Covered Bridges Rattlesnake Red An Iowa Winner

Say the word “Michigan” and “wine” is probably not the very first word that leaps to mind.

But having just returned from vacationing there, I am still wistful about their beautiful Rieslings and Cabernet Francs.  Shoutout to Left Foot Charley whose Rieslings are pure and fresh, and also to
 L. Mawby who makes sparkling wines in the traditional Champagne method.  They both have great tasting rooms and patios, too!

With Michigan wines still fresh in my mind, I was invited to judge some Iowa-made wines that had been entered in the Iowa State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

My palate was ready.

Well.. maybe.

A dozen people who work in the wine industry were invited as judges and we worked our way through many different styles.

In the end a Best of Show was chosen for each category.

It made sense to open a bottle of last year’s red wine category winner when I finally made it home!

Covered Bridges Winery is nestled in the “rolling hills of rural Madison County, Iowa… taking its name from the rich history of local covered bridges.” Their wines are Iowa made using 100% Iowa grown grapes, many of which are from their estate.  Some grapes are sourced from neighboring Iowa grape producers.

This red blend, Rattlesnake Red, blends native and French-American hybrid grapes for a wine that, last year, won Double Gold, Best of Show Red, for the 2015 Iowa State Fair.

This medium-bodied red offers rich aromas of dark plum and ripe blackberry with dried herbs and a bit of spice.

The front palate is surprisingly sweet, full of black cherry, vanilla and plum.  Bits of dried fruit mingle in and lead to a nice burst of spice and raspberry on the dry finish.  All these flavors are held in a velvety texture.

The Rattlesnake red would pair well with any grilled meat slathered in sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.  It is so palate friendly, you can just sip it on its own. Heck, throw it in the fridge for a bit and drink it slightly chilled out on the patio!

After a full day of swirling, slurping, spitting and note-taking, it was so nice to finally just pour a full glass and enjoy this well-made Iowa wine from beginning to end!

Enjoying after a day of wine judging!;
Serving with grilled meats;
A wine drinker seeking an Iowa-made red wine with good body and rich fruit.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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