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Sommelier Tries Wine from Every State (Montana-Wyoming)

Sommelier André Hueston Mack completes his quest to sample a wine from every state in the U.S., this time covering the back half of the alphabet with each stop from Montana to Wyoming.

Released on 11/30/2022


Next state.

[wine splashing]

[Andre laughing]

Hey, I'm sommelier Andre Houston Mack.

Did you know all 50 states in the US produce wine?

I'm tasting them all. Today is part two.

Montana through Wyoming.

So first state, Montana.

So this is Hidden Legend Banned in France 2018 red wine.

I have no idea why it's banned from France.

Hopefully it's not because of the taste.

Little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, some baking spices.

It almost kind of smells like raw meat.

Tastes pretty herbaceous. Not much else going on.

It kind of falls short on the palate.

Medium bodied. It's not all that exciting.

This is a hybrid grape called Marchal Foch and Leon Millot.

It looks like these were hybrid grapes

that were planted in Europe and just weren't popular.

This doesn't really have that foxy kind of thing

that was running through all the hybrid grapes

I've ever tasted.

Which to me, I guess makes it a little bit more enjoyable.

Personally, I like it.

Like I'm intrigued by it, I'm excited about it.

But I don't think I could enjoy

a whole bottle of this by myself.

Nor should anyone drink a whole bottle of wine

by themselves. [laughs]

Next state, Nebraska.

So this is Miletta Vista. And this wine is called Edelweiss.

Actually, I believe that's the grape.

Well, at least it wasn't corn wine.

Very perfumed, very aromatic, peachy, apricot.

And sweet, no acid, somewhat flabby.

You know, if I had to compare this to something,

if we were talking about, like,

German wines or something like that,

you know, I'm thinking more like Riesling,

which has some acidity.

I think where this falls flat is, like,

there's no acid at all.

It's not lively or anything like that on your palate.

Looking at the overall wine industry within Nebraska,

it's relatively young, you know.

Speaking, like 1994, that's really not a lot of time

and I think that's kind of reflective of, like,

kind of the wine industry in America in general.

We just haven't had a lot of experience and time

put into making quality wine,

which means that it can only get better over time.

Next state, Nevada.

So this is Battle Born Semillon.

And this is from artisan sellers.

Semillon is generally grown or most famous grown

in Bordeaux.

You know, there's fame behind the grape in that way,

but I'm not sure if it grows well in this particular region.

Very chalky smelling, almost kinda like dried grapes.

So, pretty decent acid. It feels really tannic.

It's got this really drying out sensation.

I'm puzzled by it. It feels really big and hot.

This fire bomb in my mouth, so to speak.

At 13.9%, that's pretty high for a white wine.

I suspect that's due to the climate in Nevada.

The hotter it is, the riper the fruit,

riper the fruit, more sugars means more potential alcohol,

especially if you don't pick early.

If you're looking for something big and bold,

maybe this is, like, your style, but to me,

I think it's just a little bit over the top in the alcohol,

which makes it not that enjoyable.

Next state. New Hampshire.

This is Shara Vineyards Equinox 2019.

Would you believe this is Marquette.

And so it is a hybrid grape that's native to America.

It smells like violets, raspberries, a little currant.

Super tannic. It's sucking all the moisture out of my mouth.

That means, like, it's pretty high in tannins.

The insides of my cheeks are chapped.

I mean that's all I can really focus on.

There's white pepper,

actually you've got a little bit of, like, a blackberry.

There's no sort of texture to the wine.

It just kind of falls right off.

If I had to, like, compare, like,

on the nose and kind of on the front part of the palate,

it's a grape called tannat,

that's from the south of France

and they actually grow it in, like, Uruguay.

But it has some oomph behind it.

It has texture, it has this richness to it

that I find that this wine does not.

Next state. New Jersey.

This is the Palmaris 2018 Merlot.

I haven't had any wine from New Jersey.

I've had a lot of wine in New Jersey,

but not a lot of wine from actual New Jersey.

Smells like Merlot to me.

Pencil shavings, graphite, plum, gravel, dirt road.

Pretty great tannin structure.

Just feels a little bit on the light side,

but other than that, pretty interesting.

I actually feel like this is a pretty well made wine.

You know, I think the shock is just, you know,

I just gotta get over where it's from,

which is kind of part of this whole process

of what this is about.

It makes sense that it would be more made

in a Bordeaux style considering the weather,

it being on the coast.

Designated the Outer Coastal Plains, AVA.

So New Jersey has its own AVA.

It all adds up and tastes great.

Next state, New Mexico.

