Last week I had the pleasure of joining in on a nationwide tasting of 2010 Finger Lakes Rieslings. Wine bloggers, wine tradespeople and other media outlets alike receive 6 samples from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance last week and were asked to participate in the tasting via Twitter and Facebook. Easy enough…I could taste the wines in the evening at my leisure and tweet what I thought of them.
Without the pressure of having a representative of the winery standing in front of me, I was allowed to truly evaluate these wines without any outside influence. I liked that. Sometimes when you attend tastings, the wine rep and overhearing other people’s thoughts taint your palate without you even knowing it.
The only information about the wines I wanted to know ahead of time was the growing conditions during the season and thankfully it was easy to find:
“The 2010 Finger Lakes harvest was the warmest growing season in nearly 40 years and the wettest since 1973. Combined with an early bud break in April and adequate rainfall throughout the summer and fall, the wines from the vintage are varied in style but with a general slant toward lower acid, intense fruit and wonderful ripeness.” -Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.
Overall, my impressions of all the wines were good and you will see my ratings of the wine in the order that I liked them. Some were more pleasing to my palate than others but still…they were all tasty.
2010 Red Oak Vineyard Riesling: A medium-dry offering from Lamoreaux Landing. This wine had it all: a floral nose with bright notes, a creamy mouthfeel that made the wine taste round and balanced. The taste had citrus and exotic fruits with a long finish. Overall, this was a great Riesling and the fact that Lamoreaux Landing’s grapes are farmed sustainably sent them to the head of the class.
2010 Atwater Estate Vineyards Dry Riesling: Like biting into a Granny Smith apple. Just enough minerality to round out the high acidity, Atwater’s offering reflected the slate soil and ripe grapes with just a touch of sweetness. Vibrant with citrus notes proved this Riesling to be perfectly balanced.
2010 Billsboro Winery Dry Riesling: Honestly, this one is a tie with the Atwater so I listed it alphabetically. Billsboro’s wine had rich stone fruit with just a hint of a floral nose. The taste had honeydew, pears and peaches with a good amount of slate and minerals.
2010 Thirsty Owl Wine Company Dry Riesling: This wine was complex with high acidity that begged for food. With green apples, pineapple and citrus fruits in the mouth, I enjoyed this wine with a sliver of Gruyere cheese.
2010 Seneca Shore Dry Riesling: Wow. The minerality in this wine made it stand out in the crowd. Accompanied by lime and grapefruit flavors, Seneca Shore hit a home-run. Well-structured and powerful: this was a great wine to sip.
Last but certainly not least, 2010 Standing Stone Vineyards Riesling: This might be the only wine out of the six that I wasn’t completely psyched about. Although it was still a decent wine, I felt it fell a little flat on the flavor. I am willing to bet a little bottle aging would cure that. There were hints of kiwi and citrus in the wine, but had a shorty and flinty finish. Not disappointing but not to my particular liking I’m afraid.
Three Cheers to all the wonderful wines I was allowed to taste last week! Thank you to all the Finger Lakes Wineries who participated and to the wonderful people over at the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance for letting me in on this special event!