Posts Tagged“damiani wine cellars”

Thoughts on the Finger Lakes’ Sh!##iest Vintage Ever

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“No reserve wines in 2009 due to shittiest vintage ever.” It was one of the greatest tweets I’ve ever read, because it came from a winery employee. The tweet is long since deleted, but that is close to a word-for-word recollection. How could I forget it? I admired it instantly. Wine and food writers are often sifting through spin, and this was unvarnished. That was the summer that wasn’t, as my wife calls it. Almost never sniffed 90 degrees, and spent most of July in the low-to-mid 70s. Ripening was slow, and when frost came in October, it was, for…

Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon

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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,…

Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Meritage

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Damiani Wine Cellars is the rare Finger Lakes winery that can be counted on for good Bordeaux-variety wines almost regardless of vintage. In warmer, drier years however, the results can move well beyond good. 2010 was one such year. Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Meritage ($27) is a nervy, wiry blend of 44% cab sauv, 37% merlot, 19% cab franc that shows aromas of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit along with grilled herbs, a dusty earthiness and just a kiss of new oak. Chewy but not chunky, the palate is medium-fuller bodied and delivers a bit more raw toasty oak, but…

Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

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Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($45) — proved me wrong. I can admit it.  I have to. Finger Lakes pinot noir — and to a lesser extent Blaufrankisch — have been coming on strong in recent years. But cabernet sauvignon? I’ve been less then enthusiastic after tasting seeral. Maybe cabernet can only get here in one or two out of ten years, but this wine is a new benchmark for the variety in the Finger Lakes. Its concentrated, brooding nose offers aromas of blueberry, currant and plum with a savory/umami edge and an integrated dose of oak and…

Finger Lakes Growers Begin to Check for Damage to Vines Following Brutal Cold Snap

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On Saturday, Steve Shaw of Shaw Vineyard spent about an hour carefully cutting buds from canes he pulled from his vineyard. It had been several days since the coldest weather to hit the region in years had finally lifted. Reports varied from county to county, town to town, vineyard to vineyard. The lowest temperatures had plunged perilously close to ten degrees below zero. Shaw wanted to know how his canes had dealt with it. There is no hard line of temperature that will inevitably cause vine death, but ten below is an unofficial rule of thumb. Growers will say that ten below for three hours…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: September 2013 Selections

The September shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members in a few weeks — but here’s a sneak peak of what is coming.. If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Charles Fournier 2012 “Gold Seal Vineyards” Riesling: Named for a Finger Lakes pioneer and his seminal vineyard, this negociant-made riesling is focused and fresh, showing pear and apricot flavors, nervy acidity and along, slate-y finish. A terrific value.  Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2010 “Red Letter”: The great 2010 growing season resulted some of Long Island’s best-ever <$20 reds, this…

The Strange Story of Syrah in the Finger Lakes

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It’s easy to get confused about red wine in the Finger Lakes these days. Is there a ‘flagship’ red variety? Is it pinot in the hands of the right people? Is it cabernet franc, that workhorse that occasionally finds profundity? How about lemberger/blaufrankish? When did that bandwagon hit a massive pothole? And now here comes syrah. If you grew up on west coast syrah or Australian shiraz, syrah seems an unlikely choice for the Finger Lakes. But that ignores its happiest home, which happens to be the much cooler Northern Rhone. No, Cote-Rotie is not Seneca Lake, but nor is…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: November 2012 Selections

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The November shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will ship in a couple weeks, but — as always — I’m excited to share the selections with you. If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Lamoreaux Landing 2011 Gruner Veltliner: It’s exciting to include this relatively new grape to New York, and Lamoreaux Landing’s first commercial release of it. Dry and refreshing, it shows aloe, white pepper, lemon-lime citrus, and green herbs — with just a hint of salinity. Roanoke Vineyards 2010 BOND: Some complain about the lack of quality “table wines”…

A Magical Finger Lakes Red, and Why it’s Gone Too Soon

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It had been two years since I last tasted the Damiani Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc, and I was down to my last bottle. On release, it was an impressive wine with depth, if a tad besmirched by oak. I liked it enough to buy three bottles. Earlier this month my wife and I went to dinner and decided to open this wine one more time. Sometimes we talk about transformation that can occur in a complex wine, but no one really knows what to expect. If I harbored high hopes for the Damiani Cab Franc, it turns out those…

Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling

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I first tasted this wine as a part of Riesling Hour and it was one of the more popular wines amongst the Long Island wine industry folks who joined me for the tasting. This review is based on a subsequent tasting in my home. Light hints of apricot and lime bring nuance to a nose driven by sweet pear and green apple. Juicy, ripe and off-dry, the palate shows more sweet pear character along with flavors of peach and white grape — with snappy acidity that brings focus and verve. There is an interesting floral, green tea note on the…