So this is 2019 Mission from the Rio Grande Winery.

Ooh, almost like pinkish, orange, salmon.

Like a bubble gum kind of smell. Dried apricots.

Man, that's like diesel fuel. Jesus. [laughs]

Okay, let me compose myself here.

So, it's 2019. It tastes a little bit older.

There is, like, this oxidation

that's going on in the wine right now.

Not much fruit left.

So, Mission is one of those kind of cool kid grapes

that are starting to make their way back.

It was brought here from Spain.

Mission has been around for a very long time.

There are some plannings from back in the late 1800s.

But what's really happening now

is just kind of a younger generation picking up

and kind of carrying the torch,

and it's that really kind of big movement about,

let's use what's native here.

Which I think is kind of a cool movement to be a part of.

But there's really interesting examples of it

floating around.

This one, maybe not so much.

Next state, New York.

So this is Hermann J. Wiemer.

This is the Flower Day and this is the Riesling.

I had never really had any New York state Riesling

until I moved to New York in '04.

And I think a lot has changed since then.

You know, the quality of wines have gotten better and better

and better.

And I feel like this winery has always kind of led the way.

Classic on the nose.

You think about Riesling, it smells like petrol,

like kerosene.

I think that catches a lot of people off guard

when I say that.

But like, it's not a bad thing.

This is kind of like a warm hug for me.

There's apricots, there's apples, flowers,

like white flowers.

So, this wine is sweet.

What I've found that the other wines

that I've tasted earlier that lack is there's this acid.

This lift that you get on the back end

that kind of brings that sweetness to a new height,

and it makes the wine feel alive and really fresh.

Not only is it classic to what Riesling is,

but also, like, really kind of setting the standards

of what New York wines can be.

So next state, North Carolina.

This is from Dublin Vineyards.

This is the Scuppernong Blush.

Blush is just another term for Rose.

But also it's a dated term.

And generally speaking, when that term was popular,

it meant that it was a sweet wine.

Oh my God, this is horrible. [laughs]

Did I say that out loud? Sorry.

It definitely has a strong aroma. It smells weird.

Let's hope it doesn't taste weird.

So much for that.

It's really sweet, like sweet bubble gum

and, like, witch hazel.

This is Muscadine.

I'm starting to realize

that they're made that way intentionally,

and this kind of falls right in line

with all the other ones I tasted.

Which just leads me to believe that it's just not my thing.

Next state, North Dakota.

So this is Dakota Vines

And this is called the Roughrider Red.

This is 2021 American Frontenac.

It's a little sulfury but, like, not in a bad way.

Like, hot oil treatment. Like, when you walk into a salon.

Which is familiar, you know, I get it in quite a few wines.

There's some blackberry, a little bit of currant.

Why do they all have to be sweet?

I just don't, I don't understand it.

The sweetness in it just really makes it taste

like some type of malt beverage from like, you know,

the corner store or something like that.

I'm not sure that it spends any time in oak or wood,

but there's really no structure to the wine.

There's definitely things that could be done

to make this a better wine.

Maybe this is what they're trying to make

and maybe people enjoy this.

There's nothing wrong if you enjoy this.

But for me evaluating it, it just...

It could be much better.

Next state. Ohio.

So this is Pinot Noir from Debonne

This is from the Grand River Valley.

All right, kind of smells like Pinot Noir here.

There's a little bit of what we like to call this

the kind of funkiness that you get from Pinot Noir,

I'm getting that.

A little bit of cherry.

There's also a little bit of mushroom.

There's some earthiness to it.

Checking those boxes there. It's alright.

Taste like Pinot Noir.

There is some, a little bit of tannin, there's acid.

Kind of interesting. Like, Pinot Noir from Ohio.

Like, I never would've known.

This is definitely made in a more new European style

where it is, it leads with, like, terroir, earth

and the fruit is in the back end.

You know, if I lived in Ohio and that was the local wine,

it would be something that I would definitely be proud of.

I mean, it is, slightly has a a green vegetal tinge to it,

but other than that, it tastes like pinot,

it drinks like pinot.

And at $17, I think that's it's a great example

of something from Ohio.

Next state, Oklahoma.

This is called Pecan Creek Winery.

This is 2021. It's a grape called Vignoles.

Wow, there it is. That foxiness is appearing right away.

I'm starting to think that, like,

these are really, like, maybe thick skin grapes.

Or, like, the white wines tend to be a lot darker.

Almost kind of, like, a little bit of,

like cotton candy in the back.

Not sweet at all. Pretty acidic.

This really has a very heavy citrus rind

that's, like, overpowering.

