I first met Frank and Lenna Hobson about eight years ago, at the "Great Grapes" wine festival in Cary. Their Chardonnay, poured that warm afternoon, produced my first inkling that this marvelous grape could indeed succeed, quite brilliantly, in North Carolina. Located in the Yadkin River Valley, 25 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, RagApple Lassie Vineyards thrives at an elevation of approximately 1,200 feet, allowing for cooler night temperatures and success in growing Vitis Vinifera grapes. Today's wine is delicious, and puts an exclamation point on the state's potential, AND the careful stewardship of this down-to-earth, lovely couple.
2008 Merlot, RagApple Lassie Vineyards, Yadkin Valley $17 srp
Ruby color to garnet at the rim. A fresh bouquet of roses, violets, currant and blueberry greets you, with overturned soil, licorice and warm oak underpinning. Medium-bodied flavors are smooth with plum and black cherry notes on the long, lingering finish. Good acids and light tannins promise even more development. Drink now-2014.