Browsing CategoryWines of the Year

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: March 2012 Selections

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The March shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will ship this week, so it’s time to tell you about the picks. Admittedly, I had a little help with the wines this time around… thanks to our annual Wines of the Year tasting back in January. Many of this shipment’s wines won “Wine of the Year” for their region and style. One even won our overall New York State Wine of the Year. If you’re not familar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling: Ripe, forward and apple-y, this well-balanced riesling is…

The Most Important Store in the State: Buzz Growing for Empire State Cellars

It is unusual for a single wine store to become such a focus for an entire state. More unusual still when the store is not located in New York City. Since returning home from the Wines of the Year weekend on Long Island, no fewer than three wine industry professionals from the Finger Lakes have asked me, “Did you go to Empire State Cellars?” Or, “What was it like?” Or, “Was it as cool a place as I’m hoping it is?” They are intrigued by the idea of the only wine store in the state that offers exclusively New York…

Not Your Average Riesling: The Story Behind the 2011 NYCR Finger Lakes Riesling of the Year

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To understand why the Hermann J. Wiemer 2010 Dry Riesling Reserve is such a special wine, it’s important to understand that not all rieslings are created equally. Nor are all wines created easily. Winemaking at Wiemer is more difficult, more patient, more risk, more reward. There is perhaps no better wine to exemplify this than the NYCR Finger Lakes Riesling of the Year. “For me, the 2010 Reserve is the finest riesling I’ve made,” says winemaker Fred Merwarth. That’s an extraordinary statement for a winemaker who prefers euphemism to hyperbole, and who has built a prolific portfolio in 10 short…

The “Beers of the Year Finalists” That Didn’t Win… That We Loved

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By Julia Burke, Beer Editor The best and worst aspect of our “Beers of the Year” program is the difficulty of choosing a favorite; while we agreed on Krysztoff, and Mark Tichenor has plenty more to tell you about that particular Baltic porter (look for his post next week), several beers caught the crew’s attention in a big way. I highly encourage NYCR readers to try all of the finalists if they haven’t already. The first time I had Ithaca Beer Company’s Brute I found it truly staggering. I had just begun exploring sour beers and this one was a…

What We Drank (February 15, 2012)

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Here is a sampling of what our editors and contributors have been drinking…. Evan Dawson: Standing Stone Vineyards 1995 Riesling and 1994 Pinnacle The first question when encountering wines of this age is simple: Are they alive? The next question is more complicated: Are they any good? It was a tremendous pleasure to drink the ’95 Riesling, which takes its place in my memory alongside the Hermann J. Wiemer 1994 Riesling as some of the best riesling I’ve ever had from this region. It’s the kind of wine that is difficult to describe for those who haven’t tasted mature wines.…

The 2011 New York Cork Report Wines of the Year

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor I think I can speak for my fellow editors and contributors when I say that our 2011 Wines of the Year tasting was a fun, challenging and inspiring day of 16 wine tasting flights. I always come away with myriad story ideas swirling in my head after this tasting. This year is no different. Look for pieces from the team over the next few weeks. But today, we announce the winners — including our first-ever New York Wine of the Year, Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate. Our 2011 Regional Wines of the Year…

2011 Beer of the Year: Custom Brewcrafters Krysztoff Baltic Porter

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On behalf of the New York Cork Report I’m proud to announce our 2011 Beer of the Year: Custom Brewcrafters Signature Series Krysztoff Baltic Porter. We’ll have more commentary on this amazing beer, and on other beers that impressed the entire crew, in the next few days, but at this time I would like to congratulate Bruce Lish and his team on a simply fantastic accomplishment. I’d also like to congratulate all the incredibly skilled New York brewers who created this lineup of finalists. I think I can speak for all Wines/Beers of the Year attendees when I say that…

NYCR Wines of the Year Weekend Kicks Off This Afternoon.. With Beer

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Last year’s (much smaller) WoTy tasting. By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor The planning is complete, all of the wines and beers have been gathered, and later this morning the non-Long Island members of the New York Cork Report family will hit the road, heading to the North Fork for our third-annual Wines of the Year Weekend, which we’ve taken to referring to simply as WoTY. As with our staff and coverage of New York’s adult beverage team — this year’s WoTY program has grown significantly compared to last year’s. Last year, we dipped our toes into beer, adding a small…

The Finger Lakes 2011 Red Wines of the Year Finalists: Explaining the Diverse Selections

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By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor Photos from our WoTY 2009 Tasting by Morgan Dawson I’m happy to see that the NYCR selections for Finger Lakes red wines of the year have generated a fair amount of feedback and debate. There have been many questions: Why no cabernet franc? How come every wine is made from a different grape? Keep in mind that for a wine to be eligible, it has to have been released in 2011. Many of the red wines released in 2011 came from the uneven 2009 vintage. The glorious 2009 September produced strong conditions for Finger…

The New York Cork Report 2011 Wines of the Year Finalists

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The winners from our 2010 Wines of the Year tasting (Photo by Morgan Dawson Photography)  By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor This is the third year of our New York Cork Report “Wines of the Year” program and over the past several weeks, my colleagues Bryan Calandrelli and Evan Dawson, and I have been tasting, re-tasting and re-re-tasting dozens of wines to , narrow and hone our lists of finalists 2011 Wines of the Year. We don’t pretend that we’ve tasted every single wine released during the 2011 calendar year, but we feel that we’ve tasted a more-than-representative sampling from each…