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Crossings Winery 2012 Bleu Noir Estate Blaufränkisch, Snake River Valley, $19
Owner/general manager Doug Jones is a West Coast promoter of Blaufränkisch, a rare red grape with Austrian origins. It’s more commonly known in this country as Lemberger, but Jones has enjoyed success labeling and marketing it in Idaho as “Blue Noir,” a term he’s trademarked yet is willing to share with other wineries to help raise the grape’s status with consumers. Neil Glancey’s work with these estate vines is delicious, thanks to aromas of cranberry and blueberry, followed by spicy flavors of blue and purple fruit and backed by supple tannins and just the right amount of oak. At Tannins, the on-premise restaurant for this winery near the Snake River, they suggest pairing it with Chicken Fried Steak. This earned a gold medal at the 2016 Idaho Wine Competition.
Production: 1,500 cases