Saturday, April 28, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- Ian Barry is up to the challenge at Swedish Hill Winery

- Finger Lakes Drive-In set to open for season

- High water may delay canal opening

- Tierce II set to be released May 12

- The Ithacan tours Cayuga Lake wineries

- Finger Lakes Art Exhibit Listings

- Wegman Piano Factory in Auburn to be turned into Condo's

- Honeymoon Trail Winery owner is interviewed

- Finger Lakes wine fuels tourism

- Finger Lakes wine fuels tourism - Part 2

- Flood of 1935 remebered

- Need a break from wine - Drink Finger Lakes Beer

- Ethanol plant proposals struggle with rising corn prices

- Jason Feulner explores Rkatsiteli

- Finger Lakes Historical marker

- Writer Kurt Vonnegut had many Finger Lakes ties including Cornell & Hocus Pocus

- Spring has sprung in the Finger Lakes

- An interesting blog from a Finger Lakes wine industry veteran

- Allison Krauss coming to Canandaigua

- Ithaca makes "Best Green Place In America" list

- A good website for finding wine info and reviews is Kens Wine Guide

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- I apologize for not getting a Finger Lakes event calendar out for April. Time just seems to fly by. Go to for events listings.
Don't forget this coming weekend April 21 & 22 is The World Tour of Food and Wine on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.

The Spring Wine & Cheese event on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is on April 28 & 29 and if you are really serious about Finger Lakes wine, you must go to the Seneca Wine Trail's Golden Nose weekend event on May 18 & 19; I've got my ticket. And The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail hosts their Wine & Herb Fest on April 28 & 29 and May 5 & 6 and check out Cayuga Wine Trail's new Vino Visa that gives you savings on tastings at the member wineries.

- I have a major announcement! Yours truly, The Finger Lakes Weekend Wino, will be performing at Dr. Franks Wine Cellars on June 9th and June 23 & 24 for their Barbecue at the Wineries celebration. I will be debuting songs from my soon to be released CD "Sparkling Diamonds - Songs of The Finger Lakes". Come on out and party with the Wino!

- Gary at my favorite Internet TV show (heck my favorite TV show period!) Wine Library TV reviews 3 Finger Lakes Rieslings. Hint: He really liked the one that starts with "W", has "iem" in the middle, and ends with "er".

- Lots of good news from Fulkerson Winery- New Release: 2006 Traminette, 2.7% rs (Semi-Dry), 877 cases produced (more than doubling our largest bottling, the 2002 vintage).$12.00 per btl. & Ratings from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, May 2007, pg. 124: Fulkerson Winery Ratings- 2005 Dry Riesling, 86 rating / 2005 Semi-Dry Riesling, 85 rating.

- And another winery visit report:
Castel Grisch Winery, 2005 Chardonnay Reserve $14.99, a very unique Chardonnay for the Finger Lakes with a distinct toasted nut taste; 2005 Baco Noir $9.99, very nice ripe fruit with pepper and earth tones on the finish; Estate Reserve Burgundy $9.99, 75% Chancellor & 25% Chardonnay, full bodied semi-dry with lots of black cherry and a long smooth finish, excellent and an excellent value!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Long Island winery trip report

Several weekends ago, I visited some friends and finally got to tour the wineries of Long Island's North fork. After we figured out how to get out of NYC, it was great. I must say, Long Island is very beautiful and not what I pictured (I was thinking more crowded and over built). We had a great lunch at Legends in Mattituck and then we commenced wine tasting.

Overall, I noticed a pepperiness at the finish of most of the wines I tasted. Most of the wineries we visited specialized in reds and overall I was very impressed. Here are my tasting notes:

