A couple months ago I was able to squeeze a four-day visit to the Finger Lakes into my chaotic work and family schedule. My family and I visit the region often, but it had been several years since I was able to get there by myself to focus solely on tasting — both barrel and tank samples as well as finished wines.
This month’s picks are a direct result of those tastings. So many wines stood out (including the Red Tail Ridge riesling from last month’s shipment) that I’m battling the urge to just send you Finger Lakes wines for a few months, but I don’t want to do that. There is too much deliciousness across the state.
You are getting two Finger Lakes wines this month though.
My first pick is Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Vignoles. I’ve chosen a vignoles before. It’s the only hybrid wine we’ve ever included in the club but wow, this wine is a stunner. Floral and tropical, there is definitely some residual sugar here — quite a bit, actually — but there is also so much crackling acid that you’ll barely notice. It almost finishes dry. Winemaker August Deimel has created one of the be best white wine programs in the Finger Lakes. This wine is less known than his singular gewurztraminers and his rieslings, but it’s no less delicious. I have a feeling that some of you will want to reorder more of this after you taste it.
Second for this month is a wine that I think is as important to the Finger Lakes region as it is elegant and delicious: Forge Cellars 2014 Pinot Noir Classique. It’s not hard to see why it is delicious — just pour it into a big, wide glass and let it breathe for as long as you can control yourself. Sweet cherry and baking spice notes mingle with a distinct mossy, earthy character that shouts “This isn’t California pinot!” — though it’s not Burgundy either. The texture is demure, almost supple but with a bit more verve than that. This is Finger Lakes pinot noir. It doesn’t need comparisons to more-established regions or wines. And that’s why it’s important — that and the fact that it’s under $30. A lot of people still look down upon red wine in the Finger Lakes. They are fools. This wine is proof of that.
I hope you enjoy this month’s wines — enjoy June!