It's got some grassy notes to it.

Kind of interesting. Like, I'm intrigued.

Like, I could probably sip through this whole bottle,

maybe just trying to figure it out and get familiar with it.

So I'm very unfamiliar with this grape Vignoles.

It is a hybrid. Seems to be working in Oklahoma.

You know, maybe I should go visit.

Let's go to Oklahoma, let's go to all 50 states.

Next state, Oregon.

So this is Holloran Pinot Noir 2016

from the Willamette Valley,

from a place called the Dundee Hills.

Yeah, this just smells beautiful. Earl Grey tea.

Kind of like a high tone red cherry fruit.


You know, it's got some grip from tannin

but, like, not overly tannic.

Really great, refreshing, like waves and waves of acidity.

Oregon is considered one of the top three producers.

When you think about wine in the United States,

you know, you think California, Washington and Oregon.

The Willamette Valley is probably about 55 years old,

which seems old but kind of rather young.

And what they really kind of championed there

was Pinot Noir.

This is where I also where I make my wine, and, you know,

kind of one of the first love affairs

with American wine for me was the Willamette Valley.

It's kind of the best of both worlds.

It has that fruit that you would associate

with California and new world wines.

But it also has, you know, a firm footing in the old world

where you talk about terroir, you know a sense of place.

Next state, Pennsylvania.

So this is the Stony Run Riesling from the Lehigh Valley.

On here, it's indicated dry.

So dry in wine speak means that it's not sweet.

And this is the 2017 vintage.

I wouldn't say it's old old,

but white wines are generally drank

a little bit more on the fresher side.

You know, at two or three years after release.

Petrol, straight off the top.

There's a little funkiness on the back end of that.

I'm trying to figure out what that is.

There's a faint smell of baby powder.

Well, I can tell you that the baby powder

kind of somewhat disappears.

The wine is bone dry. Really great acid.

There's definitely more of that kerosene note

on this as well.

Pretty impressive.

I like it because it seems very classic to Germany.

Those Rieslings that I tasted there before.

There's definitely an influence of immigrants

bringing their traditions here.

Next state, Rhode Island.

So this is Greenvale Vineyards

and this is called Skipping Stone White.

So this is a blend of Cayuga and Vidal Blanc.

Smells a little bit like seawater.

It smells like sugar water.

Cantaloupe, maybe.

There's a melon thing going on

and then it just smells like Skittles.

Impressive. Like, cool wine.

It's interesting as, you know,

geographically looking at all a lot of the wine regions,

generally speaking, the ones with the coasts

seem to have better expressions of wine

or have a little bit more complexity,

and this kind of falls in line with that.

Next state, South Carolina.

This is called Low Country Red. This is a Muscadine wine.

I think, locally, the grape is called Ison.

We're back at it.

Muscadine seems to be prevalent on the list of wines

being made across America.

They haven't really been my favorite.

I mean I gotta go in with an open mind

that this could be the one.

Are you the one, Deep Water Vineyard?

You're not the one. [laughs]

You're not the one.

Actually, this smells a little bit different, right?

You know, it smells like an Amaro.

Like, the Italian DJ Steve.

Like, it's very aromatic, very herbaceous.

That part has me excited,

but the fact that I know that it's not an Amaro

leaves me a little skeptical.

It tastes exactly like Amaro but without the high alcohol.

Which I'm puzzled by.

In its current state as a wine, not my favorite thing.

It's not palatable in the frame

in which it's presented as wine.

But it is palatable to me if I think about Amaro.

I think like the best application for this

is, like, in a cocktail.

Next state, South Dakota.

This is Valiant Vineyard, Full Throttle Saloon.

This actually is labeled as a Cabernet,

so it's called American Cabernet Sauvignon.


[Director laughing]


So right off, fingernail polish remover, canned green beans.

It is sweet.

It almost feels like it has artificial flavoring in it.

It doesn't taste natural.

[Director] Let me read you this.

A touch of wine brandy added makes a big, rich, jammy,

blah, blah, blah, blah.

This just in.

The wine has been fortified with a little bit of brandy.

And I think that's probably where the sweetness comes from.

Fortified wine is basically adding a neutral spirit.

You take wine, it's going through its fermentation process.

To stop that process, you add a neutral spirit.

By adding that to it, it stops the fermentation process.

That's fortifying the wine.

So that's basically what Port was.

And generally, those are high in alcohol.

Port is around 16%.

This is not that high. This is 13.9.

I think there's almost 300 things

that you can legally add to wine.

So you can add things for coloring and for texture

and all kinds of stuff.

