And now for something completely different.
Keuka Lake Vineyards 2015 Leon Millot Nouveau ($18) is the first 2015 red to cross the NYCR tasting table and perhaps not surprisingly, it counts Beaujolais Nouveau as its main inspiration, though it’s not made strictly in the same way.
Leon Millot fruit grown in Dundee, NY at Tabora Vineyard was picked on September 9. It was de-stemmed, crushed and after four days fermenting on the skins was pressed and finished fermenting without the skins. Once fermentation finished, the wine spent a month in neutral oak barrels before being bottled on October 27. If you’re counting, that’s just 48 days after it was picked.
That short time on the skins gives this a light ruby red color — almost rose-like. Unfiltered, the wine is decidedly cloudy and there is a visible line of tiny bubbles along the edge of the glass.
Feather light in terms of body, there is juicy, cranberry and red cherry fruit character here but also a savory, oregano-herb quality that brings just a little complexity. It’s quite soft but also tingly with acid (and some residual CO2 I think). I think I liked the 2014 — which had a bit more body and concentration — a bit more, but not by a wide margin.
It didn’t stand out when I first tasted it, by itself, at my kitchen table, but it was great the next day as we transitioned from sparkling wine and riesling to cabernet franc and pinot noir on Thanksgiving day.
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $18 (sample)