TasteCamp 2010, an evening at Red Newt Cellars

The first evening of TasteCamp finished up with a tasting and dinner at Red Newt Cellars on Seneca Lake. The sun setting over the lake provided a beautiful backdrop to the evening as well as providing a delicate amber hue to the tasting room.  Laid out in front of us were 3 stations of Riesling from 3 different vintages. At each table were the 3 wineries that go into the Tierce Wine Riesling, as well as the specific vintage of Tierce.

About Tierce…

“Tierce Dry Riesling represents a unique collaborative effort of Anthony Road Wine Company, Fox Run Vineyards and Red Newt Wine Cellars..This wine pulls together not only the unique vineyard expressions of Seneca Lake, but also the individual philosophies of the participating winemakers.”

I started at the ’06 table, not sure why…in hind sight I should have started with the ’04 table. I went to ’04 after ’06 and felt that the ’04 was slightly dead and I think some of this perception may have been precipitated by the outstanding quality of the ’06.  Regardless of order, I feel that the ’04 Reislings were a bit tired, quality not withstanding, just past their peak.

Peter Bell, winemaker at Fox Run talking about the '06 wines

Back to the ’06….wow, awesome stuff! I started with the Anthony Road Dry Riesling which had great, but not crazy acidity, and was tropical in nature, with dried apricot, pear and slight fusel notes. Next up was the Fox Run, not as powerful a nose as the Anthony Road, but still quite nice. Hints of refreshing raspberry on the nose with a bit of mustard seed, orange zest and citrus notes on the palate and plenty of zippy acidity. Red Newt was third and showed the most minerality so far of the three. Slightly “richer” than the previous two, and showed lots of citrus, pear and peach notes. Excellent balance between the body and acidity providing a great, “complex” mouthfeel. Last but not least was the Tierce, a blend from the 3 wineries, but not necessarily equal parts of each. This was definitely a case of where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. The 06 Tierce had rocking acidity, and exquisite minerality that was flinty in nature. It was dominated by tropical notes like the Anthony Road with plenty of lemon-lime and pear notes with interesting hints of banana peel. The ’06 Tierce had it all, an outstanding Riesling.

The ’05 table was highlighted by Red Newt Riesling. It had great minerality, again providing a flinty quality. Loads of lemon-lime flavors reminding me of a Vinho Verde but more complex with back end flavors of pear, peach and juicy Asian pear. The other ’05′s didn’t do much for me. I felt the ’05 Anthony Road was a bit flat and the ’05 Fox Run was too soapy in nature.

Red Newt dinner aftermath

Dinner at Red Newt was provided by Red Newt Bistro which as you would imagine is attached to the winery. I had a special vegetarian dinner prepared by Debra Whiting, executive chef and wife of winemaker David Whiting. Instead of the main course of bacon wrapped beef tenderloin that everyone else had I had a portabello mushroom stuffed with an interestingly delicious concoction.  The flavor and texture was amazing and complimented the family style asparagus and mashed potatoes that were passed around.

Red Newt is very social media savvy and it was evident at the winery. A large screen TV  was streaming our #tastecamp tweets as well as the event was being recorded on Ustream for the world to see. Definitely a first for both of these at a winery, at least for me. It impressed me immensely to see how “tapped in” Red Newt was.

Cheers and thanks to all the winemakers, assistant winemakers and staff from all the wineries who help put this on.

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