Grateful Reds (Part 3)

For your Thanksgiving red wine choices, we offer more Finger Lakes specialties.  The perennial turkey day red wine favorites happen to be what we grow here.  After all, what reds go best with white meat?  Pinot Noir?  We’ve got some special ones.  Cabernet Franc?  That’s our middle name.  Blaufränkisch?  Check. Cool-climate meritage?  Why, ya don’t say!

Here are some of our favorite FLX reds for your holiday table:

Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir 2010 or 2011.  The vintage is in the process of switching and we’ve tried them both.  You can’t go wrong with either year.  Absolutely true cool-climate Pinot that reminds us of Marsannay from Burgundy.  Fresh cherry, red raspberry, cranberry, bits of spice and earth, fine texture.  $25.

Forge Cellars Pinot Noir 2012:  Still young, but you might want to put away a case and watch this unfold.  Reminds us of Volnay from Burgundy.  Violets, raspberry, light earthiness, mineral, sensual.  $24.

Ryan Williams Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010:  This comes from a newcomer on the east side of Seneca Lake (just south of Stone Cat Cafe).  Uncanny likeness to Oregon Pinot Noir.  Incredibly ripe plum and black raspberry fruit mixed with a red earth component.  We liked it so much we scooped up a bunch of this warm vintage for you.  $25.

Ravines Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc 2011:  Positively delicious and quite saturated and ripe for 2011.  The tannins are round and this is perfectly balanced with blackberries, earth, black pepper and juicy acidity.  $20.

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2010:  Rich and lush with black plums, blackberries, toast, vanilla and a soft, round texture.  $24.

Hector Wine Company Merlot 2012:  The HWC Reds from 2012 are lovely, clean and fresh.  This is medium weight with red and black cherry fruit, red currants, fall spices and ripe tannins. $26.50.

Red Tail Ridge Vineyards Teroldego 2010:  Reminiscent of Pinot Noir but with more heft, this is complex, savory, long and satisfying.  Black and red cherries, blackberries pomegranate, licorice, earth, herbs, mineral and clove.  A memorable wine for the holiday.  $40 VERY LIMITED.

Atwater Estate Vineyards “Big Blend,” 2011:  A blend of 5 grapes (Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, with small amounts of Merlot and Syrah), come together in this well-balanced, medium weight red with sweet, juicy raspberry and light spice. Very approachable and versatile.  $18.

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards “Field Cuvee” 2009:  This Cabernet Franc-based wine also brings in Merlot, Lemberger, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon to create a medium to lighter-bodied wine with an exceptionally drinkable balance.  Violets, spicy perfume, plums, tart black currants, and raspberries give way to hints of loam and bramble with firm acidity. $15

Shalestone Vineyards “Harmony” 2010:  60% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is quite rich and deep, with some structure and grip, but everything is well-integrated.  $20.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Thanks to all the quality-minded growers, wineries and Finger Lakes wine supporters out there. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful, bountiful place where most of our ingredients for the holidays can come from so close.  With stellar locally grown foods and increasingly exciting wines, we’re living a charmed life, FLX-style.

Gratefully yours,

Dewi and the Staff of Red Feet Wine Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Other Whites Besides Riesling? (Part 2)

White Wines for Thanksgiving

OK, Riesling’s in the bag.  What other local white options do we suggest for Thanksgiving?  We continue to favor the aromatic grapes, as wines you can sense strongly with your nose seem to work nicely to amalgamate the flavors.  And there are a few notable recommendations from the Chardonnay grape; chances are you’re pairing with poultry after all.

Let’s begin the celebration properly…with bubbly!  We’ve repeatedly been impressed with Atwater’s Cuvee Brut, now on the 2010 vintage.  This traditional method sparkling wine (half Riesling, half Chardonnay) has layers of apple, peach, pear, citrus, brioche and walnut.  The bubbles are fine and delicate and it’s a reasonable $28.

