Given the popularity of Beaujolais Nouveau every fall, it’s long surprised me how few New York wineries (or American wineries for that matter) have embraced the concept. I mean, most Beaujolais Nouveau is terrible. I’m sure New York wineries can do better.
Enter Keuka Lake Vineyards 2014 Leon Millot Nouveau ($18). Keuka Lake Vineyards has a bit of a cult following for it’s non-nouveau Leon Millot — an inky dark, chewy red unlike many from the Finger Lakes.
On the other hand, this nouveau is soft and fruity, which red cherry note and just a little little cassis. There is a faintly floral quality that offers some higher tones and a little complexity.
From the winery’s website, this wine was made:
The grapes were lightly sulfured to protect them and then de-stemmed and fermented in two ways. Half was fermented in bins and the other half in a large stainless steel tank and with yeasts known to extract the grapes’ fruit flavors. Also, to limit astringency, the grapes were pressed on September 26 and 27 before they where totally dry with primary fermentation completed then off the skins in the barrel. Malolactic fermentation also took place in the barrels which were mostly neutral. Malolactic fermentation completed by November 8th, when the wine moved to a stainless steel tank, filters and then bottled on November 8th and 10th, with the remainder to be bottled in the week of November 17th.
Though not made via carbonic maceration, you still get the punchy fruit and soft mouth-feel that remind you of that technique.
Like most nouveau wines, this isn’t a wine to carefully consider or decipher. It’s a wine that you drink, ideally with a meal, and simply enjoy.
AVA: Finger Lakes
Production: 275 cases