Tongue River Winery NV Oaky Choke Chokecherry Fruit Wine, Montana, $18

By on July 5, 2021

The Thaden family produces an assortment of non-grape fruit wines, and they’ve bottled several expressions of chokecherry during the first decade of their Miles City, Mont., winery near the Tongue River. Here, Bob Thaden, one of the Midwest’s most experienced winemakers, finishes this lot as dry and barrel-ages it in American oak — hence the wine’s playful and descriptive proprietary name. Chokecherry naturally provides plenty of tannin and an abundance of acidity, yet Thaden manages both deliciously and with complexity. The nose is fascinating with its perfume of spicy cherry, clove, rose petal and vanilla nose is reminiscent of Magie Noire and Chukar Cherry’s Chipotle Cherries. Inside, it’s a wealth of fruit juice — black cherry, blueberry and plum — and a compelling tannin structure that somehow manages to reside just behind that juicy structure. Suggested pairings include beef, elk and venison.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 20 cases

Alcohol: 13%

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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.

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