Thursday, May 28, 2009

Finger Lakes Winery Reports - May 2009

Here are highlights of my May Winery Visits:

Red Tail Ridge Winery, west side of Seneca Lake, They are starting to produce their own estate wines now and I am very excited about the wines here, especially the reds.

> ’08 Estate Semi-dry Riesling, $15.95, 1.8%RS, this Riesling is a bit different (or is it) with lots of green apple flavors instead of peach, leading into rounded lime tones on the finish.

> ’07 Estate Pinot Noir, $19.95, pleasant funky earth and tobacco on the nose, lots of beautiful smoky tobacco tones with deep black cherry undertones and a long mocha finish, an excellent Finger Lakes Pinot Noir!

> ’07 Lemberger, $18.95, from the Martini vineyards, well-defined spicy cherry layers but not much pepper right now, a little heavy on the acidity right now but this has aging potential and should smooth out nicely.

Anthony Road Winery, west side of Seneca Lake, lots to talk about here,

> ’07 Chardonnay-No Oak, $12.99, .6%RS, steely and crisp with spicy pear highlights.

> ’08 Semi-dry Riesling, $14.99, 2.6%RS, nice fresh floral and citrus aromas, bold citrus with underlying honeyed melon and ripe peach, the acidity should smooth out nicely with a little age.

> ’08 Gewurztraminer, $15.99, 1.1%RS, a bit unbalanced to me right now with loads of lychee and spice overwhelming the hints of orange and ginger below the surface, I’ll try again in a few months.

> ’07 Vignoles, $12.99, 1.4%RS, winemaker Johannes Reinhardt always makes a beautifully structured and flavorful Vignoles, nice honeyed grapefruit aromas, expressive melon with smooth citrus and a steely backbone make this a great Vignoles!

> ’06 Martini-Reinhardt Berry Select Vignoles, $45, 14.5%RS, sticking with Vignoles but in a dessert style, Beautiful amber gold color, honeyed lime aromas, sweet but balanced, intense fig, apricot, and honey in this flavor bomb, savor it slowly.

> ’07 Martini Reinhardt Select Riesling, $22, 2.1%RS, structured and steely on the nose, bold but smooth mouthwatering lime on the front with balanced honeyed lychee and spice on the finish, this is a really good value at $22, this is an excellent well-structured and nuanced Semi-dry Riesling that should also age well!

> ’07 Martini Reinhardt Select Cabernet Franc, $30, Correction: .1%RS, At first the 14.3% alcohol overwhelmed me, but after I let it breathe a bit, this wine came to life, a complex wine, very soft with deep plum and coffee tones with hints of anise, tobacco, and leather on the deep palate into a long long cocoa mocha finale, Bravo Johannes!!!

Belhurst Winery, west side of Seneca Lake, After struggling for a few years to find their wine focus, Belhurst has come out with a an impressively solid wine lineup this year; they are still a bit pricey for my wallet but it IS a premium resort with beautiful views and great dining so I guess I can shell out a little extra for excellent wine, although I am not sure where the grapes/juice is from or who the winemaker(s) are. A recent press release from Belhurst president Duane Reeder stated "With a unique winery philosophy, the Belhurst Winery includes a committee of experts who carefully seek fruit, vineyards, wine varieties and winemakers who will contribute to the palette of wines sold by Belhurst. The committee continually collaborates with area winemakers to produce consistently high quality wines which quickly become Belhurst favorites." Hmmmmm??? I assume it's Finger Lakes fruit, but I'm not sure. I will get to the bottom of this!

> ’08 Pinot Grigio, $19.95, Pinot Grigio has disappointed me in the Finger Lakes. The problem is, I have tasted a couple of exceptional Finger Lakes PG’s so I know that it can be done, but for the most part, most Finger Lakes PG’s are flabby and one dimensional, Fortunately Belhurst latest offering is beautifully structured with apple and peach layers into a spicy mineral finish that goes on longer than a Finger Lakes winter! Thank You Belhurst for a nice Finger Lakes PG. Now work on lowering that price for us common folk : ) I guess they need extra $ for that winemaking committee?

