From our tasting January 22, 2015…….
This has been a bone-chillingly cold winter, but there’s a reason to get out and about this weekend—the fifth annual Winter Village Bluegrass Festival is in town, with events running from Friday to Sunday at a number of venues. Director and performer Rick Manning and La Tourelle manager Scott Wiggins are the founders, and again this year they’ve expanded the range of events. There’s a big show at the State Theatre on Saturday night as well as workshops, concerts, and jamming at La Tourelle; a local wine, beer, chocolate and cheese tasting paired with music at newly-opened Coltivare restaurant; and music during the dinner hour Saturday at Moosewood and Coltivare. Today, Red Feet welcomes the return of the foot-tapping music of Grassanova and the flavors of Finger Lakes libations to kick things off.
We’ll start with a local classic, Wiemer Dry Riesling 2013. This winery was a pioneer here in the Finger Lakes and continues to produce outstanding wines from estate-grown fruit, fermented slowly at cold temperature, and bottled without fining or filtering. The aromas are spring-like, the minerality is distinctive, and the fruit is ripe and succulent. Pair this with Asian food, poultry, or seafood.
Our second white is an off-dry spicy blend of Vidal, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer. Silver Thread Good Earth White 2013 is also made from estate fruit sustainably grown on steep slopes on the east shore of Seneca Lake. Owners Paul and Shannon Brock took over the property in 2011 and make about 3,000 case of wine annually. This offering is dry enough for the table and fruity enough to drink on its own. Pair with appetizers, and bring out the spice!
Both of our reds come from the excellent 2012 vintage. Red Tail Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 comes from a sustainably farmed estate and the first LEED® gold-certified winery in the state. Fermented in tank and aged 10 months in older French barrels, it offers stony minerality, hints of earth and forest floor, and brambly cherry and strawberry mingled with smoke. Try this with salmon or smoked pork.
Ravines Cabernet Franc 2012 is made from grapes hand-harvested from three vineyards, fermented in open-top containers with a long maceration on the skins, and aged in oak (20% new). Deeply colored, it offers spicy, earthy plum and red berry fruit, soft texture, and good concentration. Pair with hearty, earthy foods—lentils, mushrooms, stews.
Cider is also a player on the Finger Lakes scene. South Hill Old Time Cider is made from wild trees and abandoned orchards using heirloom apples. Just off-dry, it’s fully sparkling and fruity with a soft finish. Steve Selin has made cider for over a decade, but only began commercial production in 2013. This is one of his three ciders and he also makes a Pommeau. It pairs well with pork and friends.