Full Review

Johnson Estate

Johnson Estate
"Maple" Estate Grown

Pair this wine with:
Cheese Dessert

Category: Fortified Wine

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 21% RS: 14%
93 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$14.99
Best Buy

Johnson Estate
"Maple" Estate Grown

Pair this wine with:
Cheese Dessert

Category: Fortified Wine

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 21% RS: 14%
Brilliant light amber color. Interesting, earthy rustic aromas and flavors of grappa, lacquer, suede, and honeyed dried peaches with a glycerous, soft, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long spiced apples and pears, chestnut nougat, and maple cream finish with light oak. A delicious and nuanced fortified dessert wine that evokes memories of Italy.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Fruity, Juicy & Smooth, Oaky, Rich & Full & Spicy & Complex
Aroma Aroma: grappa, lacquer, suede, and honeyed dried peaches
Taste Flavor: spiced apples and pears, chestnut nougat, and maple cream
Sweetness Sweetness: Sweet
Enjoy Enjoy: Now-3 years on its own and with food
Recipes Pairing: Gorgonzola, Vanilla Gelato
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A delicious and nuanced fortified dessert wine that evokes memories of Italy.

The Producer

Johnson Estate Winery

The Producer
8419 W Rte 20
Westfield, NY 14787
USA
1 716-326-2191

Their Portfolio

90 Johnson Estate 2014 Freelings Creek Reserve Founder’s Red, Chancellor, New York State 12.5% (USA) $14.99.
89 Johnson Estate 2014 Estate Grown, Marechal Foch, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $9.99.
83 Johnson Estate 2014 Estate Grown, Seyval Blanc, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $9.99.
85 Johnson Estate 2013 Estate Grown, Vidal Blanc, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $9.99.
88 Johnson Estate NV "Red Iprocras" Estate Grown, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $8.99.
85 Johnson Estate NV "White Ipocras" Estate Grown, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $8.99.
85 Johnson Estate 2013 Freelings Creek Reserve, Traminette, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $13.99.
82 Johnson Estate 2013 Freelings Creek Reserve, Chardonnay, New York State 12% (USA) $12.99.
81 Johnson Estate Estate Grown, Cream Sherry, Lake Erie 17% (USA) $18.99.
93 Johnson Estate "Maple" Estate Grown 21% (USA) $14.99.
81 Johnson Estate 2014 Estate Grown, Dry Riesling, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $12.99.
88 Johnson Estate 2014 Estate Grown, Traminette, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $12.99.
89 Johnson Estate 2014 Freelings Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, New York State 13% (USA) $14.99.
84 Johnson Estate NV May Wine, Vidal Blanc, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $14.99.
94 Johnson Estate NV May Carbonated White Wine, American 12% (USA) $15.00.
86 Johnson Estate NV Cherry Wine, American 21% (USA) $15.00.
86 Johnson Estate 2015 Founders’ Red Freelings Creek Reserve, New York State 13% (USA) $14.99.
84 Johnson Estate 2016 Ice Wine , Vidal Blanc, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $34.99.
89 Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve Dry, Riesling, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $13.49.
89 Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve Semi-Dry, Riesling, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $13.49.
90 Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve Sweet, Riesling, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $13.49.
89 Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve Black Locust Dry, Riesling, Lake Erie 12% (USA) $18.99.
90 Johnson Estate 2016 Freelings Creek Reserve, Traminette, Lake Erie 11.5% (USA) $13.49.
84 Johnson Estate 2016 Estate Grown, Seyval Blanc, Lake Erie 11% (USA) $9.99.
91 Johnson Estate 2017 Ice Wine, Chambourcin, Lake Erie 10.6% (USA) $35.99.

Fortified Wine

Wine Glass Dessert.jpg
Serve in a Copita
Fortified wines, those inevitable after-dinner elixirs, have been a part of the American wine industry since its inception. The early American taste for fortified wines was well documented, as the signing of the Declaration of Independence was toasted with a round of Madeira. It, along with port and sherry, was the preferred drink of the Eastern aristocracy well into our own century. That the native industry should strive to compete for this market was only natural.

As in much of the wine-producing New World, vintners took a run at sherry (and do to this day), but the results on the whole pale, often quite literally, when compared to the Spanish original. Port, however, has fared beter. While the climate and soil of Jerez has not been duplicated elsewhere, the broiling heat and winemaking practices of the Douro have proven much easier to replicate--perhaps nowhere more so than in California's Amador County and San Joaquin Valley.

Port-style wines are being made beyond California. As might be expected, a certain measure of heat helps; the most successful examples have come from warm states such as Missouri. As the saying goes, a little residual sugar can cover a multitude of sins, but the Missouri ports of producers such as Stone Hill and Mount Pleasant truly stand on their own, and have proven as consistently competent as many California versions.

Fortified refers to wines that have additional alcohol as the result of neutral spirits being added. The most common fortified wines are port and sherry, in which the alcoholic level is between 17% to 20%, higher than a standard table wine of about 13% -14.5%

Additional alcohol technically means these wines can age longer, but that period also depends on the type of wine produced, as some ports and sherries are rather light and need to be enjoyed within a few years of their release.

Given the higher percentage of alcohol, pairing these wines can be tricky, as they could overwhelm milder dishes. For port, rich cheeses, especially blue, are fine, as are walnuts. For a dry sherry, a tomato or cream soup would be an excellent match, while for a sweeter sherry, an almond tart or a simple pound cake with honey would be an excellent match. Otherwise, enjoy these wines on their own.