Oct 01, 2010
Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Gamay, and Cab Franc, and Gewürztraminer - Oh My!
So, I am a little behind in my Finger Lakes postings. Technical difficulties. I couldn't find at least half the photos I had taken. What a stupid, lame excuse, that is nonetheless true.
Anyway, Aaron and David and I went to Sheldrake Point Vineyard. I have always been a big fan, and it was a different side of the lake to go up.
Sheldrake Point Vineyard was founded in 1997. The winery owns and operates a 155 acre farm located on the shores of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes, a vineyard of 44 acres planted to Vinifera vines, a winery producing 6000 cases, and Simply Red Bistro serving savory American cuisine.
Current Members include Chuck Tauck as Senior Managing Partner (principal owner) and Bob Madill as Winegrower, General Manager and Partner. Bob was interviewed by New York Cork Report Editor-in-Chief Lenn Thompson.
Lucky Stone is a pair of blends Sheldrake produces - a Lucky Stone red blend and a Lucky Stone white blend. Both are affordably priced, and are popular with consumers. Sheldrake Point Vineyard encourages visitors to spend some time on their beach and walk along the shore of Cayuga Lake. According to the winery folks, while you are on the beach, turn over some stones and perhaps you will find your own lucky stone; a stone with a hole bored through by the workings of an ancient worm and the force of water over many years. You may even find a stone with more than one hole through it. Pretty cool, actually.
My favorites, of course, are the varietals at Sheldrake Point. I would review the whole line, but it would seem superfluous. A bore. However, I can say, a tasting at Sheldrake Point is a pleasure. The tastingroom is light and airy. The wine bar personnel are friendly and knowledgable. And there are no clunkers as you go through the entire line. That's saying something. There are a lot of wineries you can't say that about around the world.
I am a fan of Gewurztraminer. And I am a big fan of Sheldrake Point's Gewürztraminer. Their version of this wine is varietally correct, in that it has a lovely, big nose. Pear, spice, honeysuckle, hints of orange blossom, all come through as promised. I light, light yellow white, this aromatic wine has bright fruit and bright acidity, with just the right balance. A nice, puckery, grapefruity end. An incredible wine. One of my favorites in the Finger Lakes. Fabulous!
I am becoming, more and more, a fan of Gamay Noir on the east coast. The 2008 Gamay Noir is light ruby in color. There's lots of cherry and pepper on the nose, with a whiff of tabacco as promised. But this tremendous light red wine is all cherries in the mouth that end with a peppery finish. A touch of vanilla and wonderful tannins balance out this wonderful, light, refreshing red. Instantly one of my new favorite wines! Excellent.
A small amount of Cabernet Franc on left, and Gamay Noir on right.
Sheldrake Point's Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite Cab Francs of the Finger Lake region. It's a lighter style, medium bodied red wine. Normally I like deeper versions of the grape, but here, in the expert hands of winemaker Dave Breeden, this slightly juicer version, a more Loire-esque version of the grape, is a wonderful drinking wine. I have written about it before.
The 2008 Cabernet Franc is a very nice, purple-red wine. It has hints of raspberry and blackberry, and as expected a herbaceousness, and a feint touch of pencil shavings. Lot's of plum and dark cherry come through, with hints of vanilla and some tea. This is a fresh, lively, bright Cabernet Franc. This is a great wine for lunch, with pasta, pizza, salads, fall soups, even with salmon. A versatile, refreshing dry red. Excellent.
Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He was also a publisher at Running Press Book Publishers, where he published books from Wine Spectator, as well as books with Greg Moore (of Moore Bros.), Matt Kramer, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. Mr. DeVito has also been the editor of many successful traditional trade books, including Strange Fruit by David Margolick, On the Shoulders of Giants by Stephen Hawking, and three titles by Malachy McCourt. Other authors include John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, Philip Caputo, E. O. Wilson, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He lives with his wife, pet publisher Dominique DeVito, their two sons, their two dogs, and their numerous goldfish.