Tongue River Winery 2020 Itasca, Montana, $18

By on June 26, 2021

Ohio State University researcher Patrick Pierquet is credited with helping to develop Itasca during his time at the University of Minnesota, and Montana winegrower Robert Thaden was among the first to plant this winter-hardy white variety soon after it was released to the U.S. wine industry in 2017. An offspring of Frotenac Gris, its natural brightness arrives early with aromas of kumquat, cantaloupe, apricot and beeswax. On the palate, it’s reminsicent of cool-climate Pinot Gris or brisk white Rhône blend, bringing a wealth of fresh-squeezed lime juice, starfruit and a spring of fresh mint that will quench a thirst and call for seafood. For those interested in acquiring plant material, Inland Desert Nursery near Red Mountain is an option, according to the home of the Golden Gophers. Last year, Thaden earned a pair of double gold medals during the Cascadia International Wine Competition for work with hybrids St. Pépin and Frontenac Blanc off his Miles City estate near this tributary of the Yellowstone River, so his delicious trailblazing with young Itasca is not a surprise.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 20 cases

Alcohol: 14%

Winery’s website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *