By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief


Even though I've never asked him directly, I know that Peter Bell, winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards, doesn't take putting the "reserve" designation on his wines lightly.

How do I know? For one, he doesn't make "reserves" every year. That's smart and fair to his customers.

But at the end of the day the proof is in the bottle.

This Fox Run Vineyards 2008 Reserve Riesling ($30) deserves the designation. It is a top wine from what has already proven to be a classic vintage for riesling in the region.

Exceptionally expressive on the nose, layers of lime, orange blossom, papaya, green tea and peach mingle, with the papaya and peach becoming more prominent as the wine warms.

The tension between energetic acidity and a slightly creamy mid-palate sets the stage for and frames layers of flavor — papaya, kaffir lime leaf, juicy peach, orange blossom and golden raisin.

The finish is long and fruity with subtle river rock nuance. 1% residual sugar rounds out the palate, but doesn't come through as sweetness because of that electric acidity.

Producer: Fox Run Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13%

Price: $30*

(4 out of 5 | Delicious, Distinctive

(*Ratings Guide)