Finger Lakes Thanksgiving Wine Battle
A while ago I said that the problem with New York wines is that far too many of them just aren’t that good. And it was suggested that I should really drink more of them. Well, I took that one step further.
I brought some of the most appropriate specimens down to Connecticut for one of the most important dining events of the year, Thanksgiving.
This bout was scheduled for two rounds.
In the first round, I would pit two Finger Lakes dry Rieslings against each other. One from a winery the family had previously enjoyed (Hermann J. Wiemer, 2008) and another well-regarded bottle of a different vintage (Dr. Konstantin Frank, 2009).
How did they do?
In a word, great.
The family was pleasantly surprised to be enjoying wine from New York. So my mission was accomplished: Spreading the gospel that there is good wine made in the state.
I had a bit of a surprise too.
Turns out of the two Rieslings, I preferred Dr. Frank’s. This was surprising because I loved the Wiemer dry Riesling the last time I had it. That wine was just so crisp and bright and alive it made me tingle. This time it wasn’t.
This time it was Dr. Frank’s wine that really brought the acid and the fruit, and it was the wine that won me over.
But it occurred to me that this could have much to do with the vintage than anything else. And by that I am not suggesting that 2009 was a better year than 2008. Rather, that if it is crispness and acidity that one prizes in a wine, it is likely best to find the youngest bottle of the stuff, regardless of producer.
Considering the Standing Stone gewürztraminer had to go against one of my favorite wines, it did admirably well. I loved its spicy nose, which was perfumed but not overwhelmed with flowers. On the palate it offered a leaner style, with less fruit and more minerality than the Navarro. Some liked this more, and other liked it less. But I was very pleased to be able to say that this wine came from my state, and I can’t wait to eventually make it out to the vineyards where it is grown.
There will be more New York wines in my near future. I may have over bought a bit for Thanksgiving. The two that are waiting for me at home are both from Dr. Konstantin Frank, and given the wineries performance in the Riesling battle, I have great expectations.
I’ll just make sure to drink them sooner rather than later.