This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Numerous correspondents write as that they were disappointed at not finding an expression of our opinion of this fruit, in the October number. We will give it now. It was presented, in large quantities, before the Pomological Society at Boston, and since then we have been able to examine it carefully at home, Mr. Bull having politely sent us a box of them. It is a large, handsome Grape, both bunch and berry resembling the Isabella in appearance, save that the bunch is usually more compact and the berry rounder and has a thicker coat of bloom. It has the same foxy perfume and flavor of the Isabella, but stronger; when a few berries are eaten, a prickling sensation is produced on the tongue. This has been remarked by all who have tested it, as far as we know. It is very juicy, and we think will prove to be an excellent wine grape. For the table, however, we do not consider it equal in quality to the Isabella; and in this opinion nearly all disinterested parties, whom we have conversed with, agree. It was tested and compared with the Isabella, at Boston, grown at Weston, not far from Concord; and not one on the committee considered it as good.
We have again compared it with Isabellas grown here, and the latter has been unanimously pronounced superior.
Yet we regard the Grape as an important acquisition, as ripening earlier than either the Catawba or Isabella, and therefore likely to furnish northern sections with a Grape, where heretofore no good Grapes have ripened. It may be two weeks earlier than the Isabella, but not more, we think; for ripe Isabellas, fully ripe and excellent, grown within ten miles or less of Concord, were shown beside it at Boston. The location, however, must have been a very favorable one; for most people seemed surprised to see it ripe so early, and some, Mr. Hovey included, asserted very positively that they were not Isabellas but veritable Concords. Mr. Hovey adhered to this opinion, we believe, until he went out to Weston and examined the vine from which the Isabellas were gathered. From this one would suppose that there is a great similarity between the two Grapes; and so there is; but the form and flavor are both different, as we have already said, and the canes of the Concord are much more slender than those of the Isabella.
We believe the merits of this Grape have been exaggerated. It has been described as being "free from all pulp," and of a very rich and luscious flavor. Mr. Bull himself, however, described it as having "very little pulp,1' which is nearer the truth. We think it will, with the same treatment, be about the size of the Isabella. It appears to have a vigorous constitution, likely to escape mildew and other diseases to a great extent; and this is a very important quality. On the whole, we congratulate Mr. Bull on his successful attempt at raising seedling Grapes; it affords him ample encouragement to continue his labors in this direction.