Monday, July 20, 2009

Best Finger Lakes Reds – Part 2

This is the second part of my thoughts on the best Finger Lakes reds. A lot of people ask me where are the good reds in a region so rich with whites. Here’s my second list of dry red wines worth seeking out. Sorry, not all my photos came out.

In no particular order other than alphabetical (at best):


Anthony Road Rose’ of Cabernet Franc – While not officially a red, this rose’ is one of the classiest east coast dry rose’s I have ever tasted. Belongs up there with Rtaphael’s and Wolffer’s.

Crooked Lake Winery Chancellor 2005 – One of the lightest wines on the list, but very nice.



Damiani Wine Cellars Pinot noir – Very nice. Very light, with hints of strawberry and vanilla. Dry finish. Tasty.


Deer Run Winery Corot Noir 2007 – Light, dry, tasty. Unique – but that’s meant as a compliment. A great, dry, summer red.


Dr. Konstantin Frank Salmon Run Meritage – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. Very nise nose. Deep red color. $13.99 An awesome price. WINE REPORT listed it as one of the best red wine values in the 2009 Report. Must agree.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – Dr. Frank drops a lot of fruit on the vineyard floor to make sure they make a solid Cab Sav. And it works. Dark fruit and vanilla on the nose. Big notes of dark fruit. A touch of chocolate. Big tannins. Nice dry finnish.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Noir 2007 – Dr. Konstantin Frank’s has the second oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in all of North America! They’re 45 years old. And it shows in this wine. Easily the darkest Pinot in the Finger Lakes. Big dark cherries. Nice notes of vanilla. One of the nicest reds in the Finger Lakes. Really wonderful. A delightful surprise from one of the older vineyards.

Heron Hill Eclipse – A nice deep red. Vanilla. Cherry. Dry. Very drinkable.

Fox Run Cabernet Franc Reserve – One of my favorite Finger Lakes Cabernet Francs. Hard to go wrong.

Hunt Country Meritage – Hints of vanilla on the nose. Dark fruits. Very nice dark cherry flavors. Nice finish.

Hunt Country Cabernet Franc – Nice touches of vanilla. Big, big dark cherry and other dark fruits up front. Nice mouthfeel. Big, big tannin finish. Excellent!

Imagine Moore Winery Synchronicity 2007 – A blend of Cabernet and Syrah. I loved this wine from long-time industry professional Tim Moore. It’s got lots of dark fruit, a deep redish-purple-ish color and lots of flavor. Smooth. Very nice.

Long Point Winery Zinfandel – Long Point makes some awesome wines, and they are one of the darlings of the region. This zinfandel is what wine drinkers will be looking for.
Big and dark, with nuances of chocolate, with touches of pepper and currant. It’s California fruit, but the wine is big and luscious!!!


McGregor Vineyard Winery Cabernet Franc – A very light red, almost a rosato. But it’s got a big, big strawberry and vanilla nose. Strawberry also comes across on the palette. And it’s dry and tasty. Very nice.

Miles Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc – Medium bodied red. Nice ruby color. Nice nose. Very lovely, smooth finish. A very pleasant surprise from Miles!

Thirsty Owl Pinot Noir 2007 – Second darkest Pinot in the Finger Lakes after Dr. Konstantin Frank’s. Big aromas up front. Cherry and coffee come through. Aged in a combination of Eastern European Oak barrels in American and American and French neutral barrels. Very, very nice!

Thirsty Owl Lot 99 – One of my all time favorite bottles of east coast red. This blend of Pinot and Chancellor is a classic. Big flavor. Nice dark fruits. Dry finish. Notes of vanilla. Awesome! A red wine drinker’s wine.

Vetter Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Grown – Nice color. Light to medium red. Vanilla on the nose. Slight sour cherry flavor. Very nice flavors.

White Springs Winery Cabernet Franc – One of the nicest Cabernet Francs in the region. Winemaker Derek Wilbur’s entry into the dark red sweepstakes is a comer! Not the darkest of the bunch, but beautiful flavors and a nice, nice finish. Smooth. Not too tannic. Very, very nice!