Adding brandy to it to me just makes it not really wine.

Next state, Tennessee.

So this is called Tsali Notch Vineyards

and this is white Muscadine here.

America's wild grape. It's in quotes here.

Okay, okay. So that smells pretty wild.

It has the foxiness to it, very fruity.

This wine is sweet, it has texture to it.

There is a little bit of acidity to it.

My takeaway from this wine is like, okay,

so maybe this is a different quality

of, like, some of these other wines that we've had.

It's similar in so many ways.

In the sense of, like, the way that it smells,

that it is sweet, but the quality level here,

just, to me, seems a little bit higher

than some of the other ones I've had before.

The overall taste is not to my liking,

which is kind of the common thread

when I've encountered these wines.

I personally wouldn't serve it to anyone.

But you know, if somebody liked sweet wine,

I'm sure this would be palatable to them.

Next state, Texas.

This is called Pedernales Cellars.

This is 2019. And this is Tempranillo.

Warm baking spices.

There's a little bit of sulfur.

Not like egg, more like a hair salon.

That, to me, I always kind of get that in Tempranillo,

so that checks out, that's kind of spot on.

What I like that's different than say the traditional model

which we always talked about, like Tempranillo from Rioja,

is this is a lot more lush.

In the old world,

it's generally blended with like other grapes,

but this is different in a way

because it's a lot higher alcohol.

Like, this is about 14%.

You know, it's bigger, it's rounder,

you know, it's an American version for sure,

but one that I like.

Next state, Utah.

This is I/G Winery Petite Sirah. It's 2018.

From my understanding

that this is actually one of the only wineries in Utah

that they actually grow their fruit there.

Most of the other wineries in the state import their grapes

or bring their grapes in from other states.

Okay, smells like Petite Sirah.

So, very plummy, pepper, some kind of dry meat rub, vanilla,

a little bit of nutmeg.

It's pretty big.

It's not overpowering like sometimes I would expect

from a Petite Sirah.

To me, I'd like a little bit more oomph,

a little bit more tannin.

This is a a good quality wine.

But what I would have to say is,

is that at $65, that makes it not a value to me.

The fruit is grown there

and I'm sure that's probably the big cost

that they have there.

But it's not reflected in the wine.

I don't think that that made the wine taste any better.

If you're looking for a $65 Petite Sirah,

like, I don't think this is what you're looking for.

This is not the best example of that.

If it's a million dollars an acre,

guess who's paying for it?

You, the consumer.

Next state.

[Andre laughing]

All right, wow. That one exploded.

We got a back up here.

This one's a lot colder than the first one.

That could have been the culprit.

It could have also been

that maybe there was a secondary fermentation

that was happening there, but we're back at it.

Next state. Vermont.

[Producer] Oh my God.

[Andre laughing]

This is called Snow Trip.

And this is from Snow Farm Vineyards in Vermont.

This is natural wine.

It's not made with a lot of different additives.

Very cloudy and that's kind indicative, you know,

made in a natural way, unfined, unfiltered.

I think sometimes, the discussion is, if it's filtered,

you strip away a lot of the flavor.

This is just like, you know, tar traits

and stuff that normally fall to the bottom

that would be filtered out.

They won't hurt you or anything like that.

It looks like cider, sour beer.

It smells kind of like a spiced apple sauce.

And almost kind of like tomato juice.

This is what everybody's raving over.

I mean to me, it tastes pretty bland

and slightly watered down.

But it tastes like most of the wines

that are made in this style.

I think a lot of people talk about low intervention wines

and I think that's kind of a better way to describe it.

Low intervention,

meaning trying to make it in the natural way

that it was made years ago and not adding manmade things

that kind of help control fermentation.

I think this style has really been interesting

to bring in a lot of beer drinkers over

that enjoy sour beer.

This is just another expression and it's welcome.

Next state, Virginia.

This is a 2021 King Family Winery

and this is called Roseland.

So this is a blend of three different grapes.

Chardonnay, Viognier, and a grape called Petit Manseng.

Pretty aromatic, almost like a honeydew melon.

Pretty juicy, pretty flavorful.

Actually. it reminds me a lot of Juicy Fruit,

that chewing gum.

It has some weight to it.

It doesn't taste like it has any residual sugar

and it's not sweet.

I like that part of it.

It feels like it has some type of texture.

You know, I don't know what's attributing to that.

I believe, like, the aromatics

maybe are coming from the Viognier,

which is a very aromatic grape, not really acidic.

Petit Manseng is a grape that's pretty acidic,

so the acid is coming from that.