To pair with your white meat, pick up a bottle of Ravines Wine Cellars Chardonnay 2011.  WOW!  This is everything you want in a Chardonnay, whether you’re the type to like a crisp, Burgundian style or more typically a toast-and-butter lover.  It’s a wine that bridges the Chardonnay gap, bringing together everything in one package.  There’s beautiful acidity, mouthfilling creamy texture, bright flavors and a wonderful vanilla, coconut and hazelnut tone.  Ravines achieves this flavor profile by drying 20% of the grapes for six weeks, and it seems to be just the right recipe this vintage. $20.

The wine that might get more play during Thanksgiving than any other time of year is Gewurztraminer.  Its bold and mighty aromas stand above all the mayhem and its wintry flavors and texture seem to match autumn’s rich bounty.  We were recently impressed with Hector Wine Company’s 2012 Gewurztraminer.  It’s dry and perfectly weighted with lovely white floral aromas, ginger, fall spices and a hint of mango chutney. Gewurztraminer is one of those wines that can easily become heavy and clumsy, like a bull in a china shop.  This one dances a bit and we love its bright, crisp tone.  $20.

There’s not a lot left, but for $15, you can enjoy an off-dry blend of Vidal Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Silverthread Vineyard.  Good Earth White 2012‘s floral aromas mingle with a variety of apples, dried pineapple, lychee and a faint quince note.  This has a rounder texture with 1.5% residual sugar.

Speaking of rounder textures, Sheldrake Point Vineyard’s Pinot Gris 2012 wonderfully expresses the ripeness and weight of the warm vintage, making it a viable option for Thanksgiving too.  You’ll find tropical fruit in this dry white and soft notes of ripe pear, kiwi and citrus zest.  Cayuga Lake represents with this one! $16.

If you’re on a budget, consider Atwater’s Stonebridge White, a combination of Vidal Blanc and Cayuga White from the 2012 vintage.  This is off-dry, yet refreshing with juicy melon, lemon-lime and pear fruit.  Its vibrant acidity makes it a good starter wine, as you nibble on appetizers and wait for the family to dribble in. $11.50.

Eve’s Cidery makes a delicious half bottle of iced apple wine called “Essence” which should be the pride and joy of every Finger Lakes table next Thursday.  Flavors of honey, caramel, apricot jam and juicy apples are balanced by a lively tartness.  15% residual sugar.  $25 for a half bottle.

Tune in on Friday for our recommendations of Finger Lakes red wines.  Our local reds hit the bulls-eye with Thanksgiving foods and it’s exciting to see them in their element.

Oh, and don’t wait too long to shop, friends.  Wine can hold, ‘ya know?  Avoid the crowds and come soonish.  After all, you know what you’re cooking…it’s the same every year!!!

Cheers from among the boxes,

Dewi

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving is a Cinch for Locavore Wine Lovers! (Part 1)

Of all the holidays to convert you into a disciple of Finger Lakes wine, none could be more effective than Thanksgiving Day.  Consider the food:  turkey (white meat) or ham (salty white meat) and then a cornucopia of flavors from tangy-sweet cranberries to caramelized root vegetables to fresh-bitter greens to thick, rich gravies.  We need wines that will get all those flavors to play nice together.  Kind of a diplomatic, friendly type to smooth things over when dealing with a range of personalities.  Enter Riesling, cool-climate Chardonnay, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.  Add Gewurztraminer, a bold leader-type to take charge of the table, and you have a feast with a Finger Lakes signature on it.

At Red Feet Wine Market, we generally print out little icons with harvest cornucopias or turkeys on them and go around attaching these to wines that we consider the best options in the store for Thanksgiving.  Although we try to attend personally to every guest, we figure when you get to browsing, you might find these little crumbs of information helpful.   We start to feel rather silly when we get to the Finger Lakes section of the store.  Should we mark simply everything at Thanksgiving?  Print one big huge turkey and hoist it over that area?  Or just select a mere 90% of it?

