Posts Tagged“2011”

Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Blanc de Noir


Hermann J. Wiemer and winemaker Fred Merwarth get a lot of attention for their rieslings — and rightly so. Those wines can be incredible. Some of the best in America. I’ll tell you what though, the rest of the portfolio is pretty outstanding too. I recently reviewed Merwarth’s 2013 Cabernet Franc which has become a favorite, but will never challenge the rieslings for supremacy at the winery. The sparkling wines though? They rival the rieslings in terms of quality. They are that good. In fact, this Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Blanc de Noir ($39) is among the best domestic sparkling wines…

Heron Hill Winery 2011 Reserve Blaufrankisch


Bright berry notes — crushed raspberry and sour cherry — dominate the nose on Heron Hill Winery 2011 Reserve Blaufrankisch ($40) with a sprinkling of pepper and baking spice and vanilla sugar. That peppery spicy edge is present on the medium-light bodied palate, but there is much more oak — raw and bitter — as well. The bramble/raspberry and sour cherry fruit is juicy and fresh, just hidden beneath wood tannins. \ Producer: Heron Hill Winery AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 12.5% Production: 350 cases Price: $40 (sample) (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)

Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2011 Vin d’ete Cabernet Franc


  This isn’t a wine that everyone is going to appreciate. As some would say, this is a cab franc lover’s cab franc. You need to appreciate the earthiness of the grape — the herbal edges too. Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2011 Vin d’ete Cabernet Franc ($18) isn’t driven by bold fruit flavors. The cool, wet 2011 vintage saw to that. Instead, winemaker Kim Engle took what the season gave him, and the result is a unique, impressive wine that the franc lover in me greatly enjoyed. Aromas of Provencal herbs — especially thyme and lavender — float from the glass,…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 Blaufrankisch


It’s extremely rare to find wines that taste exactly the same year-to-year in New York State. And that’s okay. Vintage variation is just part of the package. Not tasting the same isn’t the same as wines not being delicious every year. Winemakers on the East Coast understand what they need to do in cooler years versus the warmer ones. Harvest decisions change. Winery decisions change too. Red Tail Ridge makes some of the best blaufrankisch in New York — and not just in warmer years like 2010 (that was a great wine, though). Though in different ways, I liked the…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir


Fruity, with fresh red cherries and red raspberries the nose on the Red Tail Ridge 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir ($20) also shows hints of earthy mushrooms, lavender/lilac and subtle brown spice. It’s a pretty, subtly complex nose. Light bodied, soft and a bit dilute on the mid-palate, the palate doesn’t quite live up to the nose. Red fruits again dominate flavor-wise — cherry, cranberry — with savory, woodsy spice and earthiness. Producer: Red Tail Ridge Winery AVA: Finger Lakes Clone(s): Swan, 113, 114, 115 and 23 Harvest Date(s): September 18 and 25 Yields: 2.5 tons/acre ABV: 12% TA: 5.3…

Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir


I try to learn something from every wine I put into my mouth. Sometimes the revelations are bigger than others. Sometimes they are subtle reminders. Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir ($25) reminded me why I taste wines the way I do (when I’m reviewing them, anyway) and why some reviewers are doing it all wrong. Upon opening, this cooler-vintage pinot is waif-like in its delicate aromas of red cherry, dried strawberry, Earl Grey tea and faint spice. Similarly, the palate is very light bodied, with a core of red berries, dried flowers and just a touch of earthy dried leaves.…

Red Newt Cellars 2011 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling


As my colleague Evan Dawson wrote last spring, there is an emerging style of riesling in the Finger Lakes — one that is sweeter, yes, but also richer and more concentrated on the mid-palate. These aren’t sweeter to appeal to those looking for sweet wines. Instead, they are sweet to express a vineyard or a vintage better than a bone dry wine might. And these aren’t dessert wines. Balance is the key here and Red Newt Cellars 2011 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling ($20) is a fine example of the style. The nose is complex and nearly impenetrable when the wine is…

Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2011 No. 239 — Dry Riesling


Looking for an example of a ‘classic’ Finger Lakes riesling nose? Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2011 No. 239 — Dry Riesling ($20) delivers that. It is lime-driven with notes of tangerine, green apple, citrus blossom and just-ripe peach. Feather-light in the mouth, the palate is a bit more peachy, with Golden Delicious apple, a big squirt of lime juice and rocky minerals on the end of a long, dry finish. Juicy, citrusy acidity. While it lacks concentration and mid-palate richness, it shows nice verve and length. Producer: Boundary Breaks Vineyard AVA: Finger Lakes Clone: Geisenheim 239 Brix: 21 ABV: 12.1% RS: 0.6% IRF: Dry Production: 100 cases Price: $20* | Order…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir


A lot of cheap pinot — let’s use sub-$20 as our loose definition — has little pinot character. They can be gulplable, but they are typically strawberry-cherry juice with some alcohol. That fact is one reason that I appreciate Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir ($18) so much. It has real pinot character for a great price. Is this the best pinot in the world or even Niagara? Of course, not. But it never lasts long when I open it. The nose starts with red cherries — ripe, tender ones — but some swirling teases earthy forest floor and raw…

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir


You don’t need to avoid Finger Lakes red wines from cooler, gray-er years like 2011. You just need to know where to look for consistent quality, nearly regardless of vintage. Red Tail Ridge Winery has proven to be one of those beacons of consistency. Winemaker Nancy Irelan’s Red Tail Ridge Winery 2011 “RTR Vineyard” Pinot Noir ($20) is fruity on the nose, with red cherry and red raspberry aromas accented by light notes of brown spice, lavender and earthy raw mushrooms. Though a bit dilute and not as complex as the nose, the light-bodied palate is driven by red fruits —…