker-Bird Vidal Blanc Ohio River Valley NV. Grade=Very Good. Slightly sweet white wine with hints of pear, mineral and apple skin.
Baker-Bird Vidal Blanc Semi-Dry Ohio Valley NV. Grade=Very Good. Notes of apple cider, pear skin, white flower and white spice, this more austere version of Vidal shows really well.
Baker-Bird Ruby Hawk Rose Ohio River Valley NV. Grade=Outstanding. A blend of Cuyaga, Vidal Blanc, and the aloof Marechal Foch, this pink shows nice notes of mulled spices, strawberry and apple skin, finishing off with a bit of Frisch’s strawberry pie.
Baker-Bird Cabernet Franc Ohio River Valley NV. Grade=Outstanding+. A touch of maple amidst black cherries, elderberries and mulberries, this woodsy red demonstrates a bit of the forest with lots of earth, twigs and sage. Very nice.
I was pretty impressed by the wines, and by Susan. She brought a simple, charming presentation and was more than forgiving for my truancy. If I could have imparted a bit of wisdom though, I would have told her, “Relax. You don’t have to try so hard. The wines speak for themselves.”
And what they say is, “We are pretty darn good.”