Posts Tagged“syrah”

Appreciating the FLX Wienery: A Conversation with Christopher Bates

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Here’s the scene: You are biting into a burger called The Local, made with goat cheese and miso mayo and lettuce and tomato and herbs, and you’ve just pillaged a bottle of 1988 Dunn Cabernet from the secret wine fridge, and you’re wondering if this high-end comfort food oasis is only for serious food lovers. And then a well-placed dick joke cuts through any concern about pretension. This is the FLX Wienery, a little food-and-wine joint on Route 14 that has been open for a year. It’s already become a regional treasure, a must-visit for wine tourists on Seneca Lake.…

Leonard Oakes Winery 2012 Reserve Series Syrah

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“I’m not convinced about its place up here — but we had to give it a shot.” That’s one of the first things winemaker Jonathan Oakes told me when I asked about his soon-to-be-released syrah. Syrah is far from widely planted in the region, but most of what I’ve tasted has been delicious. And, after tasting Oakes’, I’m more convinced than ever at the grapes potential in and near the Niagara Escarpment AVA. Aged in heavily toasted American oak — even if the majority was two and three years old — Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2012 Reserve Series Syrah ($23) shows a…

Hector Wine Company 2012 Syrah

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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…

Hector Wine Company 2011 Essence (Syrah Blend)

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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…

Palmer Vineyards 2012 Syrah

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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…

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…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Syrah

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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…

Bedell Cellars 2010 Syrah

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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…

The Finger Lakes 2011 Red Wines of the Year Finalists: Explaining the Diverse Selections

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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…