Posts Tagged“pinot noir”

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


“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


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


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


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”


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…

Forge Cellars 2012 Les Allies Pinot Noir


When Forge Cellars burst onto the Finger Lakes wine scene with the 2011 vintage, it was with plenty of noise and fanfare. A famous French winemaker will do that for any New York wine project. The label’s first release — an oak-aged riesling — has inspired several other Finger Lakes winemakers to try it. But for all of the attention the Forge riesling garners, there are plenty of outstandingly delicious rieslings in the Finger Lakes, in a variety of styles. The Forge wines that have captured my attention most are the pinot noirs — in part because there simply aren’t many…

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.…

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 —…