Maiden + Liberty can be found on Long Island, New York, where it makes “French-American” blends — inspired by the owners’ heritage (He’s from New York, she’s from France, coming this fall!). “What would a wine that combines American dynamism with French elegance taste like?” ask the winemakers? What does that mean? Well, Maiden + Liberty makes wines blended from French and American grapes, as well as some bottlings of U.S.-only grown varietals and some strictly imported from France. We’ll lay out what’s what in the detailed reviews below, but meanwhile, let’s find out what a wine that combines American dynamism with French elegance tastes like.
NV Maiden + Liberty French-American White Blend Batch 001 – A blend of Chardonnay and Viognier from the U.S. plus Macabeu and Vermentino from France. Results: Not at all bad. A slightly creamy wine, it has an herbal, somewhat vegetal body that is complemented by notes of brown butter, canned peaches, and baking spice. Fresh and approachable, but versatile enough to pair with food or sip solo. B+ / $20
2016 Maiden + Liberty Chardonnay North Fork of Long Island Batch 002 – A more French style of Chardonnay than we’re used to seeing on our shores, the oak dialed back, with more citrus and green apple notes coming to the fore. The finish sees a modest vanilla character, but it’s not off-putting or overly oaky; rather it gives the wine a light baking spice character that complements the fruit nicely. B+ / $15
2016 Maiden + Liberty French Rose Languedoc Batch 001 – This is a straight French import from the Languedoc, which is curious, but unfortunately a little flat: The wine is rather doughy, with yeasty overtones. This dulls the fruit, flattens the wine, and doesn’t leave much of an impression on the finish. C / $15
NV Maiden + Liberty French-American Red Blend Batch 001 – A gooey mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah and Grenache, this concoction doesn’t really come together, coming off as overly sweet, with a bizarre mix of cinnamon and blueberry notes taking center stage. The finish is heavy with vanilla and milk chocolate and a hint of licorice candy, none of which overwhelmingly appeals. C+ / $22