The usual suspects contributed to What We Drank this week. I have to say, I'm really enjoying this new feature on LENNDEVOURS, it gives me a great opportunity to write about the non-NY wines that I'm tasting and it gives me a little insight into what the other contributors are drinking. I hope you're enjoying it too.
since my cool climate obsession started, I’ve had very few California
wines. My view was that life’s too short and the world’s too large for
bothering with them. So it was interesting to try a pinot noir from the
Edna Valley the other day. A co-worker brought this one from his
travels and claimed that it was the most Burgundian style pinot he
tasted during his tour He also mentioned it was only $25.
This Tolosa Edna Ranch 2005 Estate Pinot Noir was a gentle west coast
pinot. Aromas of strawberry and cola set up a balanced mouthfeel that
finished with a touch of spice. I got some heat from the finish but
nothing I wouldn’t expect from a cool climate grape growing in a warm
environment. While it was balanced and dare I say Burgundian in
approach, there wasn’t any earthy qualities or minerality. Overall an
interesting wine from an area I know absolutely nothing about.
Sometimes you don't need a wine to be spectacular or overwhelming.
This wine is completely, utterly whelming, and there's nothing wrong
with that. It was initially underwhelming; aromatically non-existent at
first, it finally opened up after about 45 minutes, which surprised my
wife and me. I love the concept of this wine — no oak, allowing the
fruit to speak clearly — but I didn't get any of the herbs or earth
that Lenn picked up in his review. Just lots of simple, bright cherry
and raspberry and a strong finishing kick of black pepper. We were
our excellent meal at Lento in Rochester. Lento might well offer the
best food in the city, and their menu touts their devotion to local
farms, produce, and — a rarity, sadly — Finger Lakes wines. In the
picture I'm digging into a tartlet of sweet potato, gorgonzola, and
caramelized onion accompanied by sauteed local spinach and hazelnut
sherry vinegar sauce. Awesome.
After working on the Samuel Adams Beer account while living in New York City, I came to appreciate the small batch, handcrafted and artisanal aspects of microbrews. My husband Rich was bitten by the
craft beer bug at that time and seeks them out regularly. This weekend, we spent some time on our back deck with a local microbrew, Market Street Brewing Company's Barley Legal.
In the growler and the glass, the color is amber and on the nose,
distinct toastiness and slight bits of green apple. Barley Legal is
medium-bodied and smooth with a lingering finish on the back palate
and notes of caramel. This is a beer we'll grab and take to family
gatherings for easy-sipping.
I just got a chance to try the Li Bella 2008 Pinot Grigio,
an alternate label at Shaw Vineyards in its second year of bottling.
I'm not always sure what to look for in a pinot grigio, but I must say
I was impressed with this off-dry version. It had just a hint of very
light spice, with a touch of sweetness, and a good mouthfeel showcasing
The fruit was there, but unlike some other Finger Lakes
pinot grigios I didn't think this tasted like a water-logged riesling. The wine had a subtle but complex melon taste.
Straightforward and citrusy, it features fresh, food-friendly acidity, and a slightly chalky mouthfeel that is a little rounder than many Touraines I've tasted. Once it gets to room temperature, there is a faintly piney-resiny note on the palate.
I only bought two bottles of this one and I wish I had bought much more. Would be great to have on hand for summer parties.