After almost six months, the wine club met at my place on Sunday, January 20th, 2013 for a night of wine and pontification. For this meeting, I selected six wines from my rather large haul from the 2012 Summer visit to the Finger Lakes. Coincidence would have that Finger Lakes was featured in the current issue of Wine Spectator. Per the club tradition, all wines were blinded and the challenge this time was to guess the overall theme for the selection as well as the varietal, region and the year, if possible, for individual wines. Here are our notes.
1. 2006 Chateau Frank Blanc de Blancs Methode Champenoise (Finger Lakes - Keuka, NY, USA) - Quite an yeasty nose with traces of melon and green apple skins, tart and very dry with a short finish. Majority thought it was some kind of Italian Prosecco. Rating: 88 Winner of the night!
3. 2010 Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Dry Rose (Finger Lakes - Keuka, NY, USA) - Light oak on the nose, very dry with a very watered down feeling on the palette and an extremely short finish. It was not easy to guess anything for this wine. People thought it was definitely a North American wine, potentially from Oregon, California or New York. Rating: 77
4. 2008 Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes - Seneca, NY, USA) - Ruby color with Caramel and Pepper on the nose; lighter body - almost no tannins; decent acidity yet clunky and out of balance. Most guessed Cabernet Franc or Pinot Noir from not a classic wine region, potentially California or Chile. Rating: 83
5. 2009 Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Lemberger (Finger Lakes - Keuka, NY, USA) - Decent legs and a nose of cherry, pepper and herbs with a gamy and tannic palette. Varietal and region guesstimates varied widely from Italian Lambrusco or Sangiovese to Charbono from France. Rating: 85
6. 2009 Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Cuvee d' Amour (Finger Lakes - Keuka, NY, USA) - Complex nose with some fruit, barnyard, feet, horse blanket, pine and resin. Full-bodied wine with quite a depth. Again a difficult wine to figure out - guesses varied widely from Italian Sangiovese, blend of Blaufrankisch and Petite Syrah and California Pinot Noir. Rating: 89
Actually, Cuvee d'Amour (vitis Amurensis) is a winter-hardy grape native to the wilds of southern Siberia and northern China. Crossing of vitis Amurensis with numerous varieties of European wine grapes have yielded early-ripening vines that thrive in colder climates.
7. 2009 Roco Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR, USA)