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December 18, 2008


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Great writeup Melissa. Sounds like it was a good harvest/vintage across the board.

Nice work, Melissa.

I guess I'm confused as to why any winemaker mentions Merlot. There's nothing wrong with making it, certainly -- many wineries find it important to offer consumers a wide range of options (and options with which they're familiar).

But aren't we wasting breath speculating on the potential of Merlot from the FL? It not only will never score high in the big press (if you care about that kind of thing), but this is not the climate where it thrives. It can make nice contributions, sure, but does anyone in the FL wine trade think it's a feature grape? Does anyone think that readers of this blog or the general wine drinking public are crossing their fingers for FL Merlot?

I don't mean to pick on Merlot or LL. I just think the marketing component needs a tighter focus -- and really, when you're given the chance to write open-ended for a wine blog, it's a very nice marketing opportunity. This is a cool climate region, an alternative to CA, and a region that produces world-class aromatic whites with the potential for special Pinot under the right circumstances. Our classic year for reds was 2007, and 2008 was very different.

Great post Melissa. Now I really can't wait to get back to the Finger Lakes. Regarding Merlot; I have had a couple of outstanding examples from the FL. It doesn't happen often but when it does it is something special so I would hate to see it get lost in the shuffle. Some of the wineries won't bottle varietals unless the vintage is exceptional, opting to blend them instead. This might be the way to go instead of putting out very mediocre wine just for the sake of offering a "Merlot" or "Cabernet". Anyway, everyone break out your "splurge" wines and have a safe and happpy holiday!

Cheers back to you, John!

Evan, your comment and opinion on Merlot provides food for thought and is the power behind participating in this blog's conversation, in my opinion. In this case Lamoreaux Landing can participate in a dialog with you or simply take away your feedback on Merlot's importance in the grand scheme of things here in the Finger Lakes. I bet the readers of LENNDEVOURS would like to hear from more of the winemakers and winery principals here in the comments section, and the direct interaction can,at the very least, raise awareness of their wineries and build relationships with readers of this blog.


I agree. And I would add that there is nothing wrong with having excitement over the results of a harvest. I'm just a proponent of bringing a laser-like focus to what we do best and what we, as a region, can build a reputation on.

Nice post Melissa- I agree with the other Finger Lakes vineyard owners that 2008 rates an A for quality, maybe a better year than 2007. I do not think that we are wasting our time talking about Merlot or the other Bordeaux varieties in the Finger Lakes. I think it is to soon to make that determination. Merlot can and is making good wine here worthy of praise. Merlot is not a feature grape in parts of Bordeaux but it is very important in all of Bordeaux. We have a number of Meritage style wines and Merlot wines that are showing very nicely. Merlot is also considered by many to be a cool climate grape along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Our cool climate growing conditions are fine, the worry is high to low temperature extremes during the winter not degree days during the summer. If you want cool climate wine varieties grown in the heat, drink California style wines. If you want food friendly, balanced, classic old world style Bordeaux wines,give NY and the Finger Lakes a try.


You and some of your colleagues are making the best Bordeaux variety wines in the Finger Lakes. Shaw is one place where I would love hearing about those particular grapes.

I'm making more of a statement about the FL wine region as a whole. Merlot is still rather middling in the bigger picture. That doesn't mean it's not made well or that it doesn't contribute to impressive Bordeaux blends here. It's simply to say that in the explanation of "cool climate alternative," I'd not rank Merlot high on the list.

Seeking out well made FL reds can be a lot of fun and an eye-opening experience. My wife and I take great pleasure in pouring your 2003 Cab Sauv for our friends without telling them the source. They are always impressed.

wow im really excited, i wanna try that ice wine.

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