A group of my family members recently spent a week in New York’s Finger Lakes, hiking the gorge trails, biking, kayaking and, of course, visiting the local winery tasting rooms. Impressed by how quality continues to rise in the region, we all came back with more wine than we intended to buy, though certainly a fair amount never made it out the door of our rental house, polished off rapidly by the 10 of us as we ate dinner while watching the sun set on Keuka Lake.
A while after we got home, my dad first opened some of his purchases during his birthday celebration. We started with the 2008 Gewürztraminer ($16) from Rooster Hill, one of the Keuka Lake wineries that impressed us with its solid lineup of whites and reds (and its knowledgeable and friendly tasting-room staff). This dry white, which comes from the winery’s 4-acre Catherine’s Vineyard, showed Gewürztraminer’s classic rose petal and lychee character, along with peach and citrus flavors and a savory note on the finish. 86 points, non-blind.
For dinner, we moved on to the 2009 Dry Riesling ($15) from Dr. Konstantin Frank, a Finger Lakes pioneer and a popular stop on the wine trail; on a sunny weekend, it was buzzing with visitors enjoying the lovely lake views from its deck. Citrus blossom notes accented the Riesling’s juicy lime and apple profile, nicely complementing our orange-glazed salmon; a streak of minerality, common to the winery’s Rieslings, ran throughout. 88 points, non-blind.
Now I’m really looking forward to working my way through the mixed cases I bought.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Rooster Hill Gewürztraminer Finger Lakes 2008 (85, $16).
• Plus, get Tasting Highlights for more recently rated Finger Lakes wines. And learn more about the Finger Lakes from James Molesworth's blogs about his visits to Rooster Hill, Dr. Konstantin Frank and other wineries.