Freedomrun_07pinotnoirIf Long Island has merlot and the Finger Lakes have riesling, then the Niagara U.S.A. region just might have pinot noir.

It's of course way too early in this budding region's development to anoint any single grape as royalty, but Niagara pinot noir certainly shows promise. And just like every other New York wine region, differences in growing season conditions have a profound impact.

Vintage matters in New York.

It certainly did when I sat down to taste two vintages of estate pinot from Freedom Run Winery in Lockport, NY.

Today, we'll focus on the Freedom Run Winery 2007 Estate Pinot Noir ($35).

As you no-doubt already know, 2007 was a warm, dry year across the state and that shines through in this pinot.

Ripe blueberry and black cherry aromas lead the way on an extroverted nose with light mushroomy earthiness, exotic spice, and subtle cocoa powder notes in the background.

Mouth-filling and lush on the palate, a dense core of sweet blueberry-cherry fruit intermingles with notes of earth, exotic spice, milk chocolate and tobacco. The texture is beautiful here, silky with both powerful ripeness and elegance in the form of fine tannins and good acidity.

Double-blind I might think this from California if not for that lurking earthiness that really steps forward on the end of a lengthy finish.

Though listed at 13.5% ABV, this might be higher as there is a slight bit of heat on the end.

Producer: Freedom Run Winery

AVA: Niagara Escarpment

Case Production: 90

Price: $35*


(*Ratings Guide)