As the editor of this newspaper, I often get some pretty fun assignments. For the second year, I was invited to participate in the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance’s official Riesling launch. Twenty-four fortunate journalists received six bottles of Finger Lakes Rieslings, vintage 2011, and were asked to Tweet about their impressions. I missed the Twitter date, but the alliance graciously allowed me to blog about my thoughts instead. So here we go.
First out of the box, literally, was a Lamoreaux Landing Dry Riesling. While this wine was fine, it’s wasn’t spectacular. It didn’t make my tastebuds day, “Wow! Now this is what a Finger Lakes Riesling is all about.” It didn’t disappoint either. Neutral would be the one-word descriptor I would use here.
Then I tried the Standing Stone Vineyards Riesling. It’s
deep golden hue presented a lovely autumn-flavored contrast to the pale yellow
of most Rieslings, and it tasted just as bold. A little too bold, in fact.
Rieslings should be subtle, should be smooth, should be welcoming. This wine
was just too strong for my taste.
Two of the wines tasted more like the Rieslings the Finger Lakes is known for, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I would still only give them an 8. That’s not bad; it’s just not a ringing endorsement. They were Thirsty Owl Wine Company’s Dry Riesling and Anthony Road Wine Company’s Dry Riesling. If you’re looking to introduce a rookie to the Finger Lakes specialty, these are two wines worth considering.
One that I, as a dry white aficionado, would avoid is Hosmer Winery's Riesling. The sweetness of this wine overpowered the enjoyment I was anticipating. While its flavor was true to its semi-sweet label, it just wasn’t for me.
And now for the winner of the bunch, according to my tastebuds: Seneca Shore Wine Cellars’ Dry Riesling. We passed this little gem of a winery on a recent trip back from Corning, along Seneca Lake. It’s always fun to root for the underdog (who try to compete with the big name wineries), especially in this case. I am so glad I received a bottle of this delightful Riesling to sample and reflect on and write about. It was the class of the bunch.