> ’08 Chardonnay, $18.95, more lime in this Chardonnay than normal Finger Lakes Chard but I like it, complex with toasted vanilla with a touch of spice with integrated soft lime with melon undertones into a very long finish, Yum.

> ’08 Dry Riesling, $18.95, fresh honeyed citrus aroma, layers of apple and melon with solid mineral finish, Wow, I am impressed! Way to make a comeback, Belhurst. I have only tasted about 10 ‘08’s so far, but this one tops my list right now. It appears that the ’08 Rieslings that I have tasted generally have more apple tones instead of the normal peach tones and there’s nothing wrong with that.

> ’08 Semi-dry Riesling, $17.95, loads of melon and apple but after the excellent Dry version, the finish just can’t compete, still a very good semi-dry Riesling.

> ’07 Pinot Noir, $21.95, the Finger Lakes ’07 Pinot Noirs seem to be coming in to their own now as the Red Tail Ridge Pinot that I reviewed above and this one are revealing, nicely funky earthy cherry on the nose, lots of dried black fruit and juicy black cherry with underlying hints of dried berries, lots of fruit in this very good and perfectly balanced Pinot, Actually this is a good value at this price point.

Fox Run Vineyards, west side of Seneca Lake,

> ’08 Semi-dry Riesling, $13.99, 2.5%RS, My knowledgable server Tim warned me that this had just been bottled, but even with bottle shock, this wine is showing very well already, very soft and smooth layered citrus tones,of orange, nectarine and lime and should continue to get better, Very Nice.

> ’06 Reserve Chardonnay, $14.99, .5%RS, Expressive Chard fruit with nice peach character and a nice long finish. > Artcic Fox, $8.99, a very steely and structured Cayuga even with 2.1%RS, very intriguing apple and citrus layers happening here, a really nice value white.

> ’07 Reserve Pinot Noir, $50, Once again, the Red wine story in the Finger Lakes this year may be the ’07 Pinot Noir, Lush and Velvety, soft smooth cherry with smoky tobacco undertones, this is an excellent wine and may well be worth the $50 price tag, but for a commoner like me, I see better value elsewhere.

Hermann Wiemer Vineyard, west side of Seneca Lake,

> ’07 Dry Riesling, $17.50, .9%RS, Winemaker Fred Merwarth doing what he does so well, the perfect dry Riesling, this is a ménage a trois of perfectly balanced peach, melon, and lime on a bed of smooth mineral and I hope that you are not in the room next door because they could go all night!

> ’07 Dry Riesling Reserve, $23, .7%RS, finely nuanced mineral character with peach layers and honeyed spice undertones, but I actually prefer the Non-reserve this year.

> 2003 Blanc de Noir, Dry Sparkling Wine, 85% Pinot Noir/ 15% Chardonnay, HW doesn’t get enough credit for their sparklers because their Riesling gets all the press, but this one has nicely expressed apple tones with beautifully defined toasty highlights.

> ’07 Estate White, $12, .4%RS, 60% Chardonnay, 20% Riesling, 20% Gewurztraminer, a very complex value blend, I find that winemakers who make the best premium wines also make the best value wines because they strive for the same balance and structure but blends are at lower price points. Sort of the same concept as eating lunch at a fancy restaurant, the chef is going to strive for the same quality as his dinner fare, but you will pay less for that same quality at lunch (yes, I am a cheapskate). This wine exudes layers of peach, apple and melon, with excellent balance and structure, a very good value at this price point.

That's all for now. I'll see you on the wine trails!!! FLWW


Anonymous said...

Rob, Thanks for stopping by the winery to taste. You have always shown positive support for our wines and we thank you. One error in your report was the residual sugar on the M-RS Cabernet Franc. This wine is in fact a dry wine with a residual sugar of .1% or 1g/L, instead of the 1.1% you have reported. Small detail but a detail none the less. The ripe fruit of the 2007 vintage would account for the sweet fruit you may have tasted. Once again, thank you for the support. Peter Becraft/Assistant Winemaker - ARWC

Finger Lakes Weekend Wino said...

Peter, Thanks for the correction. I have updated the post. It is an excellent wine!