Redstone Meadery – Traditional Mountain Honey Wine 12% ABV, 1 liter Honey: Orange Blossom & Wildflower Yeast: Montrachet Gravity: 1.0155 Unfiltered and no sulfite added Production Date: Feb 04, 2004
The color is a deep smoky gold when held to a white background, and it maintains a consistent color when held to a light. It is brilliant and gemlike in its clarity. Upon swirling the mead coats the glass nicely and develops legs quickly. This mead gives the impression of fullness and body along with a pleasant color.
Aroma and Flavor:
There is a pleasant honey aroma well off from the glass and the honey character opens up on vigorous swirling. There is a vinyl-phenol aroma I normally associate with Montrachet yeast apparent in the nose. As noted above this mead is fermented with Montrachet yeast which in my mind accounts for the character. To me the viny-phenol character detracts from the aroma and is easily identified in the nose as the other honey nuances tend to take a backseat to this character.
There is a strong honey character with floral notes and hints of spice, citrus and the varietal sources. Upon first tasting the mead the vinyl-phenol character dominates and then gives way as the honey emerges and opens up nicely in the mid palate. The fore is given over to the vinyl-phenol, but nice floral notes, and a bit of spice on the sides of the tongue. There is a definite yeastiness which suggests there may be some extended lees contact during aging. When the bottle is initially opened the mead is somewhat tight, but it opens up nicely with some swirling and air time. The vinyl-phenol flavor fades but does not disappear completely. I tried the first glass of this mead at room temperature, and then put the bottle in to chill to cellar temperature. As the mead is exposed to the air longer it opens up more.
I hope that additional aging will get rid of the "Montrachet" character that I associate with vinyl-phenol aroma and flavor. Overall this is a nice mead once you get past the flavor mentioned above. It chills nicely and is crisp and refreshing. It would pair pretty well with some mild fish, fruit and dried meats. I like very much that it comes in a one liter bottle which makes the price very acceptable at that quantity, and the bottle is re-usable so another big plus there. I liked the mead and I imagine that vinyl character will age out with time.
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