Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finger Lakes Weekend Wino Wine Awards - Reds

Well, It's that time of the year when I reveal my favorite Finger Lakes wines of the past year. After visiting 81 Finger Lakes wineries (No, I did not meet my goal of visiting them all and I do apologize to those that I missed) and sampling over 600 Finger Lakes wines (hey, somebody's got to do it), I will now reveal (do a drum roll with your tongue) the FINGER LAKES WEEKEND WINO WINE AWARDS (raise the curtain, cue the band featuring Paul Schaffer (he's in all the tv special bands), cue the dancing wine bottles for the lavish opening number, and introduce the freakishly angular-faced Conan O' Brien (our emcee for these distinguished awards).

Conan: Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here tonight to celebrate the finest wines of the Finger Lakes, as judged by some goofball who has an obsession with Finger Lakes wine. These wines have been selected as excellent, by the criteria of being extremely well-balanced, varietally correct, with complex aroma and flavor profiles, with an emphasis on value, and finally, they're just plain yummy! OK, How many Finger Lakes wine bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three - One for red bulbs, one for white bulbs, and one for blush bulbs! (Low murmur as audience grimaces) Hey, for what they are paying me for this, you're lucky to get any jokes at all out of me! And now, our first category is for Best Reds (These are in no particular order & these were all available at some point in 2007, but may be sold out now):

* Silver Springs Winery
> 2002 Cabernet Franc (with 10% Cab Sauv), $18.95, lovely cherry aroma, abundant cherry on the palate with a subtle smoky pepper finish, 18 months in French oak
> 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, $21.95, nice plum and cherry with hints of smoky anise, heavy tannins that are softening beautifully, will age very well, can't wait to taste this one in a few years.
> 2003 Bold Merlot, $27, 60% Finger Lakes fruit & 40% Long Island fruit, aged in French oak for 2 1/4 years, heavenly soft plum with deep chocolate undertones. drink now or lay it down.

* Damiani Wine Cellars
> 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, $21, beautiful deep ruby color, raspberry and currant flavors, very heavy tannins, let this one rest a while
> 2005 Meritage, $25, Cab Franc/ Cab Sauv/ Merlot, deep tones of berry and hints of coffee, heavy tannins, will age well, the potential is extremely evident.

* Shalestone Vineyards
> 2005 Merlot, $18, Rounded tannins, very smooth with hints of pepper in a finish that's longer than a Texas highway.
> 2006 Rich Rose', $12.99, 100% Pinot Noir, excellent value, smooth cherry, well balanced, easy drinking wine.

* Chateau Lafayette Reneau > 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99, aromatic cherry nose, very silky tannins, amzingly expressive cherry fruit, excellent & delicious.

* Leidenfrost Vineyards > 2005 Pinot Noir, $20, Loads of cherry with a touch of cranberry, medium tannins, ready to drink now but will also age well.

* Hickory Hollow/ Highland Cellars > 2003 Pinot Noir, $12.49, excellent value, lots of smoky cherry with a hint of anise and a long finish with very soft tannins.

* Ravines Wine Cellars
> 2005 Pinot Noir, $21.95, soft medium tannins, ripe cherry with a complex earthiness

> 2005 Meritage, $23.95, 32% Cab Franc/ 45% Cab Sauv/ 23% Merlot, smooth berry fruit with beautifully balanced oak and spice.

* Shaw Vineyards > 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, $19.99, excellent color and balance, soft mouthfeel with medium tannins with a dash of pepper on the finish.

* Prejean Winery > 2005 Cabernet Franc, $15.99, intense berry fruit with hints of spice with a silky smooth mouthfeel and a long finish, a delicious wine.

* Anthony Road Wine Co. > 2005 Cabernet Franc (33%)/ Lemberger (67%), beautiful smoky raspberry flavors with soft velvety tannins.

