Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finger Lakes Winery Visit Reports

McGregor Vineyards - east side of Keuka Lake,
5 samples for 5 dollars includes snack plate and sit down sampling. Beautiful rustic tasting room with views of Keuka Lake. Very knowledgable staff. Specializing in dry reds and whites.
My tasting notes are: -2004 Sparkling Riesling, $24.99, not many FL wineries make Riesling in a Sparkling style but I wish they would, 3%RS, a touch of sweetness perfectly balances the smooth acidity of this excellent sparkler. - 2006 Rkatsitelli/Sereksiya, $24.99, 2% RS, this is the only place you can find this blend, truly unique, light citrus leading to a solid finish with a touch of spicy herb. - Thistle Blush, $8.99, 3.25% RS, a unique blend of Rosette & Ives, light fruity and well balanced, very nice value sipper. - 2005 Late Harvest Vignoles, $19.99, 375ml, 6.5% RS, very floral aromas of citrus and floral blossoms, complex layers of luscious mango, pineapple, and honey.

Seneca Shore Wine Cellars, (west side of Seneca Lake), -2003 Reserve Chardonnay, $13.99, You all know how I love the buttery Chardonnays & Seneca Shore does it good, Buttery and balanced with smooth oak and a finish that lasts as long as George Hamilton's tan. - White Castle, $8.99, fruit salad with a drizzle of lightly sweet lemon, for those of us who aren't afraid to admit that we also drink sweet wines. - Castle Blush, $7.99, sweet blush, fruity sweet and tangy. -2003 Lemberger, $20.99, raspberry hints with a smoky berry finish, a very nice vintage of this increasingly popular grape in the Finger Lakes. -2001 Cab Sauv/Cab Franc, $29.99, Juicy Plum notes with hints of chocolate and a very long finish, this 2001 is ready to drink!

Miles Wine Cellars, west side of Seneca Lake,
located right on the lake with gorgeous views, -2002 Milestone, $29.95, 0% RS, 50% Cab Franc & 50% Merlot, deep plum notes with succulent chocolate overtones. -2005 Pinot Noir, $24.95, 0% RS, perfectly balanced cherry and oak with a beautiful long finish, this is how you do Finger Lakes Pinot Noir. - Ghost (named that because the winery is said to be haunted), $15.95, 1.5% RS, Chardonnay/Cayuga blend, light bodied but with good fruit and a solid backbone.

Bloomer Creek Vineyard, east side of Seneca Lake,
Owner and winemaker Kim Engle has put his heart and soul into his dream of establishing a top-notch winery and that hard work shows when you taste Bloomer Creek wine. I give Bloomer Creek my vote for one of the best 2006 Finger Lakes Riesling, $14.00, 2% RS, perfectly balanced and integrated fruit, acidity, and that east Seneca mineral that I love so well, This Riesling (that I am enjoying right now) is perfect in my book. - 2006 Cafe White, $12.99, Chardonnay/Pinot Gris, soft with nicely balanced fruit and acidity. - 2006 Chardonnay, $18.00, soft and light bodied with well defined oak. - 2006 Cayuga White, $9.00, 3% RS, the fruit comes right at you with pineapple and melon up front with a crisp balanced finished & a great value. -2006 Gamay Noir, $14.00, Beaujolais-style wine starting with hints of strawberry and finishing with notes of pepper and spice. - 2006 Cafe Red, $12.99, .8% RS, very soft and light-bodied Cabernet Franc, but with ample fruit of smoky strawberry/raspberry. -Half Moon Rose, $10.00, Excellent blush, blend of Cayuga White & Pinot Noir, soft and fruity.

Shalestone Vineyards, east side of Seneca Lake,
Owner & Winemaker Rob Thomas makes wine the way he lives his life - on his own terms. If you don't like dry reds, you might as well not even bother turning into the driveway. In an area filled with 100 other wineries that compromise at least a little and make at least one sweeter wine to appease the non-dry drinker, Rob is steadfast. And he is doing quite well, thank you.
2005 Merlot, $18.00, full rounded tannins, very smooth with a long finish hinting of pepper.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, $20.00, full bodied with smooth strong tannins, made to age.
2005 Cabernet Franc, $20.00, full of cherry and smoke, but be patient, tannins are begging to be left alone for a while. - 2006 Rich Rose, $12.99, 100% Pinot Noir, soft mouth feel of light cherry, very well-balanced, ready to drink now!

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