Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You'll NEVER guess where the next "hot" region is!

Check out page 74 of the March 31st issue of Wine Spectator, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised- it isn’t Argentina! In fact, many of you will be shocked and pleasantly surprised that it’s within a few hours drive- the New York Finger Lakes region. Here’s the fantastic article

Traditionally known for growing native American and hybrid grapes such as Catawba and Vidal Blanc, and lots and lots of Concord grapes for co-ops like Manischewitz and Welch’s, this AVA (American Viticultural Area) was breathed new life with a wave of European varietals, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Riesling being grown more prolifically throughout the region. These grapes are well adapted to cooler climates and thrive best when yields are reduced (a fancy way of saying cutting production in half in order to increase concentration by pruning most of the fruit off the vine). I personally am a Riesling and Pinot Noir FREAK, so when I met Morten Hallgren yesterday in our store, I was more than excited!...........

…..well, to my surprise he had quite a few things up his sleeve. Not only was his Riesling the HIGHEST SCORING DRY RIESLING in Wine Spectator this month, but his REDS! WOW, the reds, were amazing. He has the HIGHEST scoring RED NY WINE in this issue as well. This guy can make wine. He should know…..he worked at none other than a little Chateau that you may know in Bordeaux called Cos D’estournel……..gee….ever heard of it? Hmmm…..

Ravines Dry Riesling- 90 pts- $15.99- bone-dry, mineral, crisp, and SO refreshing, this is a must-have spring alternative to Sauvignon Blanc

Ravines Cabernet Franc- lush, dense texture and a full-bodied palate. This is what NY is BEST known for!
AND, I ADORE Rose’. It’s the season to start thinking pink. Because Pinot Noir ROCKS from upstate NY, of course Rose’ made from Pinot Noir is going to be spectacular. This has a gorgeous medium body, and is made in the exact treatment as his Pinot Noir. It has layers of flavor and bouquet with a sumptuous palate. Really special.
Ravines Pinot Noir Rose’- $14.99

Believe it or not, my tasting group’s FAVORITE WINE of the entire lineup from NY was this stunning Chardonnay. I have NEVER had a Chardonnay like it, and I’ve tasted THOUSANDS of Chardonnays. He does something truly ground-breaking and profound with this Chardonnay that I find to be brilliant. He ages some of the grapes in new and older French Oak barrels, then takes a portion of grapes, and DRIES them on racks in the sun for 47 days to concentrate the sugars in them (raisin them), and THEN adds them back to the fermentation. (like a Recioto!)This makes for a wine of such ripeness and complexity that I would see tasting in most $60 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, like Ramey, and dare-I-say Kistler…..this is fantastic wine for an even better price.
Ravines Chardonnay $19.99