Posts Written OnJuly 2013

What We Drank (July 24, 2013 Edition)


Todd Trzaskos: Alamos 2011 Malbec Yes, it’s a “big brand” wine. Yes, drinking Malbec is trendy. Yes, it’s inexpensive, and not a “special” wine. And Yes, it is good. I’m willing to bet that quite a few folks recognize this wine, and may have enjoyed it themselves on occasion. It was one of those evenings where we needed something tasty but not challenging, would be pleasant with leftovers, and would help pull down the average on the weekly wine budget. It met these needs admirably, with a quality that is above average. Ripe, lush, plum fruit, good freshness, and not…

Event: ilili’s Third Annual Lamb Roast at Paumanok Vineyards, Tuesday, August 20


Paumanok Vineyards is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and as part of the celebration, the winery recently announced its 3rd Annual ilili Lamb Roast on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 6 p.m.. Tickets are $150 per person ($125 for wine club members) and the menu just looks ridiculous — in a good way. I have yet to make one of these dinners — but maybe we’ll be able to make the childcare situation work this year! Assorted Mezza Hommus, Garlic Minted Labne, Basil Labne Roasted Eggplant Tartar Homemade Goat Yogurt Cheese Salad with Foster Farms Heirloom Tomatoes and Torpedo Onions, Finca…

Red Newt Cellars’ Kelby Russell on “Wine is Serious Business”


On the heels of Riesling Rendezvous, a handful of Finger Lakes winemakers spent some time in the Willamette Valley. While there, they visited with Dan and Chas from Wine is Serious Business to shoot three videos about Finger Lakes riesling. The first one was published this week and it featured winemaker Kelby Russell from Red Newt Cellars. It’s a little longer than your average online wine video, but well worth the 20 minutes. Enjoy!  

Heron Hill Winery 2010 Ingle Vineyard Cabernet Franc


The long, warm 2010 Finger Lakes growing season is captured well in the Heron Hill Winery 2010 Ingle Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($25). A lighter hand in the cellar might have served that ripe fruit better, however. 14 months in American and European oak may have been just a bit too long. On the nose, rich, brooding aromas of cassis, blueberry and blackberry are accented by notes of licorice, lavender and dark roast coffee. Full bodied with a concentrated core of dark fruit, the palate brings black cherry along with currants and blueberries, more licorice and grilled herbs. Chewy tannins provide…

Waters Crest Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc


2012 appears to have been a good year for Long Island sauvignon. Waters Crest Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($19) is a well-priced, lemon-bomb of a sauvignon blanc that shows lemon character in many guises on the nose — everything from lemon pulp and peel to lemon balm and lemon verbena. There are also notes of grapefruit and cut grass. On the lighter side of medium bodied, the palate is bright and similarly citrusy with the addition of Golden Delicious apple flavors. Though a a tiny bit dilute on the mid-palate, this wine finishes well with a lingering apple and lemon…

Will Changes in the Cornell Cooperative Extension Program Leave Some Out in the Cold?


Questions about the pace of global climate change and its effect on viticulture have been frequent topics of conversations in vineyards and wineries around New York. A less talked about, and even less understood change also taking place with another force that has significance to the industry.  The Cornell Cooperative Extension is on a path of reorganization, that while still in the definition phases, might ultimately change the way that folks in the field interface with its services. The Cooperative Extension service of the USDA has for nearly 150 years followed a mission to “help people use research-based knowledge to improve…

Red Newt Cellars 2011 Sawmill Creek Vineyards Riesling


Though not quite as good as the stellar 2009 bottling, Red Newt Cellars 2011 Sawmill Creek Vineyards Riesling ($21) was still a standout in a recent tasting. Opening with floral aromas, the nose quickly turns peachy, honeyed and with a squirt of lime juice and just-cut Gala apple. Bursting with grapefruit, peach and lime flavors, the medium-bodied palate shows nice balance between richness and freshness thanks to juicy, citrusy acidity. That acidity stretches out the finish, which shows more lime and grapefruit flavors. Producer: Red Newt Cellars AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 11.1% RS: 1.3% TA: 7.9 g/L pH: 3.0 Price: $21* (3.5 out of 5…

What We Drank (July 16, 2013 Edition)


Lenn Thompson: Cornell Baker Farm 2012 La Crosse One of the pleasures of having Todd Trzaskos on the staff has been enjoying some of his homemade wines — often made with some interesting and new-to-me grapes grown in the North Country of New York.  Take this 2012 La Cross grown at Cornell’s Baker Farm test vineyard. I didn’t know anything about the grape until I was sharing my impressions with Todd. I noted a ‘slightly seyval blanc-y note’ as the wine warmed and he then informed me that seyval is one of its parents (it’s a hybrid developed in the…

Still Standing: Finger Lakes Distilling Expands Production

Finger Lakes Distilling's new still was delivered back in the spring.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post, written by Michael Ammermuller a New York Cork Report reader and a western New York-based writer with an interest in beer, wine and spirits.  Driving through the Finger Lakes in the early days of summer, focusing on the smell in the air is probably the last thing one wants to do; freshly fertilized ground is not a very pleasant aroma.  However, the human nose is much more discerning than a lot of us may appreciate; in fact, humans are able to distinguish dilutions of less than one part per several billion parts of air. Frankly, I’m…

Palmer Vineyards 2012 Syrah


Winemaker Miguel Martin recommends lightly chilling his Palmer Vineyards 2012 Syrah ($20) and it’s easy to see why — it’s tastier that way. At normal drinking temperature, this light red (almost a rosado) — one that was made with 40% carbonic maceration — lacks a bit of structure with low tannins and not quite enough acidity to make up for it. But lightly chilled, the acidity is more apparent, framing peppery red fruit flavors accented by subtle violet character. So chill it down, grill some pork chops or tenderloin and enjoy it on a warm summer night. Producer: Palmer Vineyards AVA: North…