Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Reds of the Finger Lakes 2012 edition (NY)

The same conversation happens all too often, as I first wrote back in 2009. There are a lot of great whites in the Finger Lakes. Rieslings and Gewurztraminers are some of the best in the world. So as your tour the Finger Lakes, finding these wines is a joy. But what of the red wine drinker? Where will he or she find solace? Where will they make THEIR next new wine discovery in the Finger Lakes?

Compiled here is a list of some recommended red wines to try in the Finger Lakes region. Some of my favorites. Also below are links to my previous two articles on the same subject….enjoy!

Red Tail Ridge Blaufrankish – Part of their Obscure Red Varietal series. Big cherry up front and black pepper came through as promised. Also a big whiff of vanilla, and a hint of tobacco or forest floor. Big black cherry and tart red fruit came across on the palate, along with mouth-watering acidity and nice tannins. This had nice fruit, and instantly became my absolutely favorite Blaufrankish/Lemberger.

Red Tail Ridge Donfelder – The Dornfelder is a blend of their estate 2009 and 2010 vintages. Brambly aromatics infused with black cherry, strawberry preserves and dried fruit. Cassis also rears its wonderful head. Medium to light body on the palate with more dark fruit, dried fig and brown spices. Velvety texture with a tart finish. Excellent.

McGregor Pinot Noir 2010 – A light bodied, Loire styled Pinot Noir. The color is just like a rosato. Nice, bright acidity and a great cherry nose pierced with vanilla. Lovely.

McGregor Rob Roy Red 2008 – 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot. The big, estate dry red was ged in French and American oak for 17 months. Impressive. For big red wine drinkers.

Heart In Hands Pinot Noir – Tom Higgins makes several different varieties of Pinot Noir. Doesn’t matter which one it is, one is better than the other. His red wines have big noses with wonderful ripe red cherries, vanilla, and spice. Exceptional Burguny styled Pinot Noir. Those expecting a Sonoma or Napa Pinot Noir will be disappointed. Those who like lean, elegant, bright Pinot Noir will have find nirvana. A little out of the way, but well worth it!

Rooster Pinot Noir – This is a bright, fun, cowl of bright sour cherries. Easy drinking, light styled Pinot Noir. One of the better Pinot Noirs in the state.

Ravines Pinot Noir 2009 – Ravines is a more medium-bodied red wine, filled with ripe bright and dark cherries. A slightly darker colored Pinot Noir than other Finger Lakes wines. Winemaker Morten Hallgren makes superior Pinto Noir. Fantastic stuff.

Heron Hill Eclipse Red 2008 – Heron Hill is one of the more established, larger wineries. They make a lot of nice wines. But the Heron Hill Eclipse is one of the bigger, deep red wines of the Finger Lakes. A nice dark red, tinged with purple, this wine is a big, deep red of raspberry, dark cherry, plum and hints of cassis, all finished in vanilla and leather. Lovely.

Heron Hill Ingleside Vineyyard Cabernet Franc 2010 – This is a nice, medium bodied red, finished in French oak. Great fruit, bright acidity and solid tannins all make for a wine whose fruit will longer on the palate for a full 60 seconds. Mmmmm…

Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Noir Old Vines 2010 – Again, some of the best Pinot Noir the Finger Lakes has to offer. One of the darker Pinot Noirs of the region. Dark cherry comes through with a smooth finish. Very, very nice.

Red Newt Glacier Ridge Cabernet Franc – This is easily one of the most sophisticated and elegant red wines of the region. Big deep fruit up front, with raspberry and cherry coming through, hints of cassis and leather. This is an experience. A dry red wine that could stand up in any region. Fantastic!

Here's the previous two recommendations: