Monday, March 04, 2013

Villa Bellangelo Offers Two Tremendous White Wines (NY)

While I was at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival 2012, I had the occasion to sample some wines from Villa Bellangelo. Villa Bellangelo is situated in a magnificent location atop a hill overlooking central Seneca Lake. Their tasting room has offered visitors breathtaking views for more than a decade, but these historic lands have been a part of the heart of Finger Lakes agriculture and grape growing for centuries. The Missick family recently acquired Villa Bellangelo and has completely revived and revamped the entire operation. One of their biggest moves, in 2012, was to hire Ian Barry, a highly acclaimed winemaker, with a distinguished reputation for making wines that are true to the terroir in the Finger Lakes.
I was lucky to recently try two their new wines: the Dry Riesling 2011 and the Gewurztraminer 2011.

Villa Bellangelo Dry Riesling 2011 According to the winery, the grapes are sourced from a premier Seneca Lake vineyard and fermented cold to preserve the bright fruit and enhance the elegant finish. This was a lovely, light, delicate Riesling with lots of green apple and wonderful tropical fruits on the nose. The green apple comes through beautifully on the palate, and finishes with a lovely burst of acidity. Refreshing and mouthwatering, it’s the perfect accompaniment with food. In fact, I had a bottle with bowlful of mouthwatering mussels, which were made with white wine, fennel, garlic, and butter. And of course, some lovely crusty bread from Bonfiglio & Bread in Hudson, NY. Fantastic!


The second wine was the Villa Bellangelo Gewurztraminer 2011. As the winery says, and I quite agree, “Gew├╝rztraminer is rapidly gaining popularity among Finger Lakes winemakers and wine drinkers.” I love Gewurztraminer, which means I’m prone to being a pushover here, because the wine is lovely. As with many good Gewurztraminers, this has a big, beautiful nose full of flowers and fruit. Honey suckle, rose petals, and lychee all come through as promised, with hints of tropical fruits as well. The wine has 1.2% residual sugar, so there is a hint of sweetness, but there’s also good acidity, so the wine is beautiful. Light, delicate, elegant, this Gewurztraminer cries out for food. I had it with roast chicken, with mashed butternut squash, and roasted peas. Amazing. Fantastic! A perfect Thanks giving wine or a great choice with Asian dishes of almost any kind. Wow!

Villa Bellangelo is making the effort to make great wines, and the results, so far, have been terrific! These two wines were fantastic!