Posts Written OnSeptember 2013

2013 Harvest: Hudson Valley Update

2013 seyval blanc harvest and Benamarl Winery

Editor’s Note: This short piece was sent to us by Carlo DeVito, owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery and publisher of East Coast Wineries.  So far we’ve had a good year in the Hudson Valley. Many of the hybrids in the region have been picked. Chardonnay, cabernet franc, and merlot are still on the vine. A cold, wet spring gave growers fits and starts at the beginning of the season. Disease pressure was high and frost damage hit certain areas hard. But a dry summer resulted in wonderful grapes that remained. A shaky period during September was a little scary, and some wineries…

New York Wine & Culinary Center Unveils New Awards While Keeping Focus on NY Wines


It probably shouldn’t be a news headline when a state’s culinary center carries a state’s wines exclusively, but it is when it’s the New York Wine & Culinary Center’ After a brief lapse in spring of 2012, the center has made a number of significant changes, with a clearer focus on New York products. That’s true of the restaurant, wine list, and in the news annual awards program that makes its debut Saturday night. In full disclosure, I’m helping emcee the Saturday night event. Yes, there are still tickets available. No, that’s not why I’m writing this piece. I’m writing about…

Lieb Cellars Joins Merliance


Merliance, formerly known as the Long Island Merlot Alliance, announced today that Lieb Cellars has joined its ranks. and that two barrels of Lieb Cellars’ merlot will be included in the 2012 vintage of Merliance, the group’s cooperative merlot blend. This move isn’t surprising. Acquired along with Premium Wine Group by private equity firm Southport Lane earlier this year, Lieb Cellars is now under the business leadership of Peter Pace and technical direction of Merliance co-founder winemaker Russell Hearn. “Lieb seeks to expand the visibility of Long Island wine at high-profile venues across the Northeast,” said Pace in a press release,…

Finger Lakes Harvest Update: Disease Pressure, Difficult Decisions Offer a Stern — But Passable — Test

Harvest has begun at Fox Run Vineyards, and many other wineries in the Finger Lakes.

It was the hardest kind of decision to make, and on the morning of September 12, the team at Forge Cellars had to make it. After dozens of hours spent babying his seven-tenths of an acre of pinot noir at Sawmill Creek Vineyard, Rick Rainey knew things had taken a bad turn. An inch of rain on Labor Day had turned up the disease pressure, and sour rot was arriving, day by day, one bunch here, one bunch there. It was going to get worse, despite all of the effort. Forge’s other pinot sites were in better shape, but this…

Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival – 2013 Vintage


Harvest is upon us, and while the North Country vineyards and wineries prepare for the rigors of the season, they are also getting ready for a celebration once most of the field and winery work is done.  On Saturday October 12th from 1PM to 8PM the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh, NY will be hosting the second annual Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival which has already grown since last year, in the number of vendors and events, as well as the hours of operation. Most of the Adirondack Coast producers, as well as at least one ice cider producer…

Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2012 Riesling


You can’t smell sweetness of course, but the Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2012 Riesling ($15) does offer the impression of subtle sweetness on the nose, which is dominated by ripe and candied peach flavors with notes of musk melon and green apple. The palate, while well-balanced, lacks a bit of tension. The flavors range widely from the tropical to the floral to the delicately spicy. Nice mid-palate richness leads into a just-sweet finish dominated by apricot and perhaps a touch of botrytis (a good thing, here). Though delicious, a bit more focus would make it something really special. Producer: Thirsty Owl…

Hosmer Winery 2012 Dry Riesling


The last wine I sampled during that Finger Lakes 2012 riesling virtual tasting last week (there was one more wine, but my bottle was horribly corked) was this Hosmer Winery 2012 Dry Riesling ($15), which initially reminded me a bit of the first wine from the tasting, but ultimately impressed me much more. A bit tightly wound on the nose, there are hints of lemon-lime soda, saltwater, green apple, just-ripe peach and fennel here, but the nose isn’t particularly effusive. Dry and vivacious, the palate is mouthwatering in its mingling of bright citrus character with green melon, just-ripe peach, herbs…

Harvest 2013: Chardonnay for Sparkling Wine at Fox Run Vineyards


This morning, the team at Fox Run Vineyards hand-picked 3.75 tons of chardonnay that will become the winery’s blanc de blanc sparkling wine. It came in at 18 brix.   According to vineyard manager, John Kaiser , the vines were more fruitful than it appeared. “We had a huge crop last year and expected this year to be smaller, but we still ended up with more,” he said. The juice will be 100% barrel fermented and then transferred to stainless steel on heavy lees to continue to develop.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2012 Dry Riesling


This was the second wine I tasted during last week’s virtual tasting of 2012 Finger Lakes rieslings, and it was a welcome step up. Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2012 Dry Riesling ($15) offers intense aromas of grapefruit and lime are accented by notes of citrus blossom, wet river rock, smoky gun flint and just a touch of botrytis. The palate is more peachy, but still shows bright citrus fruit — mostly grapefruit — and a minerally vein that runs from start to finish. Crunchy acidity provides great focus and verve. The medium-long finish is dry, but not harshly so.…