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.
Production: 20 cases