Posts Tagged“hermann j. wiemer”

esc-club

Harvest season is nearly upon us across New York wine country. In fact, I’ve heard reports of grapes destined for sparkling wine coming in this week. It’s a busy time of year at every winery — and it has been for me too as we worked to finalize this month’s picks. This is a pretty classic ESC club shipment — we focus on the grapes that regions do best as well as some of New York’s top producers. I hope you enjoy the picks as much as my friends and I have of late. “Hello New York” Wines Raphael 2013 First Label Sauvignon Blanc: Sourced from the estate’s oldest sauvignon blanc vines, this intensely aromatic white shows aromas of ruby red grapefruit, tropical fruit, lemon verbena and minty herbs. Fuller bodied and mouth-filling, the palate shows more of that concentrated citrus character with hints of quava and papaya. That herbal edge is…

older-riesling

Editor’s Note: Thank you to our friend Uwe Kristen of Der Kellermeister  for the second story in our “Moved by a New York Wine” series. If a New York wine has moved you, let us know. White wine is still considered to be less age-worthy than red wine. Which, of course, is not true. Riesling, in particular, can age for decades. Once bottled, wine is not a finished product. It is still very much alive. Give it some years to fully express itself and you shall be handsomely rewarded. I had been holding on to two Finger Lakes rieslings from the 2003 vintage in my cellar. Relics from my first and memorable trip to the Finger Lakes in 2004, when I visited Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, among other wineries. It was not my plan to put these two wines away and let them…

Photo courtesy of @fabricutfabrics (https://twitter.com/FabricutFabrics)

I am always curious to know what people in wine country think of New York State wines. Not Finger Lakes wine country, mind you, or Long Island wine country. I mean just about any other state or country. My visit to Santa Barbara County, and then Los Angeles, has to be encouraging on the anecdotal, entirely unscientific level. “The Finger Lakes is doing some special things,” said Sashi Moorman, one of the finest winemakers on the west coast and a huge force in the Santa Barbara wine industry. “I’m not fully up to date with what they’re doing, but riesling, cool-climate varieties… It’s exciting.” Matt Dees, the winemaker at Jonata, went further: “Is it possible that in 20 years, we’re talking about the Finger Lakes like it’s the finest wine region in the country?” “No,” I replied. “Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but everything is trending in their favor.” I…

hermann-j-wiemer-2010-magdalena-2010

You’ll find several wines made in the Finger Lakes with vineyards listed on the label. Academically, I really enjoy the opportunity to taste wines grown in smaller parcels and kept separate throughout the winemaking process. But there is also a bit of marketing gimmick to them. If a vineyard isn’t distinctive and mature, you’re really just using vineyard desingations to do it. Some vineyards haven’t ‘earned’ it yet. On the other end of the spectrum is Magdalena Vineyard, owned and managed by Hermann J. Wiemer. It is one of the few grand cru sites in the Finger Lakes. It’s one of the warmest sites on Seneca Lake and its location, resulting mesoclimate and the meticulous vineyard practices employed there result in wines of uncommon intensity. 2010 was a warm vintage and that comes through in Hermann J. Wiemer 2010 Magdalena Vineyard Riesling, with pronounced aromas of red pear and quince — along with…

esc-club

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” from Long Island (wines under $20). The Pisacano family, along with winemaker Roman Roth take on that challenge here with ripe, juicy results. “Getting to Know New York” Wines Forge Cellars 2011 Riesling: This is probably unlike any riesling you’ve ever tasted — aged in old oak barrels, which gives the…

For those who spend their disposal income on the edible artistry of Manhattan’s best chefs, Just Food’s Fifth Annual Let Us Eat Local was like being inside Willy Wonka’s Fancy Fall Food Factory. The event benefited non-profit, Just Food, which keeps civilians in five boroughs of New York City connected with farms and local products. They engage the community by teaching how to grow and identity healthy food through CSAs, classes, outreach and Farm School, a program giving students a framework to grow produce in the concrete jungle. Forty restaurants rolled out dishes for a walk-around tasting using seasonal ingredients from nearby purveyors that the well-dressed supporters of the cause happily sampled and dug in to with compostable utensils. New York-based breweries set up camp next to five of the Finger Lakes and Long Island wineries we know and love. Because what’s a party without local aperitifs? It was almost…

riesling-mags

The other day I picked up a magnum of Hermann J. Wiemer 2008 Dry Riesling in magnum. It had me thinking: Magnums are so sexy. How come almost no one in the Finger Lakes offers riesling in magnum? I was going to say that no one in the Finger Lakes bottles their wine in larger formats, but of course that’s wrong. You can find Red Cat in magnum. Fox Run’s Ruby Vixen, , Arctic Fox, Chardonnay perhaps. Some of Bully Hill’s offerings, I’m sure. But why not riesling? After all, the world’s finest riesling ages gracefully for many years, and plenty of those wines improve with age. In a larger format, less oxygen makes contact with the wine, giving it potentially an even longer life. And with a group of friends who appreciate wine, there are few aesthetic pleasures that eclipse the uncorking of a magnum. Then there is another…

2007s

What’s the worst riesling vintage of the past decade in the Finger Lakes? It’s an awkward question, given that winemakers in the Finger Lakes love to say that riesling performs beautifully in the regoin no matter the weather. That’s largely true, but it’s also a copout. I’m willing to say that 2007 is the worst riesling vintage of the decade. It was a year of heat and drought, and the result was a region dotted by stressed vines. For red wines, it was generally a success. But for riesling, the balance between ripe fruit and crackling acidity was much more difficult to achieve. Many, many 2007 rieslings showed early signs of petrol — not necessarily undesirable, but as detailed by my colleague Tom Mansell, a warning sign that the wines will age more quickly than usual. (This entire short piece will do more to educate you on riesling in five minutes than…

wiemer-2010-semi

Juicy pears and white flowers dominate an effusive nose, accented by subtle almond note. Off-dry but balanced, the palate shows not only pear fruit, but a distinct fig quality up front that leads into a long, floral finish that shows a light slate note. A bit more acidity would bring focus and elevate the wine a bit, but the residual sugar is still balanced enough to avoid being cloying. 2,200 cases produced. Producer: Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 11% Price: $17*   (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

wiemer-frost

Some photographs tell a deeper story than the first glance reveals. This beautiful shot was taken by Todd Eichas at New Vines Bed & Breakfast on the east side of Seneca Lake, shortly after 6:00am this past Saturday. It shows more than a placid spring morning. New Vines sits on top of a hill overlooking two of the region’s most acclaimed vineyards: Magdalena Vineyard and Josef Vineyard, which are owned and operated by Hermann J. Wiemer. Eichas says his thermometer read 28 degrees on Saturday morning, but he says the vineyards below are always several degrees warmer. I asked Hermann J. Wiemer owner Fred Merwarth about the recent frosts. “We were burning hay bales, maybe 60 of them,” Fred said. That explains the smoke rising from the vineyards in the photograph. “The bales can get pretty hot. We never burn anything closer than 10 feet to the vines.” Merwarth said…