By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

WineclublogosmallWe're getting ready to ship out this month's Times Union New York Wine Club selections and that means it's time to tell you a bit about them

We've got some producers that we're including for the first time, which is always fun.

April-2011-NYwineclub-basic For our Basic-Level Members this month, we have a Finger Lakes riesling and a Finger Lakes Cayuga White — yes, a Cayuga White.

 Lucas Vineyards 2009 Cayuga White may very well be the finest example of the hybrid variety I've tasted. And it's a great value in a spring or summer sipper.

Apple-pear aromas dominate with layers of white flowers and candy coating/confection. It is straight forward on the palate with forward, slightly candied apple-pear flavors. It could be quite sweet at 2.75% RS, but it's balanced very well with brisk acid.

Our second wine for the Basic Level this month is Hunt Country Vineyards 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling. It starts out with juicy, just-ripe pear and white tea aromas with just a little lime and honeysuckle.

Well balanced and mouth-watering on the palate, this off-dry riesling brings a bit more lime on the palate to go along with the floral and pear flavors.

April-2011-NYwineclub-premium We keep with the over-delivering them with our Premium-Level wines this month as well.

Sherwood House Vineyards 2005 Merlot is medium-to-full bodied and offers both fresh and dried cherry flavors with underlying tobacco and dried herb character. There is a dose of toasty oak here too that spices the wine rather than overwhelming it. The tannins are of medium intensity and are well integrated. Acidity brings a certain freshness.

Earthy and dried cherry notes re-emerge on the medium-long finish.

Our second wine, Swedish Hill Winery 2007 Optimus is 42% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot and 25% cabernet franc — all grown in the Finger Lakes — and we've just been waiting for the winery to release it so we could include it.

On the nose, there are black plums and blueberries with accents of tobacco, dark chocolate and baking spice. Ripe, well-integrated tannins frame similar flavors — plums, blueberries, tobacco and chocolate — with the addition of spices reminiscent of cola and just a little vanilla — while subtle acidity enlivens the medium-bodied palate.

Learn more about the club and by all means, sign up. You can just do a month or three if you want to try it out. And as always, if you have any questions, please just ask me!