Finger Lakes Whites, Part I

Wednesday, March 28th, a magical email appeared in my inbox. “Congratulations, you have been selected…” and no, it wasn’t some unknown Nigerian relative offering me a chance at a billion dollars.

Further from it…it was the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance inviting me to join them for their virtual tasting on April 18th. I happily accepted, thinking I’d be able to join in on the fun, as Wednesdays are normally my day off.

Fast forward to that Friday. I get into work and check my daily schedule…in my schedule was the phrase “meeting with HR”. Now, I knew it wasn’t a *bad* thing, as I was in line for a promotion and I knew that’d be the day they’d start letting us all know. Okay, cool. Training is…aw crap! Yep. April 18th was one of the training days…and I was in training until 5 p.m. (which is when the tasting started on my side of the country).

So after letting the excitement of my promotion wear off (which took a week…c’mon, admit it, when you get a promotion into the department you were aiming for on day one of your job, you’d be excited too), I emailed the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. They were more than gracious and understanding when I said I had to rescind my RSVP for the virtual tasting due to this and since the wines had already been sent to me, that I could review them.

So here are the first four that I’ve tasted through. They’re not in the order of the formal tasting, but in my own screwy way of doing things order:

2011 Glenora Pinot Blanc

This wine was BEAUTIFUL. In the glass, it was a very pretty pale gold. As I poured it, the aromas flowed out. While it was on oak, it wasn’t overpowering. In fact, it added a little kick to the wine, which gave it a nice balance.

At first, though, it was a little on the volatile, rocky side. But I think that was an error on *my* part as I opened it the same day the UPS driver delivered it. *I* didn’t let it settle down. So I’ll take full blame on that one, as it did turn into a nice wine after sitting overnight in my fridge.

2010 Rooster Hill Estate Gewürztraminer

I will be brutally honest. I’m not much of a Gewürztraminer fan, as I’m not a fan of sweet wines. But this one…wow. It blew me away. The nose reminded me of a walking through a flower garden. The pour was golden. As it danced around my mouth, I picked up slight hints of ripe peach and grapefruit.

I’m not saying that this is a must-have for my cellar, but I certainly wouldn’t turn it down if I was offered it at a friends house.

2011 Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Dr. Konstantin Frank Grüner Veltliner

Beau from Beau’s Barrel Room has been telling me for a while now that I need to try Grüner Veltliner. When I saw a Grüner Veltliner was included, I may or may not have done a little, dorky-looking happy dance (there’s a reason why I don’t dance…).

AND HOT DAMN!!!!!!!!! I. Fucking. Loved. This. I’m a fan of tart wines, though, so I’m telling you now, this may not be up your alley. But holy shit. There’s a terrific balance on this of acid, fruit (think Granny Smith apples), heat from the white pepper notes a the very end and sweet all throughout to make this so approachable. Even my Mom, who is *not* a white fan, was like, “Damn. That’s some good stuff.”

And believe me, on the first 75*+ degree weekend we had here in the Portland Metro area, a cold glass of this hit. the. spot.

…now to start pestering different wine shops around here for this… 😀

2010 King Ferry Winery Reserve Chardonnay Cayuga Lake (labeled as Treleaven, though)

This is a hard one for me, because my Mom taught me the classic line from Bambi…”If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”

Over oaked. This took away the essence of what could have very well been a beautiful Chardonnay. Looking past the oak, I say it could have very well been a beautiful Chardonnay because I did see some nice creaminess in there…but sadly, the oak killed it and gave it a funky (at least to me) heat as it hit the back of my throat.

So far, I’ve been impressed with the Finger Lakes wines, save for the Chardonnay. My must have? The Grüner Veltliner.

I’ve got 4 more to taste through, and those are forthcoming. 🙂

These wines were provided as a media sample from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.

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