The March shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will be shipping in a week or so — meaning that it’s time to announce my selections.
If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here.
Sheldrake Point 2011 Dry Riesling: Lithe and lively, this was a favorite when I tasted with winemaker Dave Breeden last summer. Apple and apple blossom flavors are accented by a squirt of lime and a snappy finish. Roasted pork loin wants this wine. So do you.
Macari Vineyards 2008 Estate Merlot: With aromas of red cherry, cured meat, sweet herbs and smokey tobacco — that lead into a lively medium-bodied palate that combines red berry and minty aloe flavors, light but grippy tannins and lively acidity — this is a well-priced red that will improve a variety of meals.
“Getting to Know New York” Wines
Atwater Vineyards 2011 Dry Riesling: Citrusy and showing excellent verve, this dry riesling shows everything that can be great about dry riesling in the Finger Lakes — and that is great about many dry 2011s. Lime, grapefruit, green tea and flowers combine with a balanced, crunchy finish.
Anthony Nappa 2010 Dieci: There is only one problem with winemaker Anthony Nappa’s wines — he makes such small lots that they often sell out before I can buy enough. This blend of 44% merlot, 37% cabernet sauvignon and 19% cabernet franc — from the hot, dry 2010 vintage — shows a deft hand in the cellar, allowing Long Island’s terroir to take center stage, rather than oak or the winwemaker’s hand.
“New York Wine Trail” Wines
Boundary Breaks 2011 110 Riesling: Boundary Breaks is a new producer on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes — and all they grow and make is riesling. This semi-dry wine (2.8% residual sugar) is forward and fruity today, but balanced, well-integrated acidity should carry it well into the future in your cellar. If you can wait to uncork it.
Red Tail Ridge 2010 Teroldego: Co-owner and winemaker Nancy Ireland and her “Obscure Varietal Series” have struck a nerve with Finger Lakes wine lovers. The Dornfelder (a former club selection) and Blaufrankisch are delicious, but this may be my favorite yet. Dark, rich fruit — think blackberry, black plum and blueberry — fill out a plush, soft palate that is a bit one-note when first opened, but shows toasty and savory notes with a bit of time in the glass. Unique and distinctive.
Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Magdalena Riesling: It almost doesn’t need to be said again, but Magdalena Vineyard is one of the Finger Lakes’ warmest and best sites. That warmth shows in the balanced richness in this one-of-a-kind Finger Lakes classic.
Jamesport Vineyards 2007 Jubliant: I recently re-tasted this cabernet franc-heavy blend (after a few extra years in bottle) and was blown away by the complexity and mouthfeel. Luckily, we were able to get our hands on just enough for our Excelsior members. I can go a few more years in the cellar, but it’s tasting great right now.
If you haven’t signed up for the club yet, fear not. You can still get in on this first shipment. Email Katherine Jaeger, Manager of Wine Clubs, at email@example.com and she will take good care of you. And remember, you can customize your club to include just red or whites wines too if you’d like.