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June 02, 2009


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What a cool event, Jason. We had to divide and conquer the Riesling verticals, but this is hard to beat.

I wonder: With the success of Riesling verticals this year, will wineries be able to do one every year? They risk depleting libraries, I suppose. All the more reason to build better libraries in the first place.

I imagine that wineries will try to maintain at least an extra case or two per vintage now that retaining a few extra bottles has been proven to have some good PR value...these events are at the very least interesting.

In the near future, however, I suspect you are right that it's going to be hard to do these library tastings year after year instead of every few years. Hopefully wineries will keep a record of such events on hand and keep the story about ageability circulating.

Evan and Jason,

As we look to further develop Riesling Month in the Finger Lakes, vertical tastings will certainly play a part. We hope to have many of these special tastings in the calendar by January.

Thanks for the great coverage of all these tastings. Hopefully several more wineries will participate next year!


I was also at this tasting, and I concur with overall observations that Jason put forward. I have only a few differences with him in the descriptions, but that is how palates go. To me, 'minerality' ran down the spine of most of the wines, which is a good thing.

As to the 1985 wines, it wasn't a matter of "some oxidation" having occurred. For whatever reason--and cork is the likely suspect--each wine showed clear signs of a large measure of oxidation, and I didn't find anything floral about the nose, mainly that acrid residue that oxidation gives to aroma.

It was too bad, because I remember the 85 vintage, and it was a pretty good one.

In all, the tasting showed very well how Keuka Lake Rieslings age.

Thanks for adding your observations, Thomas. I would agree that minerality ran down the spine of all these wines (even if I didn't mention it each time), although I found it a bit lacking in the 2007 dry. As for the rest of the wines, it's there!

Now that I think about it, I caught the fleeting floral nose only on the first 1985. On the second try, not at all. The second definitely hit me with the acrid smell you described!

It was definitely fun.

As you know, Jason, one of the interesting things about this tasting was the influence that a few separate winemakers had on individual wines. Yet, that Keuka minerality stayed through it all, which is the regional identity that, in my opinion, the wineries should be touting over and over. It is the signature.

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