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November 27, 2013

Midweek Swig: Lincoln Peak Marquette 2012

MarquetteThis week: Lincoln Peak Vineyard Marquette 2012

Cost: $14.99 at Norwich Wine & Spirits

Strength: 13.9 percent a.b.v.

The pour: A dark, inky violet with an almost opaque core. It ain't leggy — instead, it clings to the sides of the glass in sheets. Warming aromatics of blackberries and currants tangle with hints of mint and cinnamon.

The taste: Juicy! The wine has pronounced, quenching acidity that tempers the stewed cherry and cranberry flavors. It's tart, sprightly and lighter-bodied than the color (and even the bottle) suggests, with quiet tannins and a simmering finish.

Drink it with: I picked this up to see if it might work on the Thanksgiving table. Though it would slightly overwhelm turkey, the wine would stand up well to the richer dishes on the table — a potato gratin, creamed spinach, harder cheeses served at the end of the meal. It might even work with the bird if the latter were slathered in a dark pomegranate gravy. Yet this Marquette's true moment will come later in the season — when we're gorging on mac-and-cheese, sausage and braised meats.

Backstory: Marquette is a cold-hardy grape and something of Lincoln Peak Vineyard's signature red. In the past, the winery has sold it for refillable one-liter, swing-top bottles, the wine equivalent of growlers.

The summer of 2012 was hot and dry, what the crew at Lincoln Peak calls a "Goldilocks year" for the grape. Yet, rather than turning out a fruit bomb, wine maker Chris Granstrom has produced a somewhat restrained, Old-World-style red, IMHO. It was released in October.

Verdict: This racy Marquette welds together backbone with moody dark-fruit flavors. It's through and through a food wine, and a winter-foods wine at that.

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