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September 22, 2011


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Just thought the people who will be joining me to taste on Long Island might like to see our lineup:

Anthony Road Wine Company 2010 Dry Riesling
Billsboro Winery 2010 Dry Riesling
Casa Larga Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling
Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling
Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling
Ravines Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling
Seneca Shore Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling
Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Dry Riesling
Three Brothers Winery & Estates 2010 Dry Riesling
Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Hunt Country Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Lucas Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
McGregor Vineyard 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Red Newt Wine Cellars 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Wagner Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Riesling
Hosmer Winery 2010 Riesling
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Riesling
Knapp Winery 2010 Riesling
Lakewood Vineyards 2010 Riesling
Standing Stone Vineyards 2010 Riesling
Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Riesling
Rooster Hill Vineyards 2010 Medium Sweet Riesling
Fulkerson Winery 2010 William Vigne Juicy Sweet Riesling
Sheldrake Point 2010 Riesling Ice Wine

We're going to be at Ravines on Sunday for their Wine Club luncheon, and we're looking forward to Morten's latest Riesling. We'll also be in the area over Columbus Day weekend and will be fighting the crowds to get to several of the other places listed.

Thanks for the vintage report, Evan. After tasting more than thirty 2010 Finger Lakes Rieslings I agree that the rather unusual growing season defies any generalization of the wines. Some wines clearly lack verve but others shine with great aromatics and a solid structure. Personally, I preferred the drier Rieslings in 2010.

I visited the Finger Lakes a couple of months ago and really liked the single-vineyard (dry) Rieslings of Weimer, Red Newt, and Heron Hill. I'm considering buying a case or two from those producers, to drink now and to start putting some away. However, I'm a little concerned that the 2010 vintage sounds like it might have been better for Finger Lakes reds than whites. Will the 2010 Rieslings hold up well, and do they have a nice acidic backbone?

Given, generalizations are always risky, but I'd be grateful for any opinions.


I have found that NY wines not to have the depth and complexity since these wine grapes do not have the season length to mature and develop fully. Hence, immature grapes provide immature wines!

Ron - You're ignoring several things here:

1) The 2010 vintage saw the Finger Lakes end up with roughly the same season length / ripening / growing degree days as Russian River Valley and other parts of California.

2) Wine grapes need different things in different places. Your comment implies that a good wine growing region needs to be able to ripen, say, Grenache. That's not grown up here, for good reason. Cool climate wines are a different animal.

3) The slowly shifting climate sees slightly warmer summers here, but routinely now sees winters that are less severe and destructive.

All that said, if you don't like the wines, you don't like the wines.

Cody, Historically the longest lived (8-12 years) Finger Lakes Rieslings have been from the cooler vintages. Warm years provide a lot of fruit and complexity. While they are great in early years, the flavors don't stay in balance in old age. (Solution: drink up!) In cooler years, wines that are initially balanced but austere end up building to lots of interesting flavors and bouquet.

Ron's comment is inconsistent with my experience, but reflects a familiar attitude among those who are brought up around the California long-hang-time movement. I'm not going to tell anyone their taste is wrong, but I do hope wine drinkers who have not had FL wine son't take those words to heart and that they are able to discover the great flavors that come from getting fully mature at cool temperatures!

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