Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Keuka Lake Vineyards Leon Millot 2011 - They Do It Again!


Earlier in the year I wrote (as did everyone) about the fantastic, major award winning Keuka Lake Leon Millot 2010. It was fantastic! And it was a hybrid red wine that was named best red in the state at the NY Wine & Food Classic 2012!!

So, while I was up in the Finger Lakes last week, I tasted some wines, as you might expect. While at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Cananadaigua, NY. I tasted the wine with New York Wine and Grape Foundation President, Jim Trezise, there in the tastingroom of that wonderful facility.

Now, let me say, over the last few years I've enjoyed some really nice Leon Millots. And I will admit my folly: in the past, I very much thought of Leon Millot as a blending grape...that it did not have enough character to go solo! I was.....wrong. (it hurts to write that)

The first big Leon Millot I liked was from Altamont Vineyards, just outside of Albany. Their reserve was fantastic. And the previous vintage of Keuka Lake Vineyards was a revelation. Now, suddenly, I see others.

The irony of the tasting was that the winemaker himself, Ian Barry (who is now at Villa Belangelo), tasted the final bottled version of the wine just less than a half hour after I did, in the same room! We missed each other by 15 minutes!

As you may recall, this was the famous Fournier Vineyard, originally planted by the famous French winemaker of Gold Seal Champagne, Charles Fournier, who also gave Dr. Konstantin Frank his start.

Keuka Lake Vineyards is  a small, quality producer. I am a big fan.

Again, small lot, old vines, done very much in a Burgundy style, aged in older to neutral French oak. Lots of dark berries...blackberry, dark raspberry, a hint of cassis, with vanilla and other spices. It's big, dark, inky, but with wonderufl flavor and nice acidity. The tannins were solid, but did not overwhelm the wine.

I liked it alot!! As much as last year's! Cheers to the folks at KLV and to Ian! Drink up!!!!

p.s. here's the previous review and back story
http://eastcoastwineries.blogspot.com/2012/05/keuka-lake-vineyards-leon-millot-2010.html