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How Awestruck Is Wooing Drinkers To Cider


About 5,000 people live in Walton, New York, an unassuming town on the edge of the Catskills whose main drag is lined with quaint brick buildings and come fall, so many scarecrows that it’s sometimes called ‘Scarecrow Capital of the World.’ Walton might also earn a prominent spot in the story New York’s modern cider boom as the home of Awestruck Ciders. I took the hilly, two-and-a-half hour drive to Walton recently after sampling some fizzy Eastern Dry, a vaguely tropical cider that was so poised — and at $9 for a 750-milliliter bottle, so well-priced — that I thought the…

Weekly New York Wine News — June 29, 2015


Photo courtesy of Macari Vineyards New York wines get some play in high profile outlets recently, while a new establishment, new festival and new packaging take things beyond novelty. NEWS New York Times - 6/18/2015 Herman J. Wiemer dry Riesling 2014 makes Eric Asimov’s list of 20 great summer wines for $20. Wines and Vines - 6/23/2015 Sunlight into Wine takes on new meaning as New York wineries go green with solar power projects. Decanter - 6/24/2015 Howard Goldberg points out directions to Finger Lakes vacation destinations. - 6/26/2015 Coyote Moon Vineyards in the Thousand Islands region is New York’s first…

Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon


You won’t find a lot of varietal cabernet sauvignon wines in the Finger Lakes — with good reason. Generally speaking, later-ripening reds aren’t as well-suited to the region as other types of grapes. That said, Damiani Wine Cellars typically bucks that trend and makes some of the better cab in the region. Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($45) isn’t as good as the outstanding 2010, but it still balances ripe fruit with oak and savory notes well. The nose shows a melange of aromas — sweet blueberry compote, blackberry, savory dried herbs, soy sauce, and dusty, earthy cocoa powder. Mouth-filling and slightly chewy,…

On northforker: “Uncork the Forks: 5 Under-Appreciated Long Island Grape Varieties”


My latest column for northfoker was published yesterday — “Uncork the Forks: 5 Under-Appreciated Long Island Grape Varieties.” It’s a quick piece about five grapes that deserve more attention (for one reason or another) in the local wine community. Some are obvious. Others might seem out of place in such a list. But read it and tell me what you think.

Barry Family Cellars 2014 “Pastiche” White Blend


When veteran Finger Lakes winemaker Ian Barry started Barry Family Cellars with his family back in 2011, he planned to focus on a core portfolio of riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc, while also affording himself the ability tinker and experiment here and there with other grapes and techniques along the way. If any of the wines that resulted from those trials stood out, maybe he’d add to that core group of wines. If my last name were Barry, I’d be pushing for Barry Family Cellars 2014 Pastiche ($22) to join the permanent lineup. It’s one of the best non-riesling Finger Lakes white wines…

Harbes Vineyard 2013 Steel Fermented Chardonnay


Stainless steel-born chardonnay is rarely a revelation, but Harbes Vineyard 2013 Steel Fermented Chardonnay ($19) is classic North Fork steel chardonnay in all of its easy-drinking, fruit-forward glory. The aromas, begin with straightforward pear and yellow apple notes, but there’s also a faint citrus blossom-herb quality that add just a bit of nuance. Fruity on the medium-bodied, slightly glycerin palate, sweet apples and pears are are backed by some lemon and lime flavors. There is a bit of weight here, but also fresh acidity for balance. The finish isn’t long, but it’s not abrupt either. Producer: Harbes Vineyard AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV:…

Weekly New York Wine News — June 22, 2015


Photo courtesy of Roanoke Vineyards Big win for NY wine retailers and a small win for small wineries, Boston nod for the Hudson Valley, and a festival change up on Canandaigua Lake. NEWS Wine-Searcher - 6/17/2015 Overwhelming vote of support for Empire Wine in the New York State Senate, as the State Liquor Authority is barred from enforcing the shipping laws of other states. Finger Lakes Times - 6/18/2015 Business of the Week: Anthony Road Wine Company is a family operation that has been growing grapes for 40 years and making wine for more than 25. Auburn Citizen - 6/20/2015 Winery dogs…

Bellangelo 2014 Cabernet Franc Dry Rose


It doesn’t always happen this way. Not every cabernet franc rose tastes like cabernet franc, but Bellangelo 2014 Cabernet Franc Dry Rose ($16) really does. It starts off with the types of bright red fruits that you’ll get from most roses — cranberry and red cherry in this case — but there are also underlying notes of Herbs de Provence and mossy earth that bring a bit of complexity without getting in the way of the fresh fruit aromas and flavors. Brisk and refreshing, it’s lighter bodied and begging to be enjoyed with food. Producer: Villa Bellangelo AVA: Finger Lakes Vineyard: Tuller Vineyard…

Weekly New York Wine News — June 15, 2015


Seyval blanc at Hudson-Chatham Winery’s Estate Vineyard Cider in the streets, whiskey at the farm, and wine up on the roof in this week’s New York Cork Report local beverage notes section. NEWS Henrietta Post - 6/5/2015 Blue Toad hard cider takes up new residence in an historic railroad car in Victor, NY. Fort Green Focus - 6/10/2015 Winery in the Brooklyn Navy yard takes rooftop gardening to a new level with top floor terroir. Cornell Extension - 6/4/2015 Good bud survival rates after a very cold winter negated by late spring freeze damage in the Thousand Islands. Dan’s Papers - 6/14/2015 Biking wine and brew…

News Brief: Roanoke Vineyards to Close Sound Avenue Tasting Room to the Public


Enjoy visiting the Roanoke Vineyards tasting room on Sound Avenue, but aren’t a member of their rabidly loyal wine club? You’d better enjoy it for the rest of 2015 — or join the club — because as of January 1, 2016, the winery’s original tasting room is closing to the public. Only wine club members will be able to go there. Roanoke is the first Long Island winery to make such a move — a move that flies in the face of the region’s new focus on agri-tourism and ‘good enough’ wine. From the press release: “With a tsunami in tourism…