Kansas City is a great town with a beautiful old train station, a shockingly bizarre mid-century airport, and some absolutely spectacular dining. There's also Amigoni Urban Winery, located in the historic Daily Drover Telegram Newspaper building in the Stockyards District of the West Bottoms. Next up in our ongoing series investigating some of America's urban wineries (check out our recent thoughts on the Travessia Winery in New Bedford, Massachusetts), winemaker Michael Amigoni sources about 75% of his grapes locally in the Kansas City area, including many from the small Amigoni Vineyard about 30 miles to the east. The rest come from California, giving him the ability that we love in the urban winemaking scene to make interesting wines sourced from a variety of locations.
Amigoni is serious about making great wine, and has built a city tasting experience befitting this dedication. The tasting room at 1505 Genessee Street also serves as a character-rich event space, with a truly one-of-a-kind atrium and tasting bar up front and a renovated barrel room and adjoining patio. We loved the winery's eclectic and authentic feel.
On stopping in for a tasting, you'll find that not all wines are available on any given day. Their list is about 10-15 bottles deep, but is curated based on what's tasting well at a particular time. We like this attention to detail, and dove into trying the red-heavy lineup below.
The only white on offer this time, the Viognier gold, viscous, and super leggy. The palate delights with honey and peach notes and an overall warming quality. Though more full body than some others we've tried, we loved that it manages to be so without the buttery flabbiness that plagues some Viognier, with crisp acidity and a lush mid-palate.
2013 Urban Cépages
A surprising Grenache-dominated blend (80% Grenache from California, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from Missouri), the Urban Cépages was aged for twelve months in Missouri oak (they love the "drink local" concept). We were surprised by the burnt rust qualities in the color given the typically darker nature of the Grenache and Cab blending partners. The two grapes seemed to mellow one another a bit, softening the other's rougher qualities into a nice cherry and plum package with hints of white pepper and a pleasing, lingering finish.
We wouldn't expect Barbera in Missouri, but this nice bright single-varietal red was medium bodied and an excellent compliment to cured meats (hints of which we picked up in the nose). There is some slight acidity and soft tannins before a mellow, pleasing finish.
2014 Urban Vaquero
Amigoni's tasting notes call this Tempranillo (90%) and Merlot (10%) blend the "urban cowboy". As with the Barbera, we were definitely surprised to see a Tempranillo based wine in this part of the world, but such is the creative freedom inherent in sourcing fruit from elsewhere. That Tempranillo is often called Spain's "noble grape" is evident in this wine: it felt very Spanish from start to finish. It's earthy, and surprisingly cool with hints of plum, vanilla, and spice.
We would have loved to try their Cabernet Franc, a grape varietal that we find does well in a surprisingly diverse series of geographies, climate, and soil conditions (the tasting list bills it as their "signature grape and best seller"). They've a single varietal Cab Franc and another bottle, the Urban Drover, that is a 50/50 blend with Petit Verdot. We think this could be worth a return trip the next time we're passing through Kansas City - go taste for yourself!