Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as a sea of friendly "wine peeps" to meet in real life or via those wonderful
The four wines reviewed below, ranging from dry to liquid-dessert, are all Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, New York. The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, who hosted this event, calls the region, “North America’s premier cool-climate wine-growing region.” The Riesling grape, with its high natural acidity, expresses itself very well in cool-climate conditions. Conversely, it reveals little of its delightful character, vibrant personality, and complex charms when grown in warm or hot areas -- especially those with very little diurnal variation. Riesling is the Finger Lakes’ preeminent grape variety and is responsible for putting the region, its growers, and winemakers on the world wine map.
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This tasting featured four Rieslings from the 2012 vintage, which Fulkerson Winery said was one of the region’s warmest in recent history. While the growing season favored the region’s red wines, the 2012 Rieslings I had an opportunity to taste were still pleasant with good acidity. From dry to off-dry, Riesling is one of the most versatile and food-friendly wines available. And many of the dessert wines made from Riesling have enough acidity to balance the sugars and are excellent after-dinner sippers to have with or without dessert. With the holidays on the horizon, I suggest inviting any one of these bottles over to enjoy with the ham, turkey, and fixings. Of course, the sweet and rich treat from Fulkerson is best suited for dessert. Please see my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle and a link to the wines below.
Knapp Winery Dry Riesling
Review: Knapp Winery and Vineyard 2012 Dry Riesling (SRP $14.99): This wine is light-bodied yet nicely defined with a vibrant core of (delicate) white pitted fruit aromas and flavors alongside demure citrus-tinged notes. It remains fresh and lively through to the crisp and clean finish. The winery, as I understand it, has an on-site restaurant off of Cayuga Lake. Just a guess, but this budget-friendly Riesling must be a very popular selection there. It’s a wonderful food wine! Approximately 401 cases were produced. (Other info: ABV 12%, synthetic cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.
Lakewood 2012 Dry Riesling
Review: Lakewood Vineyards 2012 Dry Riesling (SRP $12.99): This Riesling is made from 100% estate-grown fruit sourced from Lakewood Farm (Finger Lakes AVA). Light straw in color, this Riesling shows fresh lime juice, lemon zest, and green apple on the nose and palate against a lean frame with crisp, citrusy acidity leading to a nice, short-to-medium length finish. Overall, this is a refreshing and delightful wine to enjoy with friends that won’t break the piggy bank and can match a wide variety of dishes. Approximately 810 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 11.7%, cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.
Lucas 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling
Review: Lucas Vineyards 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling (SRP $14): Vibrant citrus fruit aromas and flavors lead the way followed by soft stone fruit and underlying notes suggestive of ripe apples. While classified as semi-dry, the sweetness is nicely balanced by the wine’s high level of acidity that carries into the crisp and clean finish. Overall, this is a pleasant and crowd-pleasing Riesling at an everyday price that will match a myriad of dishes. (Other info: ABV 11.4%, cork enclosure.) Click here to find this wine.
Fulkerson Winery Riesling Iced Wine 2012
Review: Fulkerson Winery Riesling Iced Wine 2012 (SRP $29.99 / 375 mL): This is a nice after-dinner sipper that shows good richness (texture) and overall depth with aromas and flavors suggestive of dried peaches, apricot preserve, orange marmalade, muted baking spice, and raw honey. A perfect substitution for dessert, although, if you are greedy like me, then I suggest pairing it with pound cake or crème brûlée. Approximately 127 cases of this lip-smacking wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 11%, aged in new oak barrels for 6 months, cork enclosure.) Click here to find this wine.
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