The September shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members in a few weeks — but here’s a sneak peak of what is coming..
If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here.
Charles Fournier 2012 “Gold Seal Vineyards” Riesling: Named for a Finger Lakes pioneer and his seminal vineyard, this negociant-made riesling is focused and fresh, showing pear and apricot flavors, nervy acidity and along, slate-y finish. A terrific value.
Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2010 “Red Letter”: The great 2010 growing season resulted some of Long Island’s best-ever <$20 reds, this being one of them. Made with 70% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot, it delivers ripe dark berry flavors, integrated oak nuance and surprising structure at this price point.
“Getting to Know New York” Wines
Forge Cellars 2012 Riesling: The well-rated 2011 vintage of this wine proved controversial to some — riesling aged it oak is bound to get attention. With the 2012 vintage, the trio behind Forge Cellars fine tuned the winemaking on this wine, adding a portion of steel-fermented riesling into the final blend to add verve and brightness. They are really onto something.
Onabay Vineyards 2010 “Night Heron” Cabernet Franc: Ripe with deep, dark fruit and fuller bodied than many Long Island cab francs, you might think this wine over-done and lacking varietal character — but that’s not the case. Beneath the surface flavors of grilled herbs and mushrooms bring layers of flavor and decidedly savory complexity. It blew away a handful of other 2010 cabernet francs I tasted next to it.
“New York Wine Trail” Wines
Macari Vineyards 2012 Rose (Magnum): Like many wine lovers — I love magnums. So, when we heard that Macari had enough magnums of this merlot-heavy rose — we jumped on it. Open it for that end-of-summer party and watch the big bottle empty quickly.
Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet may not be the grape that you think of when you think about the Finger Lakes, but Damiani has a history of success with Bordeaux varieties. Only 145 cases were made, so we were thrilled to get this wine — one of the best cabernets to ever come out of the Finger Lakes.
Ravines Wine Cellars 2010 Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling: Only a handful of New York vineyards deserve grand cru status in my book — Argetsinger Vineyards on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake is one of them. It’s a beautiful place where Sam Argetsinger — one of the real characters of New York wine — grows some of the best grapes in the region. Take those grapes and put them in the hands of one of the region’s top winemakers, Morten Hallgren, and you get a distinctive dry riesling in most any vintage.
Peconic Bay Winery 2001 “Oregon Hills” Merlot: It is a rare treat to drink a local wine with this much bottle age — age achieved in winery’s own perfect cellar conditions. I like to pick age-worthy wines for the Excelsior-level club — but this time I’m going to suggest that you drink it within the next 6 months. It’s ready for you today. Enjoy it.
Remember, you can customize your club to include just red or whites wines too if you’d like. Join today.