By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
The more wines I taste from Red Tail Ridge on Seneca Lake, the more impressed I am with co-owner/winemaker Nancy Irelan's wines. If Red Tail Ridge isn't in the top tier of Finger Lakes wineries already, it will be very soon.
As with many wineries in the region, the rieslings are the stars of the portfolio, but Ireland isn't a one-grape pony, as evidenced by wines like this Red Tail Ridge 2008 Sparkling Teroldego ($35) — as unique a wine as you'll find in the Finger Lakes.
Hailing from the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige, Teroldego is an early-ripening red variety, and I believe Red Tail's is the only significant planting in New York. Typically, it's used to make still wines.
This bubbly is beautiful in the glass, delivering aromas that range from black currants and cherries to cured meat to truffles. There is a savory, almost soy sauce-like note as well.
Medium-full bodied, this is a nearly-dry, frothy red with dried red and black fruit flavors backed by a meaty-savory vein throughout. Some tannins peek their head out on the mid-palate before leading into a soft, creamy finish that shows some black pepper along with dried cherries.
The finish isn't overly long, but I found myself coming back to this one after my tasting was complete. There is some serious, savory umami here and this wine begs for food — anything grilled or with mushrooms.
Producer: Red Tail Ridge Winery
AVA: Finger Lakes
TA: 6.5 g/L
Case Production: 49