By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor
"The best wine comes from a warm vintage in a cool climate."
That's something Fox Run Vineyards winemaker Peter Bell is fond of saying. It has practically become a regional mantra. And if Bell is right, then one would expect 2010 to produce stellar wines.
But the Finger Lakes is not Bordeaux, and there is no early rush to judgment on the red wines from a vintage like 2010. That will come with time. Riesling, however, will start hitting the market in mere weeks.
And of course, no wine is more vital to Finger Lakes success than riesling.
So what to make of 2010 riesling?
More than most vintages, this will also require a little more time. That's because 2010 was not a warm vintage, but a hot one, relatively speaking, and a long one, but not a dry one. Some winemakers tell me they chose to add acid; others are adamant that acid additions were unnecessary.
We'll take Bell's advice and give the 2010 rieslings more time to evolve. "I'm optimistic, if guardedly so," Bell said. Tank samples show a variety of styles of Fox Run's 2010 rieslings, and some are more forward than others."We'll have a much better idea in June, I would think," Bell continued. "The potential is very high, but I prefer not to speak in absolutes. We'll see."
Some consumers are already asking if 2010 will resemble 2007, another long and hot year. The answer will vary from site to site, but in general, there will be significant differences. Drought marked 2007, which has produced more petrol character in the region's rieslings, even at a young age. That's less likely in 2010.