Distractions, Diversions, Books, Wines, Whiskeys and Other Stuff To Think About When You Should Be Doing Something Else.

Vino Veritas: Creekbend Vineyard Chambourcin

Creekbend Vineyard isn’t in California or Oregon or Washington. It isn’t on the East Coast either. Creekbend is Indiana wine, and don’t let your preconceptions of the Hoosier state fool you, this is really good wine.

Creekbend Vineyard is a premium label from the Oliver Winery located in Monroe county Indiana , near Bloomington which is probably best known as the home of Indiana University. It features wines made from grapes that have been specifically selected or hybridized to suit the Indiana climate which, honestly, tends to greatly favor sweet and fruity wines over their dry and complex brethren. However, Creekbend Vineyard has a selection of great wines of all styles to show for their effort.

Creekbend Vineyard

Chambourcin, 2008

The Chambourcin grape is one of the few varietals capable of producing a dry red wine in the relatively cool, wet and cloudy Indiana climate. Even then some wine makers who attempt to use it “try too hard” and make wines that are overly bitter and tannic. When done well Chambourcin produces a lightly off-dry red wine that is in many way similar to the German Dornfelder but with some darker fruit notes. Previous vintages of the Creekbend Chambourcin have been very much along this path, but the 2008 vintage takes it another step higher.

The 2008 Creekbend Vineyard Chambourcin enters into the weight class of California Pinot Noir. It has both dark (currant, blackberry) and bright (cherry, raspberry, strawberry) fruit as well as a nice balance of soft tannin and acid. It is in all ways a superior dry red wine and, oh yeah, it’s from Indiana.

In addition to the Chambourcin, Creekbend also has a great lineup of other quality wines that are worth the effort to track down. The Creekbend Chardonel, made from a hybrid of Chardonnay and Seyval adapted for Indiana weather, is easily as good as its West Coast counterparts. The Vidal Blanc sparkling wine and Chambourcin Rosé are outstanding as are the sweeter Traminette (the state wine of Indiana) and Catawba wines. To top it all off, they offer an Icewine made from Vidal Blanc that is absolutely world-class.


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