Posts Written OnDecember 2012

5 Questions with… Alicia Valle, In-House Epicurean, Lieb Cellars


For this week’s “5 Questions with…” feature, we sit down with Alicia Valle from Lieb Cellars. She is a dean’s list graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and freelance artist who found her way to the North Fork from the Hudson Valley. Alicia works at Lieb Cellars’ new location in Cutchogue, but lives in Rocky Point and spends her days off geeking-out on culinary topics, exploring the Northeast, and visiting friends in Brooklyn. What was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking — and where did you have it and who were you with? (I will immediately discount…

Benmarl Winery 2010 Ridge Road Estate Cabernet Franc


Toasty oak and caramel candy mask red raspberry and peppery spice aromas on the nose. Lacks fruit on the palate as well — tasting far older than it is. Medium-full body, dominated by oak and Werther’s Originals flavors. Ripe, medium-intensity tannins bring nice structure, but the oak influence is just too strong here. Not a very good value at $28, although it’s great to see more estate-grown cabernet franc in the Hudson River Region AVA. Producer: Benmarl Winery AVA: New York ABV: 13% Price: $28*   (2 out of 5, Average)

Martha Clara Vineyards 2011 Sauvignon Blanc


Clean aromas of Meyer lemon, honeydew melon and grapefruit are backed by subtle citrusy herb notes. Medium-light in body, showing flavors of green melon and mixed citrus fruits. Clean and fresh with light green apple skin and fresh-cut grass notes on the finish. Medium-length finish with a crisp, palate-whetting freshness. Producer: Martha Clara Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 12% Price: $20* (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Doyle East Vineyard Riesling


When Paul and Shannon Brock took over Silver Thread Vineyard in the summer of 2011 — just before harvest — fans of Finger Lakes wines were anxious to see what Paul, who is also the winemaker, would do with the wines. Obviously they weren’t very involved in the growing of their estate’s grapes but with careful harvest-time decisions and sourcing of grapes from other growers, the Brocks released a series of impressive 2011 rieslings, including Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Doyle East Vineyard Riesling ($25), a tiny, 23-case production. Juicy and fresh on the nose, this riesling offers notes of pear —…

Bedell Cellars 2011 “TASTE” Rose


Rose isn’t relegated to spring and summer duty in my house. We drink it year round and as long as its dry (or nearly so depending on how balanced any residual sugar is), we’re usually pretty happy. I don’t expect transcendence from rose. Maybe that’s wrong of me and I should expect more — at least on occasion — but I really just want rose to be balanced and food friendly. But, on occasion I find rose that is just a bit more than that. Bedell Cellars 2011 “TASTE” Rose ($18) is one of those wines because of its texture,…

Two Films that Finger Lakes Wine Lovers — and Finger Lakes Winemakers — Should See


If you love wine — if you even like wine — there are two new movies coming out just in time for the holidays that you should see. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. I’ve only seen one, so I can’t give a full review of both, and neither will be in theaters. You have to make an effort to find these films, which are documentaries. And you should. I’ll take it a step further: It would be wonderful if Finger Lakes wine industry professionals took the time to watch both films. The reason is simple, and goes back to the…

All-New York Wine Boutique Opens In Niagara Falls


The distance between Niagara wineries and the natural wonder of Niagara Falls has shrunk with the opening of Niagara Community College’s Culinary Institute just steps away from the brink of the falls. The school brings much-needed attention to the hospitality industry of the region with several programs including culinary arts, restaurant management, and winery operations. The building, once the site of the long-forgotten and abandoned Rainbow Centre, hosts several outlets including a restaurant and wine boutique. The restaurant, which carries some local wines, will probably be the main draw for tourists but there’s plenty of excitement around the all-New York…

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay


This is Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars‘ first unoaked chardonnay — and this wine is a solid start to what I hope is a new wine in the on-going portfolio. The nose is dominated by aromas of golden delicious apples and pineapple with hints of citrus in the background.  Plump, fruity and showing good concentration of fruit flavor, the medium-bodied palate is simple — gobs of apple and pineapple — but balanced. Once the wine warms nearly to room temperature, a subtle nutty-leesy component emerges, bringing just a bit of complexity. Producer: Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 13.2% Price: $15*   (2.5…

Sparkling Pointe 2008 Blanc de Noirs


I’m convinced that if New York sparkling wine had the marketing push behind it — say like riesling in the Finger Lakes — a lot more wine lovers would know about and be drinking these wines. From fun and fresh to funky and rich, New York bubbly (and I’m talking about the good stuff here, not the fizzy sweet garbage) runs the gamut. Sparkling Pointe, in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island, makes some of the best examples in a variety of classic styles, but this small production (just over 200 cases)  Sparkling Pointe 2008 Blanc de Noirs…

Will Lack of a United Front Make Fracking Likely in the Finger Lakes?


Don’t look now, but I think hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — is coming to New York. For some background on fracking, I’d encourage you to read some of our previous coverage: DEC Defends Hydrofracking, but Opponents Worry About Impacts on Finger Lakes Wine Industry (December 2009) Op-Ed: “Fracking: The Most Urgent Issue in the Finger Lakes Wine Industry” Art Hunt, Owner, Hunt Country Vineyards (April 2011) Fracking: Big Questions Still Remain (July 2011) Opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing in the Finger Lakes (By John Ingle, Heron Hill Winery) (November 2011) Fracking Debate: Energy CEO Admits PR Mistakes, But Opponents…