Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finger Lakes Winery Report - Silver Springs Winery

A winetasting at Silver Springs Winery (east side of Seneca Lake) is like attending a Wine Appreciation Course, with your professor being owner John Zuccarino. John doesn't want you to just taste wine, he wants you to be an educated wine taster. He is passionate about wine education, as proven by his weekly educational videos - click here to watch. I guarantee that you will come out of Silver Springs more knowledgable about wine than you came in. John and his wife Sari are hands-on owners and it is refreshing to be able to talk directly with the owners when you come in for a tasting. Silver Spring's red wines are some of the best in The Finger Lakes and you can taste their passion for crafting fine wines.

Here are the highlights of my tasting notes:
> 2002 Cabernet Franc (with 10% Cab Sauv), $19.95, 18 months in French oak, coffee and rounded oak overtones, exquisitely balanced and smooth, it is wonderful to taste aged Finger Lakes reds, a few years in the bottle really brings out the best in Finger Lakes reds. Too many times I think that Finger Lakes wineries bring out their reds too early (although I do understand that a lot of times they need to have new product out so they are forced into releasing their reds perhaps before they should).
> 2003 Cabernet Franc, $21.95, Nuanced coffee overtones with abundant cherry and hints of anise, medium tannins that drink well now but will also age well, an excellent example of an ageworthy Finger Lakes Cab Franc.
> 2003 Merlot, $21.95, 18 months in oak, flavors of mocha, plum, cherry, and blackberry with tannins softening nicely.
> 2003 Bold Merlot, 2 1/4 years in French oak!, full-bodied with deep coffee undertones with hints of cocoa and licorice, medium tannins, John says its got 15 years until it peaks but I like it just fine right now.
Lest you think that Silver Springs just does good reds, they've got some fine whites also.
> 2004 Cayuga White, 3% RS, $11.99, This '04 is still putting out great flavor with perfectly balanced pineapple/grapefruit and ripe peach. A 5% RS '04 Cayuga White is also available for those who prefer a touch more sweetness.
> 2007 Vintners Select Pinot Grigio, $18.95, 1% RS, I have been lamenting the lack of complex multidimensional Pinot Grigio in The Finger Lakes but Silver Springs gives me hope with this full-flavored and complex Grigio, loads of apple and pear with brisk acidity. John attributes late harvesting as a major factor in enhancing the flavor profile of his Grigio.
> 2004 Gewurztraminer Ice Wine, $42, 15% RS, What a Special Treat this is!, layers of apricot, tangerine, raisins, and honey! This is a world-class Ice Wine and is a bargain at $42. Too bad the vines that made this are no longer with us. I drink a toast to those vines. Get a taste of this while it lasts!


Anonymous said...

I've heard that this winery is interesting and want to check it out, but their labels seem a bit off-color to me when I've looked at their website on the internet (including your image here). Are the labels distracting in person as well, or do they work a bit better when one sees the entire bottle?

Unknown said...

I think the labels do better in person than on the web. But the wines are well worth stopping in for a tasting.