Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Winery Visit Report - Dr. Frank Wine Cellars, June 2008

This time around, I tasted the white wines at Dr. Frank in their stylish new tasting room overlooking Keuka Lake on a hot but beautiful day. Here are my tasting notes:
> 2007 Dry Riesling, $17.99, The Doctor has done it again. Dr. Frank’s 2007 Dry Riesling is out and it is superb, but haven't we come to expect nothing less than superb from Dr. Frank Riesling. This wine opens up with amazing aromatics, which is a trademark of Dr. Frank Riesling. Beautifully fragrant floral highlights mixed with citrus blossoms lets you know that you are about to partake of something special. On the palate, it is complex with layers of peach, pear, and that distinctive unmistakable Dr. Frank lime and mineral on the mouthwatering finish. Is it the terroir? Is it those wonderful old vines? Is it the great winemaking team? All I know is that everything seems to come together year after year to craft one of the finest Rieslings in the world, in my opinion.
> 2006 Pinot Gris, $19.99, I think most everyone in the Finger Lakes has put out a Pinot Gris (Grigio) this year and, unfortunately, most have disappointed. Dr. Franks version has some nice pear but that distinctive lime and acidity that makes the Riesling so wonderful sort of overpowers in the Pinot Gris.
> 2005 Chardonnay, $14.99, Nice hints of pear and that distinctive acidity give it a nice backbone, but it fades a bit on the finish.
> 2006 Rkatsiteli, $19.99, The Russian grape that was the talk of the region last year, Clean citrus with unique herbal hints, but with age, it is now giving out some grapefruit on the finish, still a unique treat.
> 2006 Gewurztraminer, $19.99, lots of clean lychee and lime,Big Flavors here, a wonderful Gewurz.
> 2006 Semi-Dry Riesling, $15.99, this is a wonderful wine that I reviewed last year, but after tasting the ’07 Dry Riesling, it just didn’t stand a chance. No disrespect to the ’06 intended, but I can’t wait to taste the ’07 Semi-Dry. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be available for a while until the ’06 supply is sold. Maybe Fred will let me sneak a taste next time I’m there (hint, hint). > And last but certainly not least, the Celebre’ (Riesling Champagne ), $19.99, from the 2002 Riesling vintage, beautiful acidity with a touch of honeysuckle sweetness. This is my pick for any special occasion.


Lenn Thompson said...

Nice report my friend...and again, I think we have very similar palates.

I really found that pinot gris disappointing. It's almost like it doesn't belong in their portfolio...given the quality of the other wines.

I didn't really dig the gewurzt that much tough...the riesling and the Rkat are outstanding though.

Finger Lakes Weekend Wino said...

I totally agree about the Pinot Gris . I have tasted a bunch of them and most are one dimensional and a bit flabby. I think the growers and winemakers are still in the process of figuring out Pinot Gris in the Finger Lakes. There are a couple of excellent ones, my favorites being Lakewood which is a 2006 and the new Silver Springs 2007. Both are complex with layers of apple and pear with nice acidity.

Jason Feulner said...

Yep, most pinot gris haven't hit the mark yet.

Pinot gris will take some time to find its niche (and ironically it might not do as well in good riesling years and be better in bad) but I'm encouraged by the style attempt far more than the overripe California and cheap Italian versions that are mass produced. Who knows, but I'm looking forward to what this varietal may offer in the Finger Lakes!