At Cinder House, located in the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, advanced sommelier Alisha Blackwell-Calvert serves wines from the world’s most famous regions—but to find a red wine that surprised her “taste after taste,” she didn’t have to look much further than her own backyard.
The Eagles’ Landing ‘Edg-Clif Vineyard’ Chambourcin comes from a vineyard in the Ozark Mountains AVA and is part of the producer’s Terroir Series, which spotlights Missouri vineyards. Owner and winemaker Eric Taylor, who is also a sommelier and the owner of Just a Taste restaurants, is determined to change perceptions of Missouri wine, and by Blackwell-Calvert’s account, he is succeeding.
“This may possibly be the most serious and well-made example of the Chambourcin grape I can recommend,” she says. The French-American hybrid variety is found in many eastern and midwestern American wine states, including Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, thanks to its cold-hardiness and mildew resistance, but the deeply colored teinturier grape is rarely made in this style. By using 80 percent whole-cluster fermentation and neutral oak barrels, “Eric has managed to highlight the best of Chambourcin’s bright-berried character,” says Blackwell-Calvert.
Eagles’ Landing ‘Edg-Clif Vineyard’ Chambourcin Selling Points
- As a brighter, fresher expression of Chambourcin, “it’s an easy-to-drink wine for anyone looking for a light-bodied red,” says Blackwell-Calvert.
- More trade members and consumers alike have been curious about the offerings from the country’s less-known wine-producing state.
- “I’m stepping outside the box to highlight America’s overlooked indigenous and hybrid grapes,” says Blackwell-Calvert, many of which are likely to become more prominent on wine lists and retail shelves as U.S. vintners adapt to climate change.
Eagles’ Landing ‘Edg-Clif Vineyard’ Chambourcin Tasting Notes
“Crushed cranberry, ripe black cherry, pomegranate, pickled watermelon rind, turned earth, and dried herbs,” describes Blackwell-Calvert. “It’s reminiscent of Gamay from Beaujolais.”
Courtney Schiessl Magrini is the editor-in-chief for SevenFifty Daily and the Beverage Media Group publications. Based in Brooklyn, she has held sommelier positions at some of New York’s top restaurants, including Marta, Dirty French, and Terroir, and her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, GuildSomm, Forbes.com, VinePair, EatingWell Magazine, and more. She holds the WSET Diploma in Wines. Follow her on Instagram at @takeittocourt.