Peconic Bay, 2005 Steel Chardonnay, Nice fruit, long finish with slight pepperiness; 2004 La Barrique Chardonnay, Smooth French Oak, hint of butter, long peppery finish; 2005 Riesling, A little unbalanced and tart for me, and with that bit of pepperiness at finish; 2004 Cabernet Franc, astringent, not much fruit, perhaps underripe; 2001 Merlot, complex, upfront fruit, ripe tannins, excellent!!!
- Bedell, Very nice reds, 2006 Rose, nice and light, soft cherry;
Main Road red, Nice medium tannins, very nice table blend; 2003 Merlot, muted fruit, sloppy tannins; 2004 Taste Red, lush tannins with nice cherry and cola overtones; 2002 Reserve Merlot, very complex with very nice long plummy finish.
- Pindar, fun winery, nice staff, value winery; 2004 Chardonnay reserve, bright fruit, intense apple, very good; 2005 Semillion, complex, soft and smooth intro into a spicy finish; 2005 Sauv Blanc, lime and mineral, sort of like a dry riesling; 2006 Johannisberg Riesling, everything I like in a sweeter Riesling, pineapple, peaches, honey, I had to ask if they were using FL fruit, but they said it was LI, excellent; 2005 Riesling Ice wine; awesome!!!
- The Tasting Room- not a winery but they pour a variety of LI wines, Comtesse Therese 2004 Chardonnay, grapefruit & crisp acidity, I really liked the uniqueness that the Russian oak gave it; Comtesse Therese Rose, not enough fruit for me; Comtesse Therese 2003 Merlot, sort of Cab Franc like, but good; Schneider Le Breton 2004 Cab Franc, nice cherry and pepper with that unique mid palate eucalyptus, very good
- Roanoke Vineyards, Fellow wine blogger Lenn at LennDevours blog recommended this one and it was my favorite, owner Rich Pisacano (who is also Vineyard manager at Wolffer Estate)talked with us for a long time . I was about red wined out by this time so I chose the white flight, 2006 Roanoke Chardonnay, crisp bright and fruity, excellent; 2002 Wolffer Estate Chardonnay, very complex, with a nice nuttiness at the finish; 2005 Wolffer Rose, nice peach and citrus; 2006 Wolffer Late harvest Chardonnay, a bit unbalanced and too sweet for me, possibly could have used more vignoles to cut the sweetness.
If you are ever out Long Island way, I highly recommend visiting the wineries. My tips are: Take a good map & be patient getting though the NYC traffic (and have plenty of cash ready for tolls), be ready for more reds than whites, and keep in mind that the prices are higher than the Finger Lakes. We had a great time. But fear not, My beloved Finger Lakes wineries are still #1 for me.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- Holly Howell assesses the Finger Lakes wine competition

- The white deer controversy continues

- Napa is Mumm on Guy Deveaux's Finger Lakes work

- Finger Lakes writer writes a touching tribute for her cancer-stricken husband

- The story of The Fox & The Grapes

- Montezuma wetlands vital for bird migration

- Finger Lakes rail buffs tell story of runaway train

- Ice fishing on Skaneateles

- It's trout season

- Auburn mayor delivers State of the City address

- New York wine now offered on American Airlines flights

- Beverly's Best sauces made in the Finger Lakes

- Geneva on the Lake is a romantic getaway

- A Riesling Primer from Heather Johnston

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Finger Lakes Wine Competition Results

- Finger Lakes wines once again showed well at the FLIWC with 2 Double Gold, 13 Gold, and 60 Silver medals! Arbor Hill earned Double Gold with one of my favorite grapes - Traminette and Widmer's Cream Sherry also earned Double Gold. But perhaps the surprise of the competition was that a Finger Lakes Riesling did NOT win Best Riesling. That honor went to Washinton state's Chateau St Michelle Riesling. But I must admit that, after Finger Lakes Riesling of course, my second passion is Washington state Riesling. And Chateau St Michelle is always at the top of my list with consistent quality, a complex and bold flavor profile, and value pricing. So congrats to them, however, most of the Finger Lakes 2006 Rieslings were not at the competition. And I think the 2006's are going to outshine all competitors. You can see the complete results at:
Here are the Finger Lakes Gold & Silver medalists:

Arbor Hill 2005 Finger Lakes Classic Traminette
Widmer Brickstone Cellars NV Widmer Solaira Cream Sherry

Montezuma Winery Blue Moon (Blueberry)
Torry Ridge Winery Catawba
King Ferry Winery Silver Lining 2006 New York No Oak - Stainless Chardonnay
Lakewood Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Chardonnay
Sheldrake Point 2005 Finger Lakes Reserve Chardonnay
Prejean Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Estate Late Harvest Vignoles
Chateau Frank 2000 Finger Lakes Blanc de Blancs
Lakewood Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Port
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 New York Semi-Dry Riesling
Rooster Hill Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Estate Semi-Dry Riesling
Treleaven Wines 2006 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
Lucas Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Riesling
Glenora Wine Cellars 2006 Finger Lakes Seyval Blanc

