Posts Tagged“meritage”

7 Years of Ravines Wine Cellars Meritage

ravines-meritage

There is a phenomena that is unique to the world of fine wine that gives some winemakers sleepless nights, sends collectors on quests that are akin to searches for the Holy Grail itself, and provides ample employment opportunities for wine writers and critics alike: Vintage Variation. For brewers and distillers, achieving consistency in their product is a common and overarching goal. But for producers of fine wines — particularly in cool climates — embracing inconsistency is more the norm. Most espouse the philosophy of “letting the grapes dictate the wine” by emphasizing the attractive characteristics that are presented by a…

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…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2009 “Arrowhead Red” Meritage

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Many complain that there just aren’t enough New York reds under $20 that are worth of daily drinking.  If you’re one of these malcontents, this wine —  Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2009 “Arrowhead Red” Meritage ($16) is for you. A blend of 61% cabernet franc, 29% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot and 2% malbec, this $16 red simply over-delivers. In fact, it would over-deliver at several dollars more too. On the nose, ripe red cherry aromas are layered with notes of dusty chocolate, tobacco, bay leaf and hints of crumbled sage. A bit fruitier — red cherries and blackberries — on the medium-bodied…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Meritage Reserve

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The Niagara region of New York continually forces me to rethink what I know about recent vintages in New York. Often the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Long Island have quite similar seasons. Hurricanes or frost events aside, if a year is warm and dry in the Finger Lakes, it tends to be in the Hudson Valley and here too.  It’s similar for cooler years. Take 2008 for example. It was a cool, somewhat cloudy summer for much of the state and the wines, particularly the reds, reflect that.  That’s not a value judgement. That’s East Coast, cool-climate winemaking. Vintage…

Standing Stone Vineyards 2005 Pinnacle

2005 Finger Lakes reds continue to show well in my weekly tastings. Of course, no one expects the region's reds to push the aromatic whites into the background, but it is clear that, in hot years anyway, elegant, balanced reds are possible. Standing Stone Vineyards' 2005 Pinnacle ($23) is a Bordeaux-style blend (or Meritage if you will) made with 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 3% merlot. In the glass, it shows nice extraction and is a rich crimson-violet color. The nose is intense with Bing cherries, caramel-vanilla and hints of oak. The palate is lush with bright cherry…

Tasting Vintage Variation — A Flight of “Flight”

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You can buy bottle after bottle of mass-produced, ubiquitous wines like Yellowtail Shiraz or Cavit Pinot Grigio without even looking at the year on the label. That’s because year-to-year variation is barely perceptible in those wines. Huge vineyards, huge production and blending options that lead to a “house style” all result in fairly consistent flavors year in and year out. That’s boring and lame if you ask me. That sort of cookie-cutter consistency is not the case here on Long Island, where even the largest vineyards are miniscule by world standards. And, with generally cool weather that changes considerably from…

50 States. 50 Wineries. #10: Jefferson Vineyards (Virginia)

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Thomas Jefferson was America’s first wino/wine geek/vinophile, so it’s far from surprising that he planted his own vineyard — way back in 1774. Jefferson and Italian Filippo Mazzei planted the vineyard right next to Monticello — and today Jefferson Vineyards resides on the same plot of land. Of course, the vines they use today aren’t from 1774, but they do date to 1981. As 50 in 50 has unfolded, I’ve found the wines a bit disappointing — whether too sweet for the acidity level, boring and lifeless, or just plain faulty. So far, the stars have been the wines from…