By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher

Damiani_07sauvblancWhen one thinks of the Finger Lakes, riesling is the first grape that comes to mind. After that, I think usually think about Gewurztraminer, pinot noir, cabernet franc and probably Vidal blanc before sauvignon blanc. But, there are a few producers dabbling in this grape and Damiani Wine Cellars is one of them.

There isn't a lot of sauvignon blanc grown in the Finger Lakes — and with good reason. It's not very cold hardy and with the below-zero temperatures that can blanket the region, cold hardy is a characteristic that local vines need. Still, through careful vineyard placement and techniques like mounding up soil, it can be grown in the region.

I've only tasted a handful of these Finger Lakes sauvignon blanc, with spotty results. Clearly growers and makers have invested in this grape, but I'm not sure about its long-term success in the region.

This Damiani Wine Cellars 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($17) is surprisingly understated, even austere on the nose with light citrus, underripe honeydew and just the lightest minty-herb note.

Medium bodied and with great acidity, the flavors are similarly light — mostly citrus with a bit of melon and subtle peach flavors. I don't know what the residual sugar is on this, but it's a bit perceptible on the mid-palate before finishing clean and dry with a pear skin note.

Overall, it's well balanced, but just a bit austere. I'd be curious to hear what the yields were in the vineyard. Maybe they were just a bit too high.

Producer: Damiani Wine Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $17
ABV: 13%
Rating:   20 (2 out of 5 | Average)

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