There is an art to winemaking and nowhere is that more evident than at Les Bourgeois Vineyards. Every summer, the Rocheport winery releases the Collector’s Series — a trio of special wines adorned with labels created by Midwestern artists. Winemaker Jacob Holman has outdone himself with this year’s collection of two outstanding whites and a flavorful red. Judge for yourself at Les Bourgeois’ Collector’s Series Wine Release Party & Art Show on July 13. It’s an afternoon of barrel tastings, appetizers from the Blufftop Bistro, and an art show and sale of works by the wine label artists. The annual party is free and open to the public.
2012 Ozark Mountain Valvin Muscat
An inviting aroma of floral and peach scents offers a delicate preview of the intense peach flavor with a hint of sweetness. Traces of apricot balance the sweet to bring a smooth, lingering finish. Served chilled, this white wine is a good solo cocktail; it also pairs well with chicken dishes and cheese plates.
The Valvin Muscat grapes — a relatively new varietal — came from the Ozark Highlands vineyard of Meyer Farms in Springfield. Columbia scratchboard artist Harold Farley created the label art, Say What?
2012 Missouri Vignoles/Traminette
These two popular Missouri varietals combine for a flavorful blend that is a winner with fish and seafood entrées. The bright, fresh aroma of stone fruits and citrus carries through to a balanced blend of sweet peach and melon flavors; citrus undertones give it a clean finish. Serve chilled.
Holman blended Vignoles from Meyer Farms with Les Bourgeois’ own Traminette grapes. Columbia acrylics painter Audrey McFadden created the label art, Fall Alone.
2011 American Syrah
A bold Syrah from Lodi, Calif., is the lone red in the collection this year. This standard beef companion has a ripe cherry aroma and dark fruit flavor with chocolate undertones. The wine is smooth, despite firm tannins and a 15.5 percent alcohol content. Syrah cellars well — extra time in the bottle will soften it even more — but if you can’t wait, go ahead and crack open a bottle with your favorites from the grill this summer. Let it breathe about 30 minutes before serving.
Columbia artist and author Casey Voight created the acrylic painting River Storm for the label art.
The LBV Collector’s Series party runs 2 to 7 p.m. July 13 at the winery, 14020 W. Highway BB in Rocheport. Details are at www.missouriwine.com.