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May 11, 2009


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Evan: You're like the Ravines Meritage fairy, sprinkling it in glasses all over the state and changing minds. I'm happy to say that I have 2 bottles left in my cellar.

You're not the only one to note the vanilla on the end of that cab franc from Pellegrini -- and many of their wines. At TasteCamp, we tasted through a vertical of merlot and many people noted that toasty vanilla on the end.

We are DEFINITELY going to do a cab franc tasting of some sort when you're in town. I'll find somewhere to host us!

Lenn - Here's a very honest explanation: I choose that wine from Ravines because I have never poured it blind and gotten a negative reaction, and I just don't think there are a lot of red options from the Finger Lakes that will be so solidly received.

That does NOT mean I'm hating on FL reds. I'm just saying the reality is that there are not a lot of slam dunks, and this is one.

At the risk of raining on this parade, doesn't it seem consistent with Cab Franc (and its fans) that Cab Franc with the addition of Merlot (et al) is almost always better than Cab Franc on its own.

Its one thing to wine the Cab Franc war with the very yummy Ravines, but that is technically cheating! :)

I'd love to do a Cab Franc tasting, if only to change my mind that it invites too many apologies and excuses on its way to being great wine. Can it ever be more interesting than great Merlot (with 25% Cab?)

Jim: Are you offering to host this little tasting at PBW?

Evan: It's too bad that this wasn't a 100% blind tasting...seems like it could have been given the format, no?

I would certainly do the tasting here. Let's make that happen.

Great. Just need to find out when Evan is going to be in town.

I love blind tastings--double blind--for their educational value.


You were lucky to be among people willing to learn. I've been among both at blind tastings--I hate to say which are the ones that seem more unwilling to learn. I get flamed enough for my opinions. ;)


I try to count myself among those always willing to learn. We all have things to teach, and all have things to learn. Much moreso the latter, at least for me!


I was particularly impressed by the fellow who started out negative and, rather than try with all his might to prove that he was right, and to refuse to admit it when he found out that he wasn't, he opened his mind instead and obviously didn't feel that anyone threatened his precious ego.

I love it when that happens.

It was a wonderful group, Tom, and I think much of the credit goes to Kristin and Holly for running an outstanding tasting. They fostered an idea that great wine can come from anywhere, and both are exceedingly open to New York wines. I hope they'll jump in here.


I know Holly, and I know exactly what you mean. She also exudes energy.

Thanks Evan for a great synopsis of our Cab Franc night. As you know, I really enjoyed the Ravines Meritage. I have been a Ravines fan from Day One as we both started our businesses the same year. I continued my Cab Franc mission this past week...I had the Paumonok 2004 Cab Franc and Shalestone 2007 Cab Franc. The Shalestone was too young still needed to blow off a little dust...I am going to grab a couple more bottles to put away. I thought the Paumonok had a little less of the vanilla that you detected in the Pellegrini 2004.


Many of the reviews I've read of Paumanok indicate exactly what you said -- excellent winemaking that doesn't cover up any of the fruit with oak. I'm excited to taste more of their wines. That said, the vanilla that came through in the Pellegrini wasn't over-the-top; that's a very enjoyable and well-made wine. I'd buy more of it.

I'm always curious about Rob Thomas' wines at Shalestone. Planning to visit his tasting room soon. Thanks for the insight, and thanks for your dedication to bringing a truly international and thoughtful selection of wines to your store.

Kristin: There are some terrific cab francs down here and Paumanok is one of our best producers.

If you're looking to explore LI Franc a bit more, check out places like Shinn Estate, Wolffer Estate, Roanoke Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Peconic Bay Winery...

And of course Schneider...especially his 05s.


Wait 'til you taste the Fox Run 2007 Cab Franc - no lie...totally awesome.

The best way for towns,communities,etc.to mitigate rising fuel cost's,and ensure less reliance on fossil fuels is:Invest in on-site renewable energy generation assets that can work in conjuction with their traditional sources of power.Come on people wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I met you yesterday at Keuka Lake Vineyard, where we chatted about our shared affinity for the Ravines '05 meritage. Especially after our conversation, I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post...great stuff. I'll have to summon all my fortitude to keep my three bottles off the table and in the wine fridge.
Thanks for putting me on to the blog.


See, I knew you had impeccable taste! When you mentioned the Ravines '05 Meritage I just about burst out laughing. Nice to find others who share my wine worldview!

Welcome to the blog. It's quite inclusive and we love to debate and discuss. We hope you'll share your thoughts going forward. Cheers!

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