Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finger Lakes Winery Visit Reports - March 2009

Here are some highlights from my March winery visits:

Dr. Frank Wine Cellars, west side of Keuka Lake, This well-known winery always produces a quality product and I've been tasting here for many years, but I have to say that this year, I am struck by the consistency of Dr. Frank's '07 vintage white wine lineup. Right down the line, these whites from the '07 vintage are just beautiful!!! And because of the slowing economy, they have actually lowered the prices on some of their wines!
> 2007 Dry Riesling, $16.99, soft floral/citrus aromatics, a little different than recent vintages of this wine (but just as excellent) with softer mineral tones and more rounded lime tones with mild apple undertones and, as always impeccably balanced and integrated flavors.
> 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling, $14.99, citrus blossom aromatics, Expressive ripe peach and soft citrus with subdued but sufficient minerality and just the right touch of Residual Sugar.
> 2007 Gewurztraminer, $17.99, If you've read my posts for the last 6 months, you know that I believe that many of the '07 Gewurz's in the Finger Lakes have established a new level for Finger Lakes Gewurz and these two '07 Dr. Frank Gewurz's are at that top level, beautifully perfumed complex aromatics, with plush spice and honey tones.
> 2007 Reserve Gewuztraminer, $24.99, All I can say is Wow!!! Extremely aromatic multi-toned floral and spice, layers and layers of plush tangerine, honey, ripe peach, apricot, with complex spice tones including deep palate hints of cinnamon and sweet basil. An amazingly complex Gewurztraminer!!! One of my top favorites right now.
> 2007 Salmon Run Riesling, $11.99, Dr. Frank's value Riesling, nice layers of juicy peach and crisp apple, Very Nice and an Excellent Value.
> Chateau Frank Celebre, $19.99, Sparkling Riesling, smooth soft-toned lemon/lime citrus and peach with nice toast elements in an excellent bubbler.
Also, some noteworthy '07 reds from Dr. Frank
> 2007 Lemberger, $24.99, deep plum and bing cherry tones with slight hints of peppery spice, medium tannins should age well.
> 2007 Cabernet Franc, $19.99, Well defined cherry tones with an expressive earthiness and a hint of anise into a long finish.

Glenora Wine Cellars (west side of Seneca Lake), Glenora also has a quality white wine lineup on the shelves, Some highlights are:
> 2006 Signature, $17.99, Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Riesling blend, beautifully layered tones of vanilla, citrus, melon, and toast from the French Oak aging.
> 2007 Golden Glen Chardonnay, $13.99, a full-bodied stainless steel aged Chardonnay, soft melon on the intake into juicy Chard fruit with a solid crisp finish.
> 2007 Pinot Blanc, $13.99, Delicate pear and peach tones lead to pleasant undertones of petrol and Frenck oak. Very Nice!
> 2007 Riesling, $15.99, 3.2% RS, very soft mouthfeel with honeyed melon and peach/pear highlights. The Beverage Tasting Institute named this Riesling as The Best Riesling in the U.S., but I must beg to differ. It's Very Good, but the best???
> Cayuga White, 3.3% RS, $8.99 750ml, $13.99 1.5L, focused layers of honeyed grapefruit, melon and apple, a great example of how Finger Lakes winemakers turn the much aligned hybrids into complex multi-faceted wines.
Red Newt Wine Cellars, east side of Seneca Lake, always a top producer of whites AND reds.
> 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling, $13.99, 2.5% RS, multi-layered citrus of orange/tangerine/apricot into a solid crisp finish.
> 2007 Saw Mill Creek Gewurztraminer, $35.99, Owner Dave Whiting is crafting some single vineyard wines in order to define the profiles of the specific locations and Jim Hazlitt's Saw Mill Creek vineyard is one of them. This can lead to higher-priced wines as evidenced here, but it also lead to wines that define wine regions. Another exceptional '07 Gewurz with unbelievable aromatics from this wine with complex perfumed floral and spice, outlined by more subtle and delicate tropical notes (melon, kiwi) into a solid spicy mineral finish.
> 2007 Cabernet Franc, $19.99, plum, earth and leather on the nose, with luscious juicy fruit with more plum and berry tones and less of the usual cherry, Loving it!!!
Fulkerson Winery, west side of Seneca Lake, here are some highlights for this 20th Anniversary year for Fulkerson
> 2007 Dry Riesling Reserve, $16.49, If you are a dry Riesling fan, this one is for you. This was made for food with an almost Stainless-aged Chardonnay feel to it. Nice framework of crisp lime and some interesting pear undertones into a classic mineral finish. Only 124 cases made.
> 2007 Traminette, 1.6 RS, $11.99, just released a few weeks ago, lightly perfumed nose with exotic spice, opens with delicate honey spice flavors into a long juicy ripe pear finish, even better than the acclaimed previous Tram vintages! And a Great Value at 11.99.
> 2007 Riesling-Traminette, $12.49, 1.2% RS, subtle but very effective describes this unique blend of 55% Riesling and 45% Traminette, full aromatics of floral blossoms, honeysuckle, citrus and mild spices, soft and subtle but still fully detailed pear flavors into a mild spice finish.
> 2007 Ravat 51 (Vignoles), $9.99, 6.3% RS, lots of residual sugar but balanced with perfect acidity, a different tasting Vignoles than normal with interesting apple cider aromas with more peach and apple flavors than the normal pineapple/grapefruit, different but I like it!
>2008 Matinee, $13.99, 7% RS, One of THE most unique wines in the Finger Lakes. Normally Fulkerson makes this with the seldom-used Lakemont and Himrod grapes but this year just Himrod. Lightly perfumed citrus peel and mint on the nose, less of that unique mint flavor this year but it's more than made up for with delicate peach and tangerine. This is a nuanced wine and a nice light apertif that will go perfectly with light desserts.
In wine competition news, a Finger Lakes wine made from Niagara and Diamond grapes - Penguin Bay Tuxedo White - won Best of Class this month at Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition. I can just visualize all of the stodgy old wine snob judges grimacing : )
That's all for now. I'll see you on the Trails!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To clarify, the 2007 Glenora Riesling was named the Best US Riesling in Beverage Testing Institute's 2008 World Value Wine Championships for wines 20 and under.