Posts Tagged“pinot noir”

Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir


One hallmark of a grape well suited to a region is how it performs in non-ideal growing seasons. This Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir ($22) is the forth or fifth 2011 Finger Lakes pinot noir to impress. Maybe those focusing on it really are onto something. Red cherry, raw button mushroom and dried orange peel aromas are joined by a dusting of baking spice on a pretty, edging on sultry, nose. Light bodied but anything but dilute. the palate is fresh with crunchy red fruits, subtle spice and an earthy edge. The finish isn’t long, but it doesn’t drop…

Bellwether Wine Cellars 2011 Sawmill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir


When I recently posted a picture of a home-cooked meal on Facebook, a friend demanded to know who made the rose that filled the glass next to my plate. That wasn’t rose, friends. That was Bellwether Wine Cellars 2011  Pinot Noir ($30), a pinot that artfully reflects the cooler, cloudier 2011 season in the Finger Lakes without any color enhancement in the form of corot noir, noiret or — if this were California — syrah. If the Bellwether name sounds familiar, it should. Bellwether Hard Cider is well regarded for its often-outstanding lineup of traditionally styled ciders. The winery is a…

Heron Hill Winery 2010 Pinot Noir


Heron Hill Winery 2010 Pinot Noir ($15) offers a somewhat muted nose of wild strawberries,  flowers and brown sugar that leads into a light-bodied palate that is a bit juicy but generally soft. Flavors of red berries and cherry cola are nice, but concentration and structure are a bit lacking here. Producer: Heron Hill Winery AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 12.5% Price: $15* (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)

Marquette Making its Mark in North Country Wine


The prospect of growing and making red wine in cool climates meets with some well-known challenges — reaching adequate ripening levels, controlling acidity, getting good color extraction, as well as surviving disease and predators. Until just a few years ago, it might have been considered madness to conceive of, let alone attempt to pursue, the table red in places where the winter snow can get as deep as the high trellis wire, or where there can be bare ground on days with temperatures so cold that cars and equipment won’t start until the morning sun has been on them for…

Casa Larga Vineyards NV Pinot Noir


When I first smelled this pinot, with its aromas of cherry candy and cough syrup and peppery, almost-Moroccan spice I thought there might be some non-pinot in there. Maybe even a hybrid like De Chaunac or Noiret. But according to former Casa Larga winemaker Mark Patterson “It was 100% pinot noir from the Turk Hill Road Vineyard. This site always produces a bit of a peppery/spicy character that some people believe is from something else, but it’s not. No one ever believes me when I tell them, but I made the wine, and made the blend, so I know what…

A Change of Heart About Pinot, and Another Sign that the Finger Lakes is Rallying Around This Red

Photo courtesy of Sheldrake Point Vineyards

Bob Madill, general manager at Sheldrake Point Vineyards,  does not necessarily agree with the way I describe his feelings on pinot, but I’ll stand by it: I think he’s had a change of heart. The question is, why? Back in 2008, Madill and I had a discussion about pinot and how it grows in the Finger Lakes. I don’t have detailed notes of that conversation, but I can clearly remember Bob’s skepticism about pinot’s future here. He’s a Burgundy lover, and someone who appreciates the subtleties and complexities of pinot noir. Could you really expect to make complex, nuanced pinot,…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir


Think that pinot noir that retails for under $20 isn’t very good? Get yourself a bottle of Arrowhead Spring Vineyard 2010 Piont Noir ($18) and unlearn that widely held belief. Just-crushed raspberries and pomegranate fruit dominate the nose and tell you what’s coming on the ripe, concentrated palate — more raspberry and pomegranate with chalky, gently grippy tannins and fresh acidity. With some time open, a faint spicy, Dr. Pepper-esque note steps forward a half step. It’s not complex or a wine to age for 10-15 years, but it’s satisfying and delicious. Producer: Arrowhead Spring Vineyards AVA: Niagara Escarpment ABV: 13.6% Price: $18* (3…

Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2009 “BLK 3″ Pinot Noir


When I asked winemaker Dave Breeden to tell me about Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2009 “BLK 3″ Pinot Noir ($30 at release, now sold out) — the first vintage of a new vineyard-designated pinot — he didn’t have much he could tell me. “I can’t claim any credit at all for that wine — it’s entirely a project of Bob Madill, both in the vineyard and winery,” he said in an email. Madill is of course the winery’s general manager, and he describes the BLK3 project as his “way of returning to my early days in the Ontario wine industry.” He was curious…

Two Films that Finger Lakes Wine Lovers — and Finger Lakes Winemakers — Should See


If you love wine — if you even like wine — there are two new movies coming out just in time for the holidays that you should see. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. I’ve only seen one, so I can’t give a full review of both, and neither will be in theaters. You have to make an effort to find these films, which are documentaries. And you should. I’ll take it a step further: It would be wonderful if Finger Lakes wine industry professionals took the time to watch both films. The reason is simple, and goes back to the…

Overcoming A History of Sour Grapes with Kurt Guba


Two years ago, the owner of Freedom Run Winery bought what was once known as Warm Lake Estate, including the winery building, vineyards and much of the equipment. With the 2012 harvest,  Freedom Run saw its first harvest from those purchased vines. I sat down with friend and part-time co-worker Kurt Guba, cellar master at Freedom Run, to get his impression on the wines to come from that site not too long ago. Bryan Calandrelli: This was the first year Freedom Run Winery has gotten a harvest at the site of the former Warm Lake Estate Vineyard. How were the…