* Arcadian Estate Winery, > Cafe Noir, $10.99, excellent value, Baco Noir/ Rougeon blend, soft and fruity dry red, Cab Franc-like.

* Hermann Wiemer Vineyards > Dry Rose', $11, excellent value, nice smoky cherry, extremely well balanced

* King Ferry Winery > Meritage, $22.99, Cab Franc/Merlot/CabSauv, ripe black cherry flavors with hints of leather and spice, smooth and balanced, heavy tannins, will age well.

* Castel Grisch Winery > Estate Reserve Burgundy, $9.99, excellent value, 75% Chancellor/ 25% Chardonnay, loads of black cherry into a long smooth finish.

* Montezuma Winery > 2004 Merlot, $17.99, opens with tasty berry fruit with deep toffee undertones into a long smoky finish, deep dark and smoky, nice

* Keuka Lake Vineyards > 2005 Leon Millot, $12, dry red hybrid, excellent value, 50 year old vines, deep color, berry aromas, 1 year in newer French oak, deep black raspberry flavor with nice oak.

* Seneca Shore Wine Cellars > 2001 Cab Sauv/Cab Franc, $29.99, abundant plum with chocolate notes, coming into its peak. > 2003 Lemberger, $19.99, smooth raspberry into a smoky finish.

* Long Point Winery > 2004 Syrah, $16.99, light-bodied but with abundant berry fruit with undertones of spice and oak. > 2006 Moon Puppy, $9.99, excellent value, unique semi-sweet Cabernet Franc that really works, 3% Residual Sugar brings out loads of cherry.

* Miles Wine Cellars > 2002 Milestone, $29.95, 50% Cab Franc/ 50% Merlot, Hungarian oak, Deep Plum with Dark Chocolate overtones, Yum. > 2005 Pinot Noir, $24.95, French oak, A perfect balance of cherry and oak.

* Bloomer Creek Vineyard > 2006 Cafe' Red, Cabernet Franc, $12.99, excellent value, Light-bodied but with abundant smoky strawberry.

* Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards > 2005 Merlot, $18.99, Medium tannins, deep and dark with fruit that just won't end, Yum.

* Lakewood Vineyards > 2005 Cabernet Franc, $15.99, very soft, beautifully balanced fruit and oak.

* Lucas Vineyards > 2006 Cabernet Franc Reserve, $17.99, Heavy semi-soft tannins, soft cherry that will age nicely. > 2006 Syrah Reserve, $24.99, lovely complex nose, beautiful cherry/raspberry, made to age. If these 2 are indicative of the 2006 Finger Lakes reds, all I can say is Wow! And I thought the 2005's were awesome.

* Fulkerson Winery > 2005 Pinot Noir, $20, smokey raspberry with sweet oak is a delicious combination. > 2005 Noiret, one of the newest Cornell grapes, complex nose of floral, mint, and pepper, complex flavors of cherry, plum, and cola with medium tannins, it sold out quickly.

* Sheldrake Point > 2004 Cabernet Franc, $16.99, layers of plum, cherry, and raspberry.

* Red Tail Ridge Winery > 2006 Dry Rose', 80% Pinot Noir/ 20% Cab Franc, smooth strawberry/cherry into a nice long finish.

* Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars > 2003 Merlot, $17.99, soft medium tannins, smooth nd balanced.

* Cobblestone Farm Winery > 2006 Cabernet Franc, $16.99, Rich berry fruit with hints of pepper and spice, another wine that shows the promise of the 2006 Finger Lakes Reds.

* Knapp Winery > Serenity, $11.95, Baco Noir, excellent value, .8% RS, fresh and fruity.

Congratulations to all of the Finger Lakes Red Wine winners for 2007!!! Unfortunately, with this blog's budget, all you win is the great feeling of knowing that your winemaking skills are appreciated and acknowledged! Besides, you don't need another award clogging up your walls, do you?

Stay tuned for the White Wine Winners coming soon.

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