Posts Written OnJuly 2014

Roanoke Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc

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Long Island merlot is often — and consistently — delicious. But when Long Island cabernet franc is done well — which is almost always the case at Roanoke Vineyards — it is much more distinctive and compelling. At it’s best, Long Island cabernet franc combines forward, ripe fruit with savory notes — often herbs but sometimes mushrooms or leaf tobacco — and restrained oak that frames rather than overwhelms the grape’s varietal character. Usually there is a freshness too, which makes it one of my go-to wines for the dinner table. Of the 2010 cabernet francs I’ve tasted, Roanoke Vineyards 2010 Cabernet France ($34) best exemplifies my personal local…

Fracking is Not Coming to the Finger Lakes. Here’s Why.

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Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is not coming to the Finger Lakes. The process to extract natural gas from shale formations deep below the surface of the earth is almost certainly a dead idea in a large part of New York State. The reason is a concept known as “home rule.” A few weeks ago, the state’s highest court upheld the rights of towns and municipalities to pass their own localized fracking ban or moratorium. The decision is a bit more complicated than that, but it essentially is an endorsement of home rule as a legal concept. Towns that pass…

5 Questions with… David Breeden, Sheldrake Point Vineyards

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The New York Cork Report is back in the Finger Lakes for the latest edition of our “5 Questions With…” series. Our latest victim, David Breeden, Winemaker at Sheldrake Point Vineyards on Cayuga Lake. David is a Michigan native who grew up in suburban Detroit before moving to California for his high school years. His route to the Finger Lakes was an indirect one; Iowa, back to California and Illinois all in the pursuit of higher education wherein he has obtained multiple degrees in both chemistry and philosophy. It wasn’t until Breeden moved to Ithaca that he realized that a career as…

Macari Vineyards 2013 Rosé

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Macari Vineyards 2013 Rosé ($17), a blend of 60% cabernet franc, 38% merlot, 2% pinot noir, doesn’t jump out of the glass at you. It’s more subtle on the nose than that, but if you pay attention, the melange of red cherry, straweberry and sweet herbs is quite elegant. Medium bodied with a serious bolt of acidity, the palate is fruit forward, but not overly fruity because of nice, savory herbal notes. There is an earthy component too that is somewhat reminiscent of raw button mushroom. All of that acidity sticks out just a bit, but overall this is a wine that…

What We Drank ( July 23, 2014)

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Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor: The Commons Brewery, Flemish Kiss Among all of my beer-loving friends, I have two guys that I always absolutely geek-out with when we get together. We always try to pick up new beers that we haven’t had, explore styles that we know we like and occasionally try something that we don’t really expect to like. Over the weekend, I got together with one of these friend and we tasted a bunch of stuff but mostly farmhouse styles and Brett-influenced beers. Of the two Brett beers, the one was harsh, searingly dry and too much about the…

At Liberty Vineyards, Family Tradition Turns Into Fine Wine

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Chautauqua County has been known as the one of the best places in the world to grow concord grapes for generations. That is why many family farms have been growing grapes there for well over one hundred years. Some farms that started growing mostly Concord and native grape varieties over time added vinifera grapes to their fields to sell to home winemakers. Recently, the region has seen an increase production of vinifera grapes and received acclaim for its success in growing them. These small blocks have grown into acres and acres of vinifera grapes that supply a burgeoning winemaking scene…

StillTheOne Distillery 287 Single Malt Whiskey

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Recently on a trip to Empire State Cellars, where I always check out the New York spirits, I picked up the recently released 287 Single Malt Whiskey.  The whiskey is a collaboration between StillTheOne Distillery in Port Chester, NY and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company just about 11 miles down highway 287.  The spirit was distilled from Captain Lawrence’s “Freshchester Pale Ale,” aged for about one year in new American Oak, and was bottled last month. According to the distillery’s website, this is a limited quantity “First Taste” edition with Master Distiller, Ed Tiedge’s signature on each bottle.  I hope the limited…

Finger Lakes Wine by the Numbers: Balance, Value and Single-Vineyard Wines

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The Finger Lakes can make a statistics-based case for being the most balanced wine region in the country. Its sparkling wines offer far better value than sparkling wines from other regions. And how much more would you pay for scarcer, single-vineyard wines? Those three themes fill out our newest edition of “Finger Lakes Wine By the Numbers.” The purpose of this series is to provide a quantitative view of the Finger Lakes wine industry based on a survey of wines offered by Finger Lakes wineries on their websites. The introductory post presented information on three aspects of the industry: The…

5 Questions with… Anthony Quattrone, Paumanok Vineyards

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If you’ve taken the drive out Route 25 on the North Fork east of Riverheard and stopped in at Paumanok Vineyards in the last 8 months,  you’ve likely met Anthony Quattrone. A self-described jack-of-all-trades Quattrone spends most of his time in Paumanok’s tasting room pouring for, educating and giving tours to all those who stop by the vineyard. But, as many in the industry do, Quattrone wears multiple hats and also manages fulfillment of wholesale accounts, works in the cellar and assists with harvest for Paumanok. A Long Island native, Anthony is originally from Coram, NY and after moving around he…

2015 Wine Bloggers Conference to be Hosted by the Finger Lakes Region

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The Wine Bloggers Conference, a yearly event that helped inspire my own annual TasteCamp event — is coming to the Finger Lakes wine region August 13-16, 2015. A great ‘get’ for the region — any group that can get this event off of the west coast deserves kudos — it should bring much-deserved attention to one of the most exciting wine regions in America. A press release from Finger Lakes Wine Country said that organizers are expecting 300 attendees. There will be more information available soon, but in the meantime, here’s that press release: 2015 WINE BLOGGERS CONFERENCE COMING TO FINGER…