This week, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard's 2005 Dry Riesling ($16) defeated 702 other New York wines to win the Governor's Cup, awarded to the events best wine. Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars was named New York's "Winery of the Year" based on the number, and level, of medals its wines won.
Howard Goldberg reported in the New York Times, "The wine industry and influential wine periodicals treat the contest as the broadest, most representative index of the quality and styles of New York’s expanding wine industry." And, while probably true, I think it important to point out that not every winery (including some of the best) even send wines to this event.
But, the tasters can only taste what is put in front of them. The wines are tasted blind and by professionals, so the results are legit.
The winners by category for 2006 can be seen below. I only have a couple questions -- again because the panel can only taste what is put in front of them. I can't complain that some of the states best red wines weren't included, even though I think most people familiar with them will agree that New York's best cabernet sauvignon does not come out of the Finger Lakes. So:
Why isn't there a sauvignon blanc category? My guess is because outside of Long Island, no one is growing or making it. But, on Long Island, no one is growing stuff like Niagra or Cayuga either. In fact, there are very VERY few non-vinifera vines here.
A Finger Lakes bias?
Maybe. I've heard grumblings of that locally. I think there should at least be an "Other White Vinifera" category like there is
"Other Red Vinifera."
What is the difference, for this event, between "Late Harvest" and "Ice/Iced Wine"? I only ask because Wolffer's late harvest chardonnay is made from grapes that are frozen in a commerical freezer, so wouldn't that put it in the "Ice/Iced Wine" category? Maybe. Maybe not. I'll have to see if I can find out.
Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Noirs
White Wine: Hermann J Wiemer 2005 Dry Riesling
Rose or Blush Wine: Chateau Lafayette Reneau Emperor’s Blush
Red Wine: Jamesport Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Franc
Specialty Win:e Baldwin Vineyards Strawberry Wine
Dessert Wine: Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay
Vinifera Sparkling : Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Noirs Chardonnay: Corey Creek Vineyards 2005 Reserve Chardonnay
Dry Riesling: Hermann J Wiemer 2005 Dry Riesling
Semi-Dry Riesling: Mazza Chautauqua Cellars 2005 Riesling
Semi-Sweet Riesling: Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2005 Johannisberg Riesling
Gewurztraminer: Corey Creek Vineyards 2005 Gewurztraminer & Dr. Konstantin Frank 2005 Gewurztraminer
Cayuga White: Swedish Hill Vineyards 2005 Cayuga White
Other White Hybrid: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2005 Vidal Blanc
Other Native Varietal: Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2005 Diamond
White French American Hybrid: Red Newt Cellars Red Newt White
Niagara: Red Newt Cellars Blue Newt White
Native White Blend: Lucas Vineyards Miss Behavin’
Blush: Chateau Lafayette Reneau Emperor’s Blush
Cabernet Franc : Jamesport Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Franc
Merlot: Peconic Bay Winery 2001 Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon: Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir: Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2002 Pinot Noir
Other Red Vinifera: Keuka Spring Vineyards 2005 Lemberger
French American Hybrid Red Blend: Lucas Vineyards 2005 Tug Boat Red
Mead: Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red
Fruit: Baldwin Vineyards Strawberry Wine
Late Harvest: Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay
Ice/Iced Wine: Lakewood Vineyards 2005 Borealis