Last night I had the opportunity to taste 12 Finger Lakes Rieslings, as part of Taste NY, organized by Lenn Thompson of The New York Cork Report. I’ve actually been sitting on these wines for a while and finally got off my butt and organized the tasting. In attendance were some of my wine geek friends, 2 of which are wine distributors, a co- worker at my shop, and a manager from another wine shop in town, as well as my wife (six in total). I assembled this group, one, because I knew they would take it seriously, and two because we all enjoy Riesling. In addition to the 12 from the Finger Lakes, I threw in one from Virginia to mix things up. The wines were all tasted blind, and we used the 20pt scoring system.
2008 Stick Dog Riesling – VA
2008 Billsboro Dry Riesling – FL
2006 Red Newt Cellars Reserve – FL
2008 Anthony Road Semi-Dry Riesling – FL
2008 Lamoreaux Landing Red Oak Vineyard – FL
2008 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Homestead Reserve – FL
2006 Sheldrake Point Reserve – FL
2007 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling – FL
2006 Ravines Wine Cellars Riesling – FL
2008 Fox Run Vineyards – FL
2007 Wiemer Vineyards Dry Riesling – FL
2007 Atwater Vineyads Dry Riesling – FL
2005 Heron Hill Old Vines Riesling – FL
As you can see the Virginia wine won, but only by a nose, which was a HUGE shocker. Before tasting, I honestly thought the NY wines would blow it away. Plus the top 5 were not separated by much, here are the scores for the top 5, based on the 20pt system.
Overall the wines that scored highest were the ones that showed a balanced presentation of fruit, acid and body. The ones that didn’t show well had out of balance acidity, creating bitter, chemical tasting off-notes. A general comment that went around the table was as if the wines had been manipulated with acid, in an exaggerated way. I don’t know enough about those vintages but understand ’08 was a pretty good one for Finger Lakes Riesling and shouldn’t have required acid additions.
We all had fun, and enjoyed the opportunity to taste so many wines that we don’t see here in Virginia too often.
A special thanks to Lenn for including me in Taste NY and to all the wine makers who sent samples of their wines for me to evaluate. Stay tuned for a future post on some specific tasting notes for some of the wines!