Posts Tagged“red newt cellars”

Getting Rose Right: Finally, the Finger Lakes is Making Consistently Excellent Rose. Here’s Why


Photo via David Diaz, Damiani Wine Cellars No one is immune to bad ideas, and for years, the Finger Lakes had consistently bad ideas when it came to rose. It all seemed to culminate in one ill-fated February evening in 2014. You might be wondering why anyone was talking about rose in February, and you would be on to something. On the evening Thursday, February 27th, 2014, Fox Run Vineyards hosted an industry and media “Discover Dry Rose Grand Tasting.” Perhaps you recall that January and February of 2014 had been colder than an ex-lover, hammered by snow and raw…

Kelby James Russell 2013 Dry Rosé


  The label certainly tells you who made this wine. Red Newt winemaker Kelby Russell put his name right on the label of Kelby James Russell 2013 Dry Rosé ($16), which was made at Red Newt from 100% cabernet franc grapes. White cherries and red raspberries dominate the nose with a hint of watermelon and notes of black pepper, cabernet franc dusty earthiness and a squirt of lime. Fresh and balanced, the medium-bodied palate is driven by red berry fruits with another sprinkling of pepper and woodsy, savory spice. A bit of red apple peeks through on the medium-short finish,…

Red Newt Cellars 2011 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling


As my colleague Evan Dawson wrote last spring, there is an emerging style of riesling in the Finger Lakes — one that is sweeter, yes, but also richer and more concentrated on the mid-palate. These aren’t sweeter to appeal to those looking for sweet wines. Instead, they are sweet to express a vineyard or a vintage better than a bone dry wine might. And these aren’t dessert wines. Balance is the key here and Red Newt Cellars 2011 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling ($20) is a fine example of the style. The nose is complex and nearly impenetrable when the wine is…

5 Questions with… Kelby Russell, Red Newt Cellars


The New York Cork Report recently had the opportunity to sit down with Newark, NY native Kelby Russell, Winemaker at Red Newt Cellars. After graduation from Harvard, Russell found himself as an intern at Fox Run Vineyards and under the tutelage of Peter Bell. While there he was able to make a few wine pilgrimages and work around the world in New Zealand (Whitehaven Winery, Marlborough), Tasmania (Pipers Brook Vineyard) and Australia (Yalumba Winery, Barossa Valley). Armed with a variety of experiences Russell joined the Red Newt team as Winemaker a little over a year ago. In addition to the…

What We Drank (July 30, 2013 Edition)


Evan Dawson: Red Newt Cellars 2009 Circle Riesling There is something almost obscene about the fact that 2012 rieslings are being released, and the 2009 rieslings are now considered library wines. This wine is like a plea for help from a vintage that should probably be getting released right about now. But that’s the story of Finger Lakes wine, and that’s why there are so few bottles with any age on them. You can’t blame wineries for releasing wines on a schedule that simply allows them to stay in business. It’s tough. This is an impressively made wine, especially considering that…

Red Newt Cellars’ Kelby Russell on “Wine is Serious Business”


On the heels of Riesling Rendezvous, a handful of Finger Lakes winemakers spent some time in the Willamette Valley. While there, they visited with Dan and Chas from Wine is Serious Business to shoot three videos about Finger Lakes riesling. The first one was published this week and it featured winemaker Kelby Russell from Red Newt Cellars. It’s a little longer than your average online wine video, but well worth the 20 minutes. Enjoy!  

Red Newt Cellars 2011 Sawmill Creek Vineyards Riesling


Though not quite as good as the stellar 2009 bottling, Red Newt Cellars 2011 Sawmill Creek Vineyards Riesling ($21) was still a standout in a recent tasting. Opening with floral aromas, the nose quickly turns peachy, honeyed and with a squirt of lime juice and just-cut Gala apple. Bursting with grapefruit, peach and lime flavors, the medium-bodied palate shows nice balance between richness and freshness thanks to juicy, citrusy acidity. That acidity stretches out the finish, which shows more lime and grapefruit flavors. Producer: Red Newt Cellars AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 11.1% RS: 1.3% TA: 7.9 g/L pH: 3.0 Price: $21* (3.5 out of 5…

Sheldrake Point’s Madill Joins Team at Red Newt Cellars Too

Bob Madill pouring barrel samples for a customer at Sheldrake Point

Bob Madill, one of the founders of Sheldrake Point Vineyards on Cayuga Lake, has accepted a new role as Wine Director of Red Newt Cellars on Seneca Lake. Madill, the longtime general manager at Sheldrake, says he will perform duties for both operations. At Red Newt, Madill will oversee the wine program from the tasting room to the restaurant, and already there are changes. Madill wants to take advantage of Red Newt’s extensive wine library, which contains dozens of older Finger Lakes wines, some more than a decade old. To combat the consternation some diners might have when it comes…

Growing List of Finger Lakes Producers Making Sweeter, Richer — But Not Dessert! — Riesling


The hottest winemaker you’ve never heard of is Kelby Russell, a soft-spoken, music-loving globe trotter with the work ethic of a stubborn ant. Russell, an assistant at Red Newt Cellars, learned under Peter Bell at Fox Run and spent several winters in the southern hemisphere, where it was harvest time. He’s gained a reputation as a fast-learning workhorse. So why is he back home in the Finger Lakes, instead of extending his overseas adventures? “Sweeter rieslings are really what have kept me, after my start in 2009,” he explains. He was smitten by the balanced, rich rieslings from Germany while…

The Strange Story of Syrah in the Finger Lakes

Syrah Bunches

It’s easy to get confused about red wine in the Finger Lakes these days. Is there a ‘flagship’ red variety? Is it pinot in the hands of the right people? Is it cabernet franc, that workhorse that occasionally finds profundity? How about lemberger/blaufrankish? When did that bandwagon hit a massive pothole? And now here comes syrah. If you grew up on west coast syrah or Australian shiraz, syrah seems an unlikely choice for the Finger Lakes. But that ignores its happiest home, which happens to be the much cooler Northern Rhone. No, Cote-Rotie is not Seneca Lake, but nor is…