We practically pass by this winery every time we travel to visit Aary and up until our most recent trip, we’ve avoided it. I had visited it a few years ago with friends. At the time, they were sourcing all their juices from California and I had found their wines to be rather unremarkable. As a result, Bushmaster had never visited because I had discouraged it.
However, on this recent trip of ours, we were looking for a rest break and the location was right, so we decided to give it another try. This ended up to be a very good decision. What started out as what we thought would be a quick break, turned out to be a fun, informative tasting and we found a number of their wines to be to our liking.
Comparing their tasting list to the one I had from my first visit, it hadn’t changed a lot. There were a few new additions. Previously it was organized by whites, reds, and specialties. Now it was in order by sweetness and classification which made for a much better tasting order.
Together we selected the following to sample:
- Old Vine Zinfandel
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rendezvous – sweet Riesling
- Zoey Rose – Niagara and Concord blend
- Bluegrass Blend – Niagara and Catawba blend
- Sweet Strawberry Delight – Strawberry
- Berrylicious – Blackberry
- Black Cherry Pomegranate
- Honey Bear – Kentucky Honey Mead
- Ridge Runner Red – Bourbon Barrel aged red wine
- Toasted Tawny – Barrel aged red wine
From the dry category, we found their Merlot was smooth and somewhat unusual. The Zinfandel was bolder with more tannins. The Cabernet Sauvign0n turned out to be my favorite.
Next we turned to the whites. Rendezvous was a nicely done Riesling. Since we had made our own Niagara and Concord blend last year, or course we had to sample the Zoey Rose. Bushmaster thought it was stronger in the Niagara where I found it to be stronger in the Concord. Nevertheless, it was very similar to our own and we were pleased with the similarities. The Bluegrass Blend was our first experience trying a Niagara and Catawba blend and you can bet we are now entertaining plans to create one of our own.
All the fruit wines were flavorful and true to the fruits. The Strawberry and Blackberry were sweet and delicious. The Black Cherry Pomegranate contained just the right amount of tartness.
Finally we sampled the specialties. Honey Bear was sweet like syrup with the honey flavor coming through. Ridge Runner Red had a decided bourbon flavor and was a big hit with me. Toasted Tawny was an amazingly delicious port style wine. While trying to decide on purchase selections, I revisited the Ridge Runner after the Tawny. That turned out to be a mistake as after the Tawny it fell flat for me.
Our final purchase decisions ended up being the Cabernet Sauvignon which Aary and I would enjoy and two bottles of the Bluegrass Blend which would appeal to most everyone else and make for a nice dessert wine.
During our tasting we learned that they were now sourcing juices and fruits from a variety of locations well known for the varietals they were producing. Forest Edge was the third winery this year to which we gave a second chance. In every instance we had come away with a better experience than what we had on our original visits. It is definitely something to keep in mind when visiting wineries. Each year’s harvest is different and wine makers are continually learning and honing their craft. We are learning as well and our tastes are evolving.
I am pleased to say that Forest Edge Winery will now be a regular stop on any of our future trips!