Finger Lakes Wine: Always In Style

Finger Lakes wine selections

A Traveling Wine Chick/Uncorked Remarks Collaboration

May was officially Finger Lakes Wine Month. On the eve of June 1, 2014, the Finger Lakes Alliance finished things off with a bang. They hosted a large, online virtual tasting with thirty-seven member of the media and hundreds of passionate enthusiasts. There was live tweeting, Facebook sharing, Skyping, and drinking. It was like being at a large wine bar with everyone. Almost. OK, not really, but we have this technology, we might as well use it.

Sipping, Tweeting, Skyping

I’m finding out that it’s much easier to imbibe and NOT write than try to create a funny and entertaining piece about it. In spite of this, the good folks at the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance graciously included Traveling Wine Chick and I in the sharing of their always fantastic offerings for Finger Lakes Wine Month. Below are our thoughts. Me first, of course.

The three wines on my docket consisted of two Rieslings and a Gewürztraminer. The Finger Lakes region is known for their high-quality, cool-climate Rieslings. I sampled two fantastic examples along with a Gewürztraminer.

The Finger Lakes lineup

2012 Fulkerson Winery Semi-Dry Riesling
Only 274 cases estate grown and produced, this wine has balanced acidity and sweetness, yielding a Riesling with great fruit and floral aromas as well as flavors of stone and tree fruits, like apples, pears, and peaches. Price = $12.99.

2012 Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Red Oak Vineyard Riesling
This is one of the Finger Lakes’ hallmark, award-winning Rieslings, estate grown and bottled. It is stainless-steel fermented, medium-dry, with aromas and flavors of honeysuckle and tropical fruits, and a long, sweet-to-acid finish. Price = $19.99.

2012 Lamoreaux Landing Red Oak Vineyard Riesling

2012 Lakewood Vineyards Gewürztraminer
This estate-grown and produced Gewürztraminer, only 201 cases made, has aromas and flavors of citrus and spice. It would be the perfect wine to complement spicy, Asian cuisine. Wine Spectator rated the wine 88 points and it earned a Gold Medal in the NY Wine & Food Classic. Price = $14.99.

Though I have not yet visited the Finger Lakes to visit the wineries, Traveling Wine Chick sings their praises after three visits. Here are her reviews of the three wines she received as samples.

Getting ready to taste!

2011 Goose Watch Winery Riesling-Gewurztraminer (Cayuga Lake, Finger Lakes)
In this wine, you will find a blend of 60% Riesling, 40% Gewurztraminer, which is quite rare and unique. The grapes originate from the winery’s Blue Waters farm on Cayuga Lake and from vineyards on the west side of Seneca Lake. The wine is pale gold in color with both floral and fruit aromatics. This offering is medium dry (7 g/l residual sugar and 6.3 g/l acidity), no tannin, and 12% alcohol. It has palate characteristics of both Riesling and Gewurztraminer, with flavors such as apple, honeysuckle, and spices and a medium finish. I would recommend that you drink it now and not age it further. Price = $15.00.

Tasting the whites

2013 Thirsty Owl Wine Company Dry Riesling (Cayuga Lake, Finger Lakes)
Thirsty Owl’s Dry Riesling is a quintessential Finger Lakes Riesling. It is 100% estate-grown and produced with grapes from clones 239, 198, and 30-year-old vines of unknown clones. It’s pale lemon in color, with citrusy aromatics. This offering is youthful, dry (8 g/l residual sugar), with the Finger Lakes’ characteristic (and yummy!) cool-climate acidity (8.3 g/l), no tannin, and 11% alcohol. It’s loaded with both tart and sweet citrus flavors such as grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine, and has a long finish. You can drink it now, but it also has the potential for aging. Price = $14.95.

2012 Atwater Vineyards Big Blend

2012 Atwater Vineyards Big Blend (Atwater Estate Vineyards and Sawmill Creek Vineyards, Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes)
For those of you who may think bold reds can’t be produced in the Finger Lakes, allow me to introduce you to Atwater’s 2012 Big Blend (aka Super Seneca Blend). This vintage, which had a long, hot growing season, is a blend of 37% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Syrah, and 18% Cabernet Franc. The wine is deep ruby-purple in color with medium-plus aromatics of dark fruit. On the palate, it is dry (2 g/l residual sugar), with 6.3 g/l acidity (even reds in the Finger Lakes have noticeable acidity), medium-plus tannin, and 13% alcohol. It was aged nine months in 60-gallon barrels, a blend of 45% neutral American oak, 45% Neutral Hungarian oak, 5% new American oak, and 5% new Hungarian oak. It has big, bold flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and plum, a rich mouthfeel, and a long finish. You can drink it now, but it does have aging potential. Price (2011 vintage) = $21.00.

Après Tasting

Lucky for us and for you, September is the official 2013 Finger Lakes Riesling Launch and there will be events in the Finger Lakes, in New York City, and online. Upcoming events can be found at this link, including #winechat on Wednesday, September 10 and #FLXRiesling Hour on Saturday, September 27. We hope you will join us in this next celebration of Finger Lakes wine.

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6 Responses to Finger Lakes Wine: Always In Style

  1. Jenna says:

    I’ve certainly heard about this region but have yet to try any of their wines. The Big Blend sounds interesting–I always like trying wines that people don’t associate with certain regions to see how the winemakers use their creativity and innovation.

  2. Tom Deschere says:

    The 2011 Lamoreaux Landing Red Oak Vineyards Riesling is available in PLCB stores. Item #31425 $19.99. It is delicious!

  3. Pingback: Finger Lakes Rieslings continue to shine! | Traveling Wine Chick

  4. Pingback: 2014: A Few of My Favorite Things | Traveling Wine Chick

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