Posts Tagged“pinot noir”

Keuka Lake Vineyards NV KLV Red

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Need another reminder that generalizations can be dangerous in the wine world? Look no further than Keuka Lake Vineyards NV KLV Red ($16). Many will look at a wine like this one — without a vintage year on the label — and look elsewhere for something to drink. I get it, often non-vintage wines end up being whatever is left over and the wines aren’t very good. But you know what they say happens when you assume. This is a blend that is mostly cabernet franc, with Leon Millot, pinot noir and a “splash” of Delaware rounding out the blend. It’s…

Hermann J. Wiemer 2011 Blanc de Noir

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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…

Lieb Cellars 2013 Reserve Sparkling Rose

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When a winery adds a new wine to its portfolio, I’m always curious how that happens. What’s the thought process? Is it to meet a real or perceived customer demand? Is it because there is some extra fruit that isn’t accounted for? So I asked Lieb Cellars general manager Ami Opisso how Lieb Cellars 2013 Reserve Sparkling Rose ($35) made its way into the winery’s portfolio. She told me “The simple answer is that we’ve been making what we like to drink.” It’s hard to argue with that thought process. Each summer, the Lieb management team gets together — before…

Bellwether Wine Cellars 2013 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

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I don’t consider Kris Matthewson, winemaker at Bellwether Wine Cellars, to be a “natural winemaker” (what does that even mean?). True, he doesn’t like to make a lot of cellar additions and prefers a decidedly hands-off approach, but he’s not above making adjustments if a wine needs them. That said, his wines do lean toward the idiosyncratic. They invite the adventurous and open minded and aren’t for everyone. Some are truly unlike any other in the Finger Lakes region. I think he probably likes it that way. Of a lineup that also includes a handful of single-vineyard rieslings, a gamay noir-dominant rose and…

Barry Family Cellars 2013 Tuller Vineyard Pinot Noir

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Barry Family Wines 2013 Tuller Vineyard Pinot Noir came and went — only 50 cases were made and they sold quickly — but it’s a wine that I’ll remember. We always remember the good ones, don’t we? Barry Family cellars co-owner and winemaker Ian Barry started working with John Tuller and his fruit during Barry’s first vintage in the Finger Lakes, when he was working at Heron Hill. At the time, Heron Hill bought all of Tuller’s fruit, including pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling and cabernet franc. “I always thought his fruit was unique, but particularly his pinot noir, which I would often keep…

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…

Billsboro Winery 2012 Pinot Noir

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Billsboro Winery 2010 Pinot Noir ($25) offers aromas of black cherry sprinkled with potpurri, root beer and smoke and toasted oak that is just a little distracting. The fresh, nicely concentrated palate brings more cherries — black and maraschino — a bit of chocolate and subtle. It’s less oaky than the nose and has soft, supple tannins and a nice bit of juicy acidity. Producer: Billsboro Winery AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 12.5% Price: $25 (sample) (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

New York Cork Club: August 2015 Selections

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The August 2015 wines for the New York Cork Club will ship once the weather cools a bit (the July wines will ship soon too I hope). In the meantime, I wanted to tell you a bit about them. (If you missed our announcement about the rebirth of New York Cork Club, check it out here.) For August, we’ll return to the “one red and one white” club shipment — with one classic grape from a well-known winery and one lesser-known grape from an under-appreciated winery included: Keuka Lake Vineyards 2014 Gently Dry Vignoles — Some look down on vignoles because it’s a hybrid grape…

Anthony Nappa Wines 2014 Anomaly White Pinot Noir

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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…

Forge Cellars 2013 Pinot Noir “Classique”

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Assumptions and generalizations. In recent weeks they have crept into more than a couple wine-related discussions I’ve had. As with regular, every-day life, they are silly, even dangerous, things that can make us appear ignorant or worse. In wine, they are crutches that even the most intrepid writer/critic/thinker will fall back on in a pinch. Of course many of them are based in fact — at least tangentially. Take the idea that red wines from the 2013 Finger Lakes vintage can’t or won’t be good. I haven’t heard anyone laud the season for any grape. The growing season was a wet…