Oct 08, 2011
I, William Pollard Jr. was fortunate to participate in the official Riesling launch sponsored by the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and Finger Lakes Wine Country (#FLXwine). As a participant, I received a selection of six bottles of Finger Lakes Riesling.
The Finger Lakes are located around eleven, slim, deep-water lakes. Finger Lakes Wine Country is centered near three of them; Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga lakes, in upstate New York. With almost 100 wineries in Finger Lakes Wine Country alone, New York is fourth in U.S. wine production, after Oregon, Washington and California. Of the several varietals grown in the cooler climate of the Finger Lakes region, Riesling is the most widely cultivated.
Often compared to the wine region of the Rhine in Germany, the area’s lakes create a microclimate, extending summer and limiting the effects of early frost. The lakes and sloping topography also create a macroclimate, which protects the grape vines from the regions frigid winters. The 2010 growing season was the warmest in almost 40 years and the wettest since 1973.
I’m listing these wines in the order in which I tasted them.
Lucas Vineyards 2010 Riesling
The Riesling from Lucas Vineyards was the first of six bottles I opened. It was pale, with a subdued nose of peach, petrol, and stone pit. It had proper acidity, and grew on me as I sipped it. I enjoyed this wine with Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. The creaminess of the Gouda was a good match for this wine, while the Cheddar emphasized the acidity and the wine seemed livelier. This is a cheese and fruit plate wine; I really need to buy some good crackers to go with my cheese. I liked it. This Riesling has 1% residual sugar. Lucas Vineyards is Cayuga Lake’s oldest winery and is celebrating their 31st anniversary. Lucas Vineyards most known wines are the Tug Boat wines. The nautical wines are named after one of the Founders occupation as a Tug Boat Captain in the New York Harbor. Wine production has risen to 17,000 cases, mostly from estate grown grapes. Today the business is owned and managed by Ruth Lucas. The two Lucas daughters, Ruthie and Stephanie, are employed full time by the winery as is Stephanie's husband, Jeff.
Sheldrake Point 2010 Riesling
A medium dry wine, it opened to aromas of petroleum jelly and apple. A little air and time and some spiciness emerged. The wine had a pleasant spicy edge with cinnamon in the finish. The Sheldrake Point Riesling was great with the spicy chicken I cooked for dinner. The almost sweetness of this wine and its’ balanced acidity and apple flavors worked very well with spicy food. At 12% alcohol this wine is very drinkable. I enjoyed the nose on this wine. Sheldrake Point Riesling was tasty, off-dry, with just enough fruit and almost sweetness, recommended. Sheldrake Point Winery and their Simply Red Bistro, are located on the shores of Cayuga Lake. You can arrive by boat, bike or car. They are also concerned about gas drilling in the Finger Lakes region, you can learn more about the gas drilling here.
For more coverage on four other Finger Lakes Rieslings check out full story