By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

RIESDamiani Wine Cellars, on the eastern shorts of Seneca Lake, has built a reputation around its red wines — a unique focus in a region known mostly for its aromatic whites.

They do make white wines — and now bubbly — too though, and while most of them have underwhelmed, this Damiani Wine Cellars 2008 Riesling ($16) stood out during my tasting last weekend.

The winery sourced the riesling for this wine from one of the region's most experienced and respected growers — Sam Argetsinger. I've tasted a couple other rieslings (1|2) made with Sam's grapes and this wine has a lot in common with those. It's a small sample size obviously, but I think Argetsinger rieslings clearly have a uniqueness to them. I guess you could say that's terroir.

Extremely aromatic, the nose brings orange blossom, peach, lime and subtle grapefruit aromas with classic Finger Lakes slate and just a little anise.

Lithe and lively, the palate features citrusy, mouth-watering acidity with primary flavors of lime, green apple and grapefruit zest, and understated apricot and slate notes in the background. The finish is long and ends on a slightly tart note.  

Producer: Damiani Wine Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 12.3%

Production: 225 cases

Price: $16*

Rating:   35
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)

(Ratings Guide)