Friday, July 27, 2012

Glenora Wine Cellars Riesling 2011

A fabulous summer evening on the patio grilling a nice thick salmon steak and a few boneless chicken breast.  These were served with Alaskan crab legs, sauteed zucchini and white rice with parsley. Best of all, I get to open another bottle of Finger Lakes Riesling.  This 2011 was from Glenora Wine Cellars.  The oldest winery on Seneca Lake, widely known for its warm hospitality and magnificent lakeside setting has garnered exemplary reviews both in and outside Finger Lakes Wine Country.
Glenora Wine Cellars, a pioneer in the renaissance of the Finger Lakes wine industry, has been producing award winning high quality wines for over 34 years. In 1977 Glenora Wine Cellars was the first winery to open on Seneca Lake, in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Country. Today the property offers a 30-room inn (Inn at Glenora) and a gourmet restaurant (Veraisons) joining the winery on the beautifully groomed 40-acre estate.
photo by Shirley
The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars, & Veraisons Restaurant offers a unique opportunity to enjoy all the amenities of the Finger Lakes in one beautiful location!
You can also just stroll over to their spacious tasting room and sample their beautiful Rieslings like the Glenora Wine Cellars Riesling 2011($13)
A very appealing light straw color with aromas of nectarines, pear and apple blossom on the nose.  The mouth was filled with peach and pineapple, a touch of citrus with some very sweet apple.  The finish was medium/long a filled with honey coated apricots. This medium sweet Riesling was a perfect compliment to the grilled salmon and chicken.  Very highly recommended!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2008

photo by Shirley
When it comes to California red wines, I would guess that most wine drinkers think of their Cabernet Sauvignon, but I always think of their Petite Sirah and their Zinfandel.  Up until the last four years, Zinfandel was not in my vocabulary.  That may be because of the few female friends who drank only White Zin.   After tasting the White Zin once, Zinfandels became off limits.   Wish I knew better back then, but now I am a Zinoholic.
What I like in Zin is a very smooth mouth feel and lots of plum and blackberry and this is what I got with the St. Francis Sonoma County "Old Vines" Zinfandel 2008. ($19
Color was a deep dark red with aromas of blackberry, licorice and plumOn the palate I found lots of blackberry with hints of leather, black cherry and black currant with just a tad of pepper.  The finish was very smooth, lots of berry and black plum and very long. 
I opened this wine with grilled steaks, served with grilled peppers and mushrooms.   While the steaks were on the grill, I thoroughly enjoyed this wine while munching on the grilled mushrooms.  This wine climbs to the top of my favorite Zins.  Highly Recommended!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2007

photo by Shirley
I've recently posted a review of an Argentina Syrah, so I decided to finish up my Argentina wines and open a Malbec I recently received for review, The Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2007.($25)
The d'Aulan family produces wines in several wine-growing regions around the world, from France - the country of origin - to Hungary and Argentina, where they created Alta Vista in 1998, in the search of the greatest qualities of two emblematic varieties: Malbec and the Argentinian white grape,Torront├ęs. The result is the perfect combination of French savoir faire and Argentinean passion.
After a few years of tasting both red and white wines from Argentina, I am very rapidly becoming a fan.
Nice red garnet color with aromas of blackberry, a little chocolate, a little plum with flavors of mocha and blackberry filling the mouth.  The finish was a little tart and medium long.  Paired very nicely with grilled chicken kabobs.  Highly recommended.  Best price can be found on-line at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

At Last, My Summer Rieslings

Now my summer is finally getting started.  Tonight I opened my first two 2011 Finger Lakes Rieslings.   Early in the evening we opened a 2011 dry Riesling from Ravines Wine Cellars($15) on Keuka Lake.  This was tasted with chicken quesadillas loaded with lots of cheese and jalapeno peppers.
Color on the Ravines was a little darker than what I usually see on these wines, but still very bright and very aromatic.  Aroma at first was a little heavy on the mineral, but in a very short time in the glass that changed.  Lots of lemon and floral (orange blossom) on the nose with some slate.  The palate was all lemon, a very refreshing lemon with some honey notes.  A medium finish with citrus and honey.  A very typical Finger Lakes Riesling.  A very nice wine, but at best, just very good, not great.  I think that many times I just want more from every Finger Lakes Riesling I taste and many times that does happen.
After finishing the first wine, I was looking for something that might  meet my expectations, so I uncorked another 2011 dry Riesling from Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars.($13)  Hey Bono, I found what I was looking for.
A very bright color of pale yellow with a green hue and very Finger Lakes like aromas of lemon, tangerine, honeysuckle and slate.  Nice acid with lots of lemon, some lime with hints of pineapple in the mouth.  Enjoyed how this wine felt in the mouth with a little taste of honey. This is why Finger Lakes Rieslings are now getting the world wide respect that they deserve.  Finish could have been a little longer, but the orange, lime and honey was so damn delicious it was not an issue.  I had to nibble on a few bites of cheese while finishing this Riesling.  First a smokey Gouda, which was very nice, then a favorite Champagne Cheddar from Yancey's Fancy Cheese which also paired very nicely.
I have a few more '11 Rieslings in the fridge and can't wait to open.  How did I miss the start of summer until now? I guess I'll just have to make up for time lost.  Poor me!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jelu Estate Syrah Reserve 2008

