Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catharine Valley Vignoles Late Harvest Wonderful

The first stop on my friend Matt's and mine wine tour up Lake Seneca along Route 414 placed us squarely in front of Catharine Valley Winery. I had read about them through And I had seen their winery stand at a small wine festival in Rensselaer County, NY last October when I metioned them in the blog. But on this day I was able to taste much of the line.

Catharine Valley is a family owned and operated Farm Winery committed to deliver the very finest domestic and Alsatian style varietal wines. You can be assured of a warm welcome with a uniquely local charm. It’s their goal to echo the same warm welcoming environment that Queen Catharine herself was noted for. Catharine (pronounced athareen) was Queen of the Seneca Indians and known throughout the area for her grace and cordiality.

There is no question that their most popular wine is The Lost Irishman, a sweet Catawba wine that goes for about $10. (How can you not love any winery that has a wine named that, with a label like that? You gotta love these folks!) And my friend Matt, who loves sweet rieslings, enthusiastically took home a bottle of their 2006 Riesling, which had just enough acidity to balance out some of the sweetness. It was a very nice wine.

Now, maybe I was on a sweet kick or something, but I found yet another "sticky" as my brother-in-law and chef Robin Hoover likes to call dessert wines. But the Vignoles Late Harvest 2006 was wonderful. Not quite a thick or syrupy as other late harvest wines I have tried. But the flavors were there. And the taste was there. Light, sweet, and delicious. Floral nose, which is perfect for a vignoles. And a wonderful swet but balanced finnish. Nice job Donald and Jessica, the owners of Catharine Valley. Congrats!