Posts Written OnJanuary 2014

Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 “Sunrise Hill Vineyard” Lemberger

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If Finger Lakes producers could come together and agree to call these wines either lemberger or blaufrankisch (I vote for the latter), this could become an important category in the region. Either as a blender or bottled alone, these are some of the most consistently good and food-friendly red wines grown and made in the region. Damiani Wine Cellars’ 2012 “Sunrise Hill Vineyard” Lemberger ($22) is one of the more earthy renditions I’ve tasted. The nose leads with damp soil and wet leaves, with Chinese five spice, white pepper and bright, fresh red berries — cherry and raspberry — playing…

Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2011 Ovid Line North Riesling

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Sometimes, single-vineyard (or I suppose single-clone) wines just aren’t compelling. Sometimes they are nothing more than marketing ploys that attempt to create faux-distinctiveness where there isn’t any. Now that I’ve tasted all of the Boundary Breaks Vineyard‘s first set of single-vineyard and single-vineyard rieslings, I can say that these wines aren’t hollow constructs. They are clearly made with purpose. Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2011 Ovid Line North Riesling ($20) offers an interesting nose of Red Delicious apple, under-ripe strawberry and perfume-y flowers. Light-to-medium bodied in the mouth, it offers flavors of  more apple and under-ripe strawberry but also musk melon. Frothy…

Finger Lakes Growers Begin to Check for Damage to Vines Following Brutal Cold Snap

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On Saturday, Steve Shaw of Shaw Vineyard spent about an hour carefully cutting buds from canes he pulled from his vineyard. It had been several days since the coldest weather to hit the region in years had finally lifted. Reports varied from county to county, town to town, vineyard to vineyard. The lowest temperatures had plunged perilously close to ten degrees below zero. Shaw wanted to know how his canes had dealt with it. There is no hard line of temperature that will inevitably cause vine death, but ten below is an unofficial rule of thumb. Growers will say that ten below for three hours…

Upcoming January Long Island Beer Dinners

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Do you drink beer? Do you eat food? Do you enjoy aforementioned activities? Well, you’re in luck if you’re ready to forget that dreamy beach body and drop all New Year’s resolutions for these calorie-filled local beer-events. Several Long Island restaurants have put together winter beer dinner series to fix the stir-crazy in all of us. Wednesday, January 15  7 p.m. – The Riverhead Project hosts Captain Lawrence Brewing Company for their rotating “The Beer Project” series.  These informal, family-style pairings conducted at a communal table facilitate fun beer conversation with brewers and brewery representatives.  At $40 a seat, these tickets…

Hector Wine Company 2012 Pinot Blanc

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Don’t over-chill your white wine. That’s the lesson of Hector Wine Company 2012 Pinot Blanc ($20). Right out of the fridge, it’s neutral and nearly characterless. But as it warms the nose unfolds with notes of dried pineapple, lime peel, wet gravel and white pepper. Similarly, once a bit warmer, the medium-bodied palate shines with apple and pineapple flavors and a wonderful mid-palate mouthfeel that is somewhat is silky and fresh at the same time. White pepper and chalky earth flavors peek through toward the finish, which lingers just a bit and shows some bitterness at the end. If you…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir

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A lot of cheap pinot — let’s use sub-$20 as our loose definition — has little pinot character. They can be gulplable, but they are typically strawberry-cherry juice with some alcohol. That fact is one reason that I appreciate Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir ($18) so much. It has real pinot character for a great price. Is this the best pinot in the world or even Niagara? Of course, not. But it never lasts long when I open it. The nose starts with red cherries — ripe, tender ones — but some swirling teases earthy forest floor and raw…

Zorovich Joins the NYCR Finger Lakes Desk

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You’ve probably seen the name “Paul Z” in the comments here on the site. He’s been a reader for several years and is an enthusiastic local wine lover. His full name is Paul Zorovich, and now he’s joining the NYCR staff — eventually joining Evan’s Finger Lakes-based team once he and his wife move there later this year. Paul is a New York City native but grew up on Long Island, where even though his father bought bottles from Hargrave Vineyard’s first several vintages, the family wine experience tended toward Gallo Hearty Burgundy. It wasn’t until he met his current wife…

New Single Wheel Wine Aims for High End — and Looks to Customers Beyond the Finger Lakes

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Single Wheel Wine recently joined the growing number of single-vineyard rieslings that are being produced in the Finger Lakes with the release of its 2012 vintage. The wine is produced by Hosmer Winery and is made from grapes that are grown in their Patrician Verona vineyard on the west side of Cayuga Lake. The concept behind single-vineyard wines is that a wine that is produced from grapes that are grown in a single, specific location has more consistency in characteristics and quality, and conveys a clearer sense of place than a blended wine. In the case of Single Wheel, the intent is to capture that sense…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir

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You don’t need to avoid Finger Lakes red wines from cooler, gray-er years like 2011. You just need to know where to look for consistent quality, nearly regardless of vintage. Red Tail Ridge Winery has proven to be one of those beacons of consistency. Winemaker Nancy Irelan’s Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir ($20) is fruity on the nose, with red cherry and red raspberry aromas accented by light notes of brown spice, lavender and earthy raw mushrooms. Though a bit dilute and not as complex as the nose, the light-bodied palate is driven by red fruits —…

5 Questions with… Alexandra Doniger, Hector Wine Company

Alexandra Doniger 
Assistant Winemaker 
Social Media & Events Marketing 
Hector Wine Company

The New York Cork Report likes to feature a great variety of interesting wine personalities throughout the state and with various roles and responsibilities in our “5 Questions With…” series. One of the younger personalities that captured our attention was Alexandra Doniger, Assistant Winemaker and Social Media & Events Marketing at Hector Wine Company. What Doniger may currently lack in experience, her passion for wine and eagerness to learn all aspects of the industry make up for in surplus. Doniger from Newton, CT made her way to Finger Lakes via a degree in Literature and Writing and a short tenure…