Surprises abound in the world of wine. Butler Winery (in Bloomington) has released it's first ever Ice Wine. The other winery in town, Oliver, has been doing an Ice Wine for a few vintages now, and it is naturally produced (i.e., frozen on the vine). Butler in fact purchased the grapes from Oliver. But, based on my one taste of Oliver's version, which was from a different vintage, the approach seems to be different. Oliver's Ice Wine appears to get the oak treatment, giving it some oaky-spice complexity. Butler's is obviously less tampered with, so that the pure nectary fruit shines through. I haven't tasted Oliver's wine from the same vintage (on my to do list), so I can't make a direct comparison, but Butler's is a much superior effort to what I tasted from Oliver previously, and I think it's primarily because of the stylistic difference, rather than the vintage. Whatever may be the case, it is by a solid margin the best wine I've tasted from Indiana.
Butler Winery, Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Indiana 2007
Naturally frozen on the vine; grapes purchased from Oliver Winery. Concentrated peach, apple, and floral nectar. Pure, nectary fruit. Wonderful stuff! The best wine I've had from Indiana. Should age for 5 - 10 years. $45 per half bottle, but definitely worth buying if you don't mind the cost. Excellent / Exceptional (89 - 91). [10/5/08]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)