Posts Tagged“syrah”

hector-wine-company-2012-syrah

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the delicious white wines — not just riesling, mind you — coming out of the Finger Lakes and assume that the red wines just aren’t very good. Several folks charged with selling Finger Lakes wines of all styles lament this fact quite openly when you speak with them or interact with them on the interwebs. It’s a common misconception, but like many is based at least in part on facts. You can throw “cool-climate” around all you want — and many do — but if you’re working with the wrong varieties on the wrong sites and then make things worse in the cellar, you’re going to end up with mediocre (at best) wines no matter where you are in the world. It’s true that compared to the region’s rieslings, most Finger Lakes reds come up short. Couple that with America’s (and many…

hwc-2011-essence

Hector Wine Company 2011 Essence ($25) is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. It shows many of the aromas you’d expect from a syrah blend made in cooler vintage. Aromas of black and white pepper, high-toned red fruits and just a bit of blueberry are joined by notes of American oak. Medium-light on the palate, more peppery spice notes and cran-raspberry flavors are overwhelmed a bit by barrel flavors — particularly on the finish. Tannins that I suspect are from barrel rather than skins/seeds are a bit rustic as well. Lacks fruit for balance. Producer: Hector Wine Company AVA: Seneca Lake Price: $25* (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)

palmer-2012-syrah-banner

Winemaker Miguel Martin recommends lightly chilling his Palmer Vineyards 2012 Syrah ($20) and it’s easy to see why — it’s tastier that way. At normal drinking temperature, this light red (almost a rosado) — one that was made with 40% carbonic maceration — lacks a bit of structure with low tannins and not quite enough acidity to make up for it. But lightly chilled, the acidity is more apparent, framing peppery red fruit flavors accented by subtle violet character. So chill it down, grill some pork chops or tenderloin and enjoy it on a warm summer night. Producer: Palmer Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 12.5% Price: $20* (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)  

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 it Napa. Maybe syrah makes sense along New York’s narrow lakes after all. Vinny Aliperti thinks so. “Everyone should have at least an acre of syrah on the farm,” says the winemaker at Atwater and the owner of Billsboro, both of which make syrah from Seneca Lake fruit.  He says…

arrowhead-spring-2010-syrah

With all due respect to Long Island and the Finger Lakes, the most exciting wines on my tasting table over the past month or so have been from the Niagara region of New York.  Generally speaking, they are well-made wines that are well priced and show the kind of distinctiveness I look for. This Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Syrah ($35) is on the higher end of the pricing scale, but it delivers today and has the stuffing to improve in the bottle over the next five to ten years. The intense, layered nose shows dark, brooding fruit — blueberry, blackberry and currant — with a dose of white pepper, a sprinkling of cocoa powder and a subtle gamey/cured meat note. All of that black-and-blue fruit carries over to the palate,  along with black and white pepper, brown spice,  and pencil shavings — all framed by mouth-filling, ripe tannins. There is…

bedell-cellars-2010-syrah

Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich did some things differently during his first crush at Bedell Cellars in 2010. He brought his ambient yeast fermentations, of course, but he also made a couple blends by co-fermenting the grapes together — making his blending decisions from the outset. Bedell Cellars 2010 Syrah ($50) is one of those wines, made with 90% syrah and 10% viognier in the model of the Northern Rhone. That squirt of viognier is most apparently on a pretty, effusive nose that shows melon and honeysuckle aromas layered over fresh red berries, plums and a combination of earthy cumin and coriander. The distinct black pepper aromas found in most local syrah are but a mere shadow here — there, but lurking in the background. Earthy and savory, the somewhat juicy, medium-bodied palate delivers crunchy red fruit — think red cherry and cranberry — with a bit more pepper showing next to subtle…

redwine

By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor Photos from our WoTY 2009 Tasting by Morgan Dawson I’m happy to see that the NYCR selections for Finger Lakes red wines of the year have generated a fair amount of feedback and debate. There have been many questions: Why no cabernet franc? How come every wine is made from a different grape? Keep in mind that for a wine to be eligible, it has to have been released in 2011. Many of the red wines released in 2011 came from the uneven 2009 vintage. The glorious 2009 September produced strong conditions for Finger Lakes pinot noir, but otherwise, it was a down vintage for reds. Some of the wines released in 2011 were from 2008, a solid-if-not-spectacular vintage. Very few of the 2010s have been released yet. If the vintage conditions and barrel tastings are any indication, they will be very good. Cabernet…

By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief If the growing conditions are borderline for syrah on Long Island, it seems that they'd be even more challenging in the Finger Lakes, a cooler region with a shorter growing season. Still, people are growing it and while most of it probably ends up as rose, some are making interesting wines. And, in the best years, in the best locations, the wines can clearly be better than interesting — including this Atwater Estate Vineyards 2007 Syrah ($32).  You may remember when Atwater's winemaker, Vinny Aliperti, called this out as his favorite from the winery's portfolio at the time. He only made 113 cases, so it's no where near available on Long Island or even in New York City. Luckily, Vinny sent me a bottle to try. By the way, it's not on the label, but this is our second wine reviewed this week made from Sawmill…

wbwlogo_231

Can you believe that February 7 is the 30th installment of Wine Blogging Wednesday already? It seems like only yesterday that I stole borrowed the idea for Is My Blog Burning and turned it into a wine event. Anyway, here we are at #30 with Tim of Winecast serving as host. I’d like to thank him for filling in for the scheduled host, who is AWOL. I know what Tim’s original them was (not going to ruin the surprise for a later WBW vintage) but it wasn’t particularly seasonal. So, he turned to a wine that we both think will work well with the cool-to-cold weather blanketing much of the U.S. this time of year–syrah/shiraz. But not just any syrah. Tim wants us to pick up a bottle of New World Syrah (Shiraz). Because of Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday next month, Tim has decided that WBW will take place…