Browsing CategoryWines

dr-frank-2013-reserve-riesling

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Reserve Riesling ($25) offers intense, concentrated aromas and flavors of peach, pineapple and Golden Delicious apple that are accented up by notes of honey, spice and hay. Richly flavored and textured, there is a bit of sweetness up front, but a beam of juicy, nervy acidity scrubs the palate clean on a medium-long finish. Producer: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 12% TA: 8.4 g/L pH: 3.11 Production: 301 cases Price: $25* (3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)

damiani-2012-reserve-cab-sauv

You won’t find a lot of varietal cabernet sauvignon wines in the Finger Lakes — with good reason. Generally speaking, later-ripening reds aren’t as well-suited to the region as other types of grapes. That said, Damiani Wine Cellars typically bucks that trend and makes some of the better cab in the region. Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($45) isn’t as good as the outstanding 2010, but it still balances ripe fruit with oak and savory notes well. The nose shows a melange of aromas — sweet blueberry compote, blackberry, savory dried herbs, soy sauce, and dusty, earthy cocoa powder. Mouth-filling and slightly chewy,…

barry-family-2014-pastiche

When veteran Finger Lakes winemaker Ian Barry started Barry Family Cellars with his family back in 2011, he planned to focus on a core portfolio of riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc, while also affording himself the ability tinker and experiment here and there with other grapes and techniques along the way. If any of the wines that resulted from those trials stood out, maybe he’d add to that core group of wines. If my last name were Barry, I’d be pushing for Barry Family Cellars 2014 Pastiche ($22) to join the permanent lineup. It’s one of the best non-riesling Finger Lakes white wines…

HarbesVineyard-2013steelchardonnay

Stainless steel-born chardonnay is rarely a revelation, but Harbes Vineyard 2013 Steel Fermented Chardonnay ($19) is classic North Fork steel chardonnay in all of its easy-drinking, fruit-forward glory. The aromas, begin with straightforward pear and yellow apple notes, but there’s also a faint citrus blossom-herb quality that add just a bit of nuance. Fruity on the medium-bodied, slightly glycerin  palate, sweet apples and pears are are backed by some lemon and lime flavors. There is a bit of weight here, but also fresh acidity for balance. The finish isn’t long, but it’s not abrupt either. Producer: Harbes Vineyard AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV:…

bellangelo-2014-dry-rose

It doesn’t always happen this way. Not every cabernet franc rose tastes like cabernet franc, but Bellangelo 2014 Cabernet Franc Dry Rose ($16) really does. It starts off with the types of bright red fruits that you’ll get from most roses — cranberry and red cherry in this case — but there are also underlying notes of Herbs de Provence and mossy earth that bring a bit of complexity without getting in the way of the fresh fruit aromas and flavors. Brisk and refreshing, it’s lighter bodied and begging to be enjoyed with food. Producer: Villa Bellangelo AVA: Finger Lakes Vineyard: Tuller Vineyard…

palmer-2014-merlot-rose

The rose reviews continue today with this 100% merlot bottling made by Miguel Martin at Palmer Vineyards. For an all-merlot rose, this one has some character. The red berries you’d expect are there — red cherries and cranberries — but also a bit of red apple and lightly floral overtones. The palate shows nice weight and texture, with bright berry flavor and citrusy acidity. Merlot rose rarely thrills, but this one is satisfying and delicious. Just don’t expect a ton of complexity. Producer: Palmer Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island Price: $20 (sample) (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

southold-farm-cellar-2014-minor-threat-cabernet-franc

Dry rose has never been more popular, but Southold Farm + Cellar co-owner and winemaker Regan Meador hasn’t made one in his label’s two vintages to date — but not because he has anything against the now-trendy style. “I’ve never made one before, for one,” he said when I asked him why he hasn’t made one yet, adding ” But, I wanted to explore a different side of cab franc. There’s a lot of good examples of rose cabernet franc, but I would rather see where else the variety could go.” Enter Southold Farm + Cellar “Minor Threat” Cabernet Franc…

mccall-2014-rose

For several vintages now, McCall Wines’ rose has been a favorite in the Thompson household. It was also made with pinot noir. With the 2013 vintage, McCall added a second rose, adding a merlot-based wine to the lineup. In 2014, the winery’s entire rose production was merlot (I with a small addition of sauvignon blanc). “The pinot noir was a saignee. We wanted greater concentration in our red pinot noir without over-handling the wine. 2014 was such a stellar vintage that we didn’t need to do saignee. We would rather make the full amount of good-vintage pinot noir,” said Brewster McCall.…

IMG_4128

I consider this wine a rose, though winemaker Anthony Nappa often refuses to call it one when we talk, preferring to call it a white pinot noir. Some years it’s whiter than others, but I consider it a rose regardless of color because of how it drinks — like a rose. Anthony Nappa Wines 2014 Anomaly ($20) is made with pinot noir grown both in the Finger Lakes and on Long Island because Nappa thinks that “a combination of New York’s two most prominent winegrowing regions complements each other and brings nice balance to this wine.” Unlike so many marketing messages in the wine world, I…

harb001 - 2013 Malbec Front Label-OPTION 2

I’ve been tasting a lot of Long Island rose over the past few weeks — both because it’s the season and because I was researching a story that will be published in the Long Island Wine Press next month. Like any category, Long Island rose is always a mixed bag. There are wines that you know will always be good, regardless of vintage. There are wines you always want to be good, but underwhelm. And then there are the wines that surprise you — either in a good or bad way. Harbes Vineyard 2014 Dry Rose ($18) was a pleasant surprise…