Arcadian Estate 2005 Finger Lakes Watkins 'Way Cool' Blush
Domiani Wine Cellars 2005 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc
Fox Run Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Reserve Cabernet Franc
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Reserve Cabernet Fran
Lucas Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc
Red Newt Cellars 2005 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc Reserve
Sheldrake Point 2005 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc
Sheldrake Point 2005 Finger Lakes Barrel Reserve Cabernet Franc
White Springs 2004 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc
Knapp Winery Finger Lakes Kat Knapp
Lucas Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Cayuga White
Sheldrake Point 2006 Finger Lakes Summer White (Cayuga)
Cobblestone Winery 2005 New York Chardonnay
Hosmer Winery 2005 Cayuga Lake Chardonnay
Miles Wine Cellars 2004 Finger lakes Chardonnay
Ravines 2005 Finger Lakes Chardonnay
Cobblestone Winery 2005 Cherry
Thirsty Owl 2006 Finger Lakes 2006 Diamond
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Gewurztraminer
Lamoreaux Landing 2005 Finger Lakes Gewurztraminer
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2005 FingerLakes Celsius Chardonnay (Late harvest)
Heron Hill Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Vidal Blanc (Late Harvest)
Widmer Brickstone Cellars 2005 Vidal (Late Harvest)
Domiani Wine Cellars 2005 Finger Lakes Meritage
Hunt Country Vineyards 2004 New York Meritage
Widmer Brickstone Cellars 2004 Fingerlakes Meritage
Arbor Hill Finger Lakes Ambrosia (Methode Champenoise)
Hickory Hollow Seneca Lake Niagara
Arbor Hill 2005 Finger Lakes Noiret
Goose Watch Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Lemberger
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Rkatsiteli
Heron Hill Winery 2004 Finger Lakes Ingle Vineyard Pinot Noir
Hosmer Winery Finger Lakes Estate Red
Fox Run Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc - Lemberger
Lakewood Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Abby Rose
Red Newt Cellars 2005 Finger Lakes Viridescens
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Riesling
Fox Run Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Reserve Riesling
Heron Hill Winery 2005 New York Riesling
Lucas Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling
Swedish Hill Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Finger Lakes Estate Dry Riesling
Heron Hill Winery 2004 Finger Lakes Ingle Vineyard Riesling
Knapp Winery 2006 Finger Lakes Dry Reisling
Buttonwood Grove Winery 2004 Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Finger Lakes Estate Johannisberg Riesling
Cobblestone Winery 2005 New York Riesling
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Rose
Long Point Winery 2006 New York Rose
Goose Watch Winery Finger Lakes Classic Cream Sherry
Red Newt Cellars 2005 Finger Lakes Syrah Reserve
Goose Watch Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Traminette
Long Point Winery 2006 New York Vidal Blanc
Hunt Country Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Late Harvest Estate Bottled Vignoles
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Vignoles
Knapp Winery 2005 Cayuga Lake Estate Vignoles
Swedish Hill Winery 2005 Finger Lakes Vignoles Late Harvest
Atwater Estate Vineyards FingerLakes Banana Belt White 95% Niagara / 5% Cayuga
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Celebrate 50% Vidal / 30% Cayuga / 20% Riesling
Ventosa Vineyards 2005 Fingerlakes Vidal Riesling

Monday, April 02, 2007

New World International Wine Competition Results

- The results are in for the NWIWC and the Finger Lakes' Lucas Vineyards & Dr. Frank scored big. Congrats to both!!!

Lucas Vineyards, NV Extra Dry, Finger Lakes New York

Best of Varietal, Dr. Konstantin Frank, 2006 Rkatsiteli, Finger Lakes New York

Gold Medal
Dr. Konstantin Frank, 2006 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes New York

Silver Medal
Chateau LaFayette Reneau, 2003 Chardonnay, New York Barrel Fermented
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, 2006 Riesling, New York
Heron Hill Winery, 2004 Johannisberg Riesling, Ingle Vineyard New York
Hosmer Winery, NV Red Blend, Finger Lakes New York Estate Red
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, 2005 Chardonnay, Finger Lakes New York Estate

See the complete results here:
I think Wine Competition results are good lists to give you ideas about new wines to try, especially if you are travelling to a specific area. It used to be that you'd see mostly California wines at the top of these competitions but now there seems to be so much great wine being made all across the country that are garnering top awards. I'm seeing Nebraska & Missouri wines gaining top medals lately. It just makes me want to head out on a winery road trip across the U.S. I think it's a very exciting time for the U.S. wine industry and a great time to be a wine drinker with U.S. winemakers becoming some of the best in the world.

In my next post, I'll review my trip last weekend to Long Island Wine Country and I'll have the results from the Finger Lakes Wine Competition from last weekend as soon as they are posted.
From this article, it appears that New York wines did very well.