I Straugle with the Name Maugle
Maugle Sierra Vineyards, Ledyard
July 11, 2009
“Maugle.” I’ve tried and tried to find the derivation of the word and have come up with nothing. Perhaps it’s a family name? A rather non-Spanish sounding Spanish word of some sort? I don’t know. All I could find was this hilarious and profane definition from Urban Dictionary. Hey, I told you it was profane, don’t blame me for damaging your delicate sensitivities.
In fact, if in 2009 you clicked here on their page, you’d have noticed that “Maugel” is misspelled on the tab in your browser. That’s funny… But not a fair indictment of the wine.
[2018: This has been fixed.]
We were convinced by the woman at Holmberg Orchards that the drive over to Maugle Sierra was a short one and we should give it a go, cranky Damian be darned. And so we did.
Hidden away in Ledyard, the property is beautiful. It certainly ranks in the top few Wine Trail stops to have a picnic lunch with your wine. We parked and walked through quiet woods before crossing the large al fresco patio area overlooking the vineyard. Several couples were enjoying their wine with the view.
Unfortunately Damian wouldn’t allow us to relax, as he was far more intent on running around like a goofball. Regardless, we entered the tasting room which has a very European and subterranean feel to it. It’s like tasting the wines in an actual wine cellar. Dimly lit, decorated “just so,” jazz music softly playing on a Bose Wave radio hidden in the corner… It is the polar opposite of drinking outside, yet somehow it works.
It also for the winery, as they are open year-round.
I took my seat and waited for Hoang to join me, but Damian wouldn’t allow it. The boy wanted to roam the grounds outside so this one would be a solo tasting; which certainly takes away some of my enjoyment. Oh well, let’s get tasting. Alone. Sad face.
Two whites, one rose, and 3 reds. The two whites (1740 Ledyard House White and Ledyard Sunset White) were both crisp and clean. No oak barrels for these guys, which I much appreciated. The House White went down easier for me with slightly bolder flavors whereas the Sunset white had a creamy sweetness that sort of turned me off.
I should note that the guy serving me my tasting presented the wines very well. Not over the top, not condescendingly… just right.
The rose was as good as rose gets in Connecticut. Somewhat thin, but certainly not bad. I enjoy their commentary about it though:
The 1740 Ledyard House Rose is based on our Estate Grown St. Croix grape. These red grapes are harvested, crushed and pressed. They are treated just as one would, to make a white wine. This must is cold fermented after pressing, without its skins in small batches. This delicate, smooth, and dry finishing wine is blended with a splash of White Merlot. This wine is like having a little bit of summer sunshine in every glass.
Moving on through the reds, the first two were good but didn’t wow me. These were the 1740 Ledyard House Red and, yes, the Ledyard Sunset Red. But then I got to the last – their signature wine. The St. Croix. The nice server gave me a piece of dark chocolate to prepare for the rich, complex wine.
Mmmm, it was delicious. Easily one of the best reds I’ve had in the state. In their words, “This intensively fruit forward wine finishes in a semi-dry style, capturing the unique blackberry, plum and currant fruit flavors.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I felt terrible finishing the glass on my own, so I left my stool and went to look for Hoang. After all, I still needed my picture of her drinking wine as I often do for these winery posts.
Sigh… She was nowhere in sight. I had to enjoy the St. Croix by myself. (Until later, when we cracked the relatively expensive bottle we bought.)
Our visit to Maugle Sierra was one of those when I wish Damian wasn’t with us. I really would have enjoyed sipping some St. Croix underneath a patio umbrella overlooking the unheralded hills of Ledyard.
Oh well. One last thing – their bottle labels are also some of the best around; very professionally done.