TN: Finger Lakes visit (Wiemer, Prejean, Anthony Road)

I attended an event in the Finger Lakes region last weekend & had a bit of time to kill- what better activity than wine tasting? I made three visits on the West side of Seneca Lake.

Hermann J Wiemer
Overall I was a bit disappointed given their reputation, though they were sold out of a couple of wines I would have liked to try. $3 for 5 rather small pours. Spiegelau glass.

NV Rose Cuvee Floral
Rose petal notes on the nose. The palate is a touch sweet, light-bodied and also full of florals and a touch of strawberry
’11 Dry Riesling
Crisp nose with apple, lemon & lime aromas. The flavors match along with a nice acidity. Slightly short finish
’10 Semi-Dry Riesling
Light but tasty, with peach aromas/flavors.
’11 Gewurztraminer
Lots of spice and not much fruit. Nutmeg and ginger stand out in particular.
’08 Cab Franc
Light color. Bold nose with raspberry & a hint of cocoa. The palate is a mostly green & acidic, though a little fruit is there underneath.
’10 Select Late Harvest Riesling ($3/pour)
Exceptional nose of honey and spice. Fairly viscous with honey, peach nectar and a touch of spice on the palate. Could use a bit more acid to take it from very good to great, though very tasty as is.

I had heard of this winery but had never tasted anything from them before. They were having water issues so all samples were poured into a plastic cup rather than a glass, which likely did not allow the wines to show quite as well as they could have. $2 for 5 samples (refunded with purchase & after 5 we were asked if there was anything else we were interested in trying)

09 Dry Riesling
Hints of apricot & lime. Nice acidity but lacks intensity from the fruit. (low-mid 80s)
09 Semi-Dry Riesling
Floral nose along with just a drop of petrol. The palate shows a mix of yellow apple, citrus with a pleasant acidic finish. Overall all of the right components are there, but it feels a bit disjointed
10 Dry Gewurztraminer
This may be the first gewurz I’ve tried that has been aged in oak (I didn’t get the type/percent new/old). The oak adds a nice creaminess across the board. The aromas are primarily a mixed bag of spices. Nice overall with a pleasant mouthfeel though like the dry riesling lacks intensity.
09 Marechal Foch
The staff member pouring said this grape (new to me) used to be grown a lot more frequently but most of the NY vines have been replanted to other varieties, though the grape is also still grown in Michigan. The wine is soft upfront but gives way to light fruit and chocolate. Light tannins come through towards the end.
10 Late Harvest Vignoles
Honestly smelled (& tasted) like acetone. Just a touch of apricot underneath.

Anthony Road
A home run all around. Friendly, informative staff and fantastic wines. $2 for five generous pours. Spent over an hour here versus <1/2hr at each of the others.

’11 Cabernet Franc Rose Dry
Bold aromas of raspberry and watermelon. A bit of heat on the palate but overall pleasant with flavors that match the nose. A hint of minerals and mint round it out. The finish is a bit short, but nice overall.
’10 Gewurztraminer
Notes of ginger and lychee on the nose. Floral though not nearly as intense on the palate. Flavors reminiscent of ginger beer come across after the flowers. Spicy but lacks character.
’11 Dry Riesling
Very aromatic. Apricot, peach & orange juice. Strong acidity comes through on the initial attack, with light flavors of citrus and a hint of stone fruit.
’10 Semi-dry Riesling
Stone fruit nose along with a hint of citrus. Ditto on the palate, which adds something I couldn’t quite place, though it’s definitely complex. Nice acid & finish.
’11 Cabernet Franc/Lemberger
Like the Wiemer CF, light color but a big nose; raspberry & green pepper. Complex flavors of blueberry, blackberry, black pepper and spice. Nice tannins & acid. Surprisingly good, it ends with a lengthy mocha-driven finish.

Bring out the Riedels for the ‘Premium’ pours, with a separate stem for each. The next time I’m back I plan to work my way through the entire premium list.

’09 Tierce Riesling ($2/pour; A collaboration between Anthony Road, Fox Run & Red Newt).
Brewers collaborate all the time for good reason and I wish winemakers would do it more as this is very good. Initially the nose was all petrol with very little fruit, though some came out as it opened up with time in the glass. Bone dry with flavors of petrol, minerals, and a bit of under-ripe stone fruit. Acidic and with an extremely long finish, this is very young and I picked up a bottle to hide for at least five years.
’08 Martini-Reinhardt Trockenbeeren ($5 for a 1-1.5oz pour for a wine that retails for $100/375ml… do the math and tasting this is a steal. Made from 100% Botrytised grapes, hand-picked and crushed by foot) Easily the single best wine I have ever had from the Finger Lakes. A complex, exotic nose full of tropical fruits, mango, banana, honey, peach and spice. The palate is just as complex, with flavors that perfectly mirror the nose. Amazing balance and intensity.

Thanks for the notes David.

I’m wondering if some of the 2011’s need some time to come around.

BTW, Marechal Foch is a French/American hybrid grape that is suited to cooler climates. A lot of wineries in NY used to plant this grape when they were just finding their way in the 1970’s. There’s actually a couple of Pinot producers in Oregon that grow this. I was surprised by that. Speaking of Prejean, I’ve always liked their entry-level Chardonnay. It’s usually light and clean and reminds me of a Macon.

I only live two hours away, but I’m finally going to be having some time to myself in August to do my first extensive visits to some places I haven’t been to in a long time, or at all.