You see our dilemma.  So here’s an attempt at some local wine highlights out of a strong pool of contenders.  Today’s focus starts with our signature grape, Riesling.  Tune in later in the week for Other Whites and then Finger Lakes reds.

RECOMMENDED RIESLINGS:

Ravines Dry Riesling 2012, $17–Elegant with perfect balance.  White flowers, pear, apple, minerals and citrus  are intertwined in this crisp, bone dry, always food-friendly wine.

Ravines “Argetsinger” Dry Riesling 2009, $28–This always needs a touch of age and then can be the star of your table.  The 2009 is the current vintage and is drinking beautifully.  It’s benchmark Finger Lakes Riesling with complex layers and laser sharp focus.  You’ll find the nervy acidity washes over and refreshes your palate in this savory, crisp, and persistent wine.  This wine’s sewn together so well, it’s hard to pull apart, but you’ll find notes of wet stone, citrus, and honeysuckle along with delicate apple fruit.

Dr. Frank Dry Riesling 2012, $17–The appeal here is the delicacy and restraint of fruit combined with trademark Keuka Lake minerality.  Green apple, lemon-lime, slate, crushed rock.

Forge Cellars “Les Allies” Riesling 2012 in magnum, $52–There’s no better time to open a magnum than when you’re having a big gathering like Thanksgiving.  This is the top cuvée from newcomer, Forge Cellars, and a limited quantity of magnums were hand bottled.  Otherwise, seek out the 750ml which is just being released.  White flowers, apricot, chalk, fennel, wet stone, concentrated.  VERY LIMITED.

Kemmeter Wines “White Pine Vineyard” Riesling 2012, $32–While talented winemaker Johannes Reinhardt made 20,000 cases of wine last year for Anthony Road Winery, he managed somehow to start his own project, producing a whopping 327 cases with tender, loving care.  This comes from a young vineyard near Lake Ontario and it’s off dry.  Lovely aromatics seem to be his signature.  This is clean and fresh with classic cool-climate Riesling character and excellent balance.  VERY LIMITED.

Lamoreaux Landing “Red Oak” Riesling 2012, $21–Feeling nearly off dry, this single vineyard Riesling has succulent flavors of pineapple, apricot, and peach, along with a strike of flint.

Bellwether Wine Cellars “Sawmill Creek Vineyard” Riesling 2012, $22–Here’s a semi-dry option that provides more viscosity and roundness if you’d like a well-crafted wine with some sweetness.  Shows the warm vintage with white peach and ripe apples, along with a loamy-earthy undertone.

Hermann J. Wiemer “Late Harvest” Riesling 2012, $30– Introducing your pumpkin pie wine!  Citrus confit and orange accent the nose, while the palate is very rich and creamy with honeysuckle, baked apples, oranges, honey and spice.  Viscous with a long finish, the wine has 5.8% residual sugar, so it’s not dessert wine per se, but can be enjoyed with not-very-sweet fruit endings.

Kemmeter Wines “San San” Riesling 2012, $39  –Another late-harvest Riesling might be more than you need, but this is just too pretty not to mention.  The nose shows florality along with grapefruit and Meyer lemon confit while the palate is rich with elegant acidity and deft balance.  Slate, mineral, sweet-tart lemon, mango, apricot jam and marmalade are delicate, never heavy.  5.7% residual sugar.  Fruit was 50% noble rot from Red Tail Ridge Vineyard.  VERY LIMITED.

Standing Stone Riesling Ice, 2012, $23 (half bottle)–Nectar-like texture with baked apples, honey and spice, this is sweet and rich.  You can savor in lieu of a second piece of pie.

Check back on Wednesday for our “Other White” suggestions for Thanksgiving and Friday for recommended Finger Lakes Reds.  Or just gobble up one of our 6-packs of wines (we are currently selling 3, one of which is Finger Lakes-focused).

Signing out from Riesling country…