Say hello to the class of 2012. With a series of virtual tastings, the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance celebrated the release of the 2012 Rieslings.
From dry to sweet, Riesling comes in a variety of styles – part of the reason why it is the fastest growing white wine in the United States. Riesling is ideally suited for the cool climate of the Finger Lakes. Look to this region in New York for some exciting and delicious wines.
How do the 2012 Finger Lakes Rieslings taste? The Amateur Gastronomer shares a sip of three.
Heron Hill Winery
Classic Dry Riesling 2012
Overlooking Keuka Lake, Heron Hill Winery has been producing wines for more than 35 years in the Finger Lakes. The winery uses state-of-the-art equipment combined with Old World expertise — Winemaker Bernard Cannac learned winemaking at his family’s vineyard in southern France and was educated in Bordeaux and Burgundy. This is one of five styles of Riesling that Heron Hill produces each vintage.
Crisp, floral and elegant, the Heron Hill Dry Riesling is a wine to make you a fan of the Finger Lakes. Aromas of pear, golden apple and white flowers introduce a palate of tropical fruit. Delicate flavors of mango, guava, apple and honeysuckle are nicely balanced with flinty minerality and good acidity. There’s subtle sweet honey on the finish, making every sip feel like its ending on an upbeat note.
$14, 12% alcohol by volume
Standing Stone Vineyards
Old West Block Riesling 2012
Standing Stone is located on the east side of Seneca Lake. Riesling plantings there date back to 1972; current owners Tom and Marti Macinski purchased the vineyards in 1991. Tom oversees all aspects of grape growing (he jokes he “only sleeps well when nothing is growing.”), and Marti oversees the winemaking. Standing Stone practices sustainable farming, and filters and fines the wines only when necessary.
This single vineyard, medium dry Riesling comes from one of the oldest vinifera vineyards in the Finger Lakes, planted in 1972. The 2012 vintage benefited from lots of sunshine throughout the summer and harvest. The wine opens with aromas of orange blossom, golden pear and sweet lemon. Flavors of white apricot, white peach and lychee mix with slate and a hint of white pepper. The initial sweetness is followed by bright acidity that gives the wine a refreshing finish.
$19, 12.2% alcohol by volume
Thirsty Owl Wine Company
Located on the west side of Cayuga Lake, Thirsty Owl opened in September 2002 on an auspicious date – Friday the 13th. It seems the winery has had good luck; over the past 11 years winemaker and vineyard manager Shawn Kime and the Thirsty Owl team have produced wines that have won numerous Best of Class and Best of Show awards, including the New York State Governor’s Cup.
Grapes for this medium dry Riesling came mainly from the 30 year-old estate vineyard. Apple, tangerine, and honeysuckle are expressed on both the nose and palate, along with flavors of honeydew, white grapefruit and cantaloupe. The wine has a pleasantly round and soft mouthfeel, gentle acidity and a finish with lingering melon.
$15, 11.3% alcohol by volume