And maybe the structure and body

is coming from the Chardonnay.

This is not a blend

that I figured that I encountered a lot at all,

but seems to work.

I'd have to say that, you know, I think Virginia wine,

I've been impressed with the most.

It's really in the midst of that growth spurt right now

where there's tons of young winemakers

collaborating in that region,

making some really crazy and interesting wines,

and that doesn't take away from its long storied history

of making wine all the way back to Thomas Jefferson.

You know, I think he was a real big promoter

of Virginia wine.

I think this is just the beginning.

I think it's gonna be like the new hottest thing

of, like, what people are talking about.

Next state. Washington.

This is called Two Vintners.

This is their 2019 Syrah from Columbia Valley.

Tannin, it's kind of sucking the moisture out of my mouth.

Pretty medium plus finish.

What I like about Washington is just, like,

it represents value across the board.

You look at a place like California

where it has a long kind of storied history,

inherent land prices, so it's pretty expensive.

But you can go to a place like Washington

and I feel like, you know, this kind of great value,

but also, a really kind of great expression,

a different expression, than say, California.

The Cascade Mountains run along the eastern part of Seattle,

which cast what we like to call a rain shadow.

So all the rain clouds get trapped up against the mountains

and so that's why it rains on the western side

of the Cascades.

But when you go into the eastern part of the state,

it's pretty great to grow anything.

They have a really great diversity of different style wines

that are made at different price points

that I think are great examples.

Not only in that state or this country, but in the world.

Next state, West Virginia.

This is Stone Road Vineyard.

And this is what they call Headlight White.


Okay, all right.

This reminds me, I had a soda recently in Vermont,

it was, like, grapefruit and lemonade.

This is what it smells like.

Unfortunately, it tastes like soap. Just like too fragrant.

Doesn't matter if it's sweet.

I mean there is some sweetness to it. There's no acid.

It's pretty flabby. Falls flat.

So great varietal. It's Muscat.

And, like, generally speaking when I think about that,

like, it's pretty fragrant.

It is actually mandarin orange Mascot,

which I didn't know really even exists

and that would probably really explain

the way that it smells.

It's really overpowering

and I think kind of really gets in the way

of the wine drinking experience.

I think for some people, maybe they would enjoy that,

but I can't.

Next state. Wisconsin.

This is Harbor Ridge Winery.

This is called Knocking Heads Red.

Ooh, so pepper, spice, jam.

That is a really pretty nose. Smells awesome.

I'm really excited.

Very fruity.

There is some residual sugar in the wine.

It is kind of sweet.

I believe this is a blend of Cabernet Franc

and a hybrid grape called Marchal Foch.

There's definitely, like, a kind of, like,

a little bit of, like, a greenness to it

that I kind of associate with Cabernet Franc.

This wine is better than what I thought it was,

and that's not a backhanded compliment

or anything like that.

Like, on the nose it was superb.

Was something that I really wanted to dive into,

but I'm just caught off guard

with the level of sweetness in the wine.

I felt like that it should have been much drier.

Hence that it would be a little bit more enjoyable.

Okay, last state. Wyoming.

This is Jackson Hole Winery and this is called Old Faithful.

This is their sparkling wine.

These grapes were purchased from the Russian River Valley

in Sonoma, and produced and bottled in Wyoming.

It's a very common practice.

Smells like apple cider. Almost smells a little doughy.

Very fine bubbles, right?

It almost looked like it's flat

when the glass is sitting still.

This is interesting. I would drink this.

To me, even though this is 2020,

this drinks more like vintage

where there's not a lot of mousse

or the foaming up at the top, which I really like,

'cause I feel like you really get an essence of the grape.

This is 100% Chardonnay, but you're getting, like,

tons of green apple with a little bit of, like, Asian pear.

This is pretty elegant.

So just because they bought these grapes

or purchased these grapes from Sonoma

doesn't mean that they can't create their own style

from these particular grapes.

[upbeat music]

So I've now tasted wines from all 50 states.

What can I say? That was pretty cool, pretty amazing.

We are a very young country in general,

but very young country in wine making history

and we got a long way to go.

We have some really great shining examples

of states that have really kind of put us on the map

in the world as far as wine making.

And then we have a lot of other states

that are continuing to grow and to carve out

and be a part of the history of what American wine can be.

[Producer] How does that sound?

[Andre laughing]

[Director] Should we take five?

[Producer] Yes.

[Sound Recordist] Oh [beep].

[Director] Is that our mic or your mic?

[Sound Recordist] That's my mic.

[Producer] Oh my God.

[Sound Recordist] Should I cut?