photo by Shirley
This past week I started to empty out my wine fridge of wines that have been sitting there for a few months or more and make room for many of the new 2011 white wine releases.  Sorta sounds like a car dealership this time of year.  One wine that I have held onto for a few months is a Syrah from the San Juan region of Argentina.  Syrah is one of the nice red wines I discovered because of this blog.  It is also a wine that is becoming one of my favorites, but of those I enjoyed the most were from Califorinia and a few from the New York Finger Lakes.  This was my first from South America and will not be my last.
The wine:  Jelu Estate Syrah Reserve 2008 ($14)
I think I should note first that at a $14 price this wine will rival many of the more expensive Syrah on today's market.
Aromas were filled with lots of blackberry, some blueberry and anise.  In the mouth I tasted lots of the blackberry, some licorice with a hint of chocolate and spice.  The finish was fruit filled and very long and smooth.  This wine lacked the peppery and spicy finish that I found in many of the Syrah I've have tasted, especially those (Shiraz) from Australia, but was more to what I like in a red wine.  After one glass, I diced up a few bits of sharp cheddar cheese  and enjoyed!  I would enjoy this with turkey or even a beef roast or some hard, smokey or sharp cheese.   I have to highly recommend this one.  Nice wine, nice value.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Thirsty Owl Wine Company Dry Riesling 2010

I have been waiting all summer to start opening up some of my Finger Lakes Rieslings and tonight was just right.  For the first time ever, I grilled Salmon steaks.  I've been wanting to do this for the last couple of years, but seemed to always end up with the usual chicken, steaks, burgers and a few times, kabobs.  First taste of the fish by Shirley and Pam gave a thumbs up and first taste of the Thirsty Owl Wine Company Dry Riesling 2010 ($15) was a double thumbs up.
Photo by Shirley

On Friday September 13, 2002, The Thirsty Owl Wine Company opened it's doors for the first time.  They had four wines and produced approximately 1,200 cases. Since 2002 they have increased production by over 1000% and at the same time The Thirsty Owl Wine Company's name has become synonymous with award winning wines.  They winery has won many prestigious awards including the NY Governor's Cup and the John Rose Award, given to the best in class Riesling at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.  This past year their Pinot Noir was the highest rated North American Pinot at the Taster's Guild International competition.

Lot's of pineapple aroma with guava, some lemon and hints of slate leading to a palate full of pineapple, lemon, some peach and a touch of honey.  Finish was medium long lemony and refreshing.  A perfect wine for a perfectly grilled salmon steak.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Clos Du Bois North Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Finally have some time to spend on the patio, grilling up some BBQ chicken and enjoying some refreshing white wines.  For the past few years this meant stocking up on my favorite Rieslings, but today I decided on a California wine from Clos Du Bois.  The Clos Du Bois North Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2010($15).
*Photo by Shirley
Everything about this wine was very enticing.  A very bright and light color with a touch of green started this wine out on a positive note.  Then the fantastic aromas of lime and grapefruit with a little bubble gum and honeysuckle on the nose.  The wine was very refreshing in the mouth with nice acidity and soft fruit flavors with just a hint of citrusy lemon.  The finish was very long and very refreshing, especially on a Central New York 90°F day.  Inexpensive summer wine that paired exceptionally well with both the BBQ chicken and grilled mild sausage.

*Also would like to note that beginning with this post, Shirley will now be my blogs photographer.  For her recent birthday, Pam and I presented her with a new Canon EOS Rebel t3 and she is having a blast using it.  I just have to make any photo adjustments using my new (Shirley's old) Kodak printer.