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Lynfred Winery Cuvée

By Darin Pemberton

Lynfred Winery is  a 30-something year old establishment just west of Chicago, IL.  The winery opened its doors in 1979 based on the dream of Fred and Lynn Koehler.  Now in a facility encompassing some 24,000 square feet, Lynfred maintains ‘Tasting Devine’ in nearby Wheaton, IL, and Naperville IL.    Like to stay all night? Good – Lynfred also operates Lynfred Suites, Bed & Breakfast! For more info, please see www.lynfredwinery.com

There’s a saying regarding the sum is greater than its parts.  Diving into my latest sampling from Lynfred Winery, I was hoping to find my next-best-favourite wines.  On paper, the Cab Sauv-heavy Cuvee had all the right players, co-starring with Zin, Merlot and Petite Syrah.   While this wine was crafted in Illinois, it features grapes grown in Washington and California, by favorite growers of the wine maker.

Technical details:

  • 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Zinfandel, 14% Merlot, 12% Petite Syrah, 7% Syrah, 5% Petite Verdot, 1% Pinot Noir and 1% Grenache
  • Aging:  French and American Oak
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Residual Sugar: .2%
  • pH: 3.63
  • Total Acidity: 7 g/L
  • MSRP: $30

On the Nose: Sniffing through my Riedel, after sitting open about 20 minutes, I picked up notes of Licorice, Blackberries, Spices, a kind of musty-leather, and the smell of an old, wet Clarinet reed.

On the tongue: Strong vegital mixed with bitter-sweet cocoa. Jammy and fruity – tasted like rose petals and smokey butter.  I drank this wine with a large slab of fresh-grilled T-Bone steak, and frankly, the steak was too much for the Cuvée.  Suggested foods based on the information card received with the wine suggest peppercorn steer, brownies, and New York strip steak.   Because of that I was a little surprised at how the Cuvée had a difficult time with my meal – sides were wasabi mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini.  I suspect the bottle I sampled was a little off, as I was left with a slightly bitter aftertaste.   I’m going to have to give the Cuvée another shot – because the blend, the grapes, and Lynfred’s other products are right up my alley.

While over all the wine was acceptable, and I’d gladly serve it, the bottle I sampled, at an MSRP of $30 left me wanting.   Especially compared with the Zin I’ve recently reviewed from Lynfred, I didn’t feel the Cuvée was right for me at that price point – thus my

W.E.P. Rating:  70%

Posted in Illinois Wines, ReviewsComments (4)