Happy New Year! Our friends at the Cellar d’Or are packing up my January 2016 picks for the New York Cork Club this week, so it’s that time again — to tell you about the wines I picked.

To kick off 2016, we’re thrilled to include wines from two of the Finger Lakes’ premier producers.

Red Tail Ridge Winery 2014 Pétillant Naturel — A few of my friends have started calling me “Mr. Pet Nat” because I keep writing about them and putting them into the club — but I can’t help it. They are so fun and refreshing and a pleasure to drink. Why wouldn’t we all want wines like that? This one is 100% riesling and winemaker Nancy Irelan didn’t make much. I consider us lucky to have gotten enough to put in the club at all. I won’t bother with tasting notes on this one. Pet Nats can change so much in the bottle that my experience will almost certainly be different from yours — especially if you hold it for any length of time.

Ravines Wine Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc — Pinot noir may be ‘rising’ in the Finger Lakes but in some ways, cabernet franc is already here. Blended with blaufrankisch or not, cab franc seems to take well to the region’s soils and sometimes-challenging climate. Winemaker Morten Hallgren consistently makes one of my favorites. This bottling is fruit forward, but not overtly fruity thanks to underlying earthiness and spicy edges. Though it spends some time in oak, only 20% is new, limiting the obvious woody footprint. Expressive and a great value to boot.

I hope you enjoy these picks. I know I’m eagerly anticipating my shipment’s arrival.

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