Wine Press FINAL 10-14-10

December 22, 2012


             More scores, awards, and rave reviews for New York wines to end a great year.  And...12-21-12 is now behind us, the world didn't end, the snow has finally arrived, the days are getting longer, and the first of the 2012 vintage wines will be released early next year--so break out the bubbly!



             Jim Trezise

Great Scores and  Rave Reviews


           Bloomer Creek 2010 Block 97 Chardonnay scored 90 in the Wine Enthusiast Special 2012 Best of the Year Issue, while Wine Spectator recognized three New York wines with 90-point scores: Ravines 2009 Dry Riesling, Argetsinger Vineyard; Silver Thread 2011 Riesling, Doyle East Seneca Vineyard; and Sliver Thread 2011 Riesling, Randolph O'Neill Vineyard.  

           An ever-increasing number of wineries are producing "vineyard designated" wines, which especially makes sense with Riesling since that grape most dramatically reflects "terroir"--the combination of climate, soil, topography and other factors which make each vineyard unique.  Fox Run Vineyards, located on the west side of Seneca Lake, is even going a step further with its new "Geology Series" of wines inspired by ancient history.  The Fox Run Riesling Geology Series highlights the geological terroir of its Seneca Lake vineyards, providing a 21st century link to a landscape created thousands of years ago by Ice Age glaciers.  So far, two vineyard blocks--Lake Dana Vineyard Block 11, and Hanging Delta Vineyard Block 7--have been identified based on the distinctive fruit they each yield.  It's a fascinating project, and more information is available at

           Hugh Johnson, one of the world's foremost wine writers and authors, had some nice things to say (write) recently about Long Island (specifically Sparkling Pointe and Paumanok sparkling wines) and the Finger Lakes (particularly Riesling, specifically Ravines).  Separately, New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov and his tasting panel selected Sparkling Pointe 2011 Blanc de Blancs, Martha Clara Brut (also from Long Island) and Lamoreaux Landing 2006 Blanc de Blancs Reserve among the top 10 sparkling wines recommended for the holidays. 

           The World of Fine Wine, one of the world's most striking and authoritive wine magazines, recently published a long and well-illustrated article on "Finger Lakes: A New-Found Source of Great Intrigue".  The article covers modern viticultural history since the "vinifera revolution" spawned by Dr. Konstantin Frank and Charles Fournier, with information about the region's unique geography and trends in wine-making.  It's a very significant piece in a very serious magazine.

            Century Pittsford Wines in Pittsford Plaza not only carries an excellent selection of New York wines, but their stunning holiday catalogue starts with "New York" as its first entry, featuring wines from several different Finger Lakes wineries.  It is so great to see New York upfront, when in many stores or restaurant wine lists New York wines are an afterthought at best.  Example: A prominent hotel and restaurant in Albany, our state's capitol, told me that they do "feature" New York wines and then showed me a selection of a few totally hidden on the very last page of an extensive wine list.  Thanks to Century Pittsford and those other fine wine shops around the state which are smart enough to recognize the quality and value of New York wines, and the benefits of truly featuring them.            


 Viticulture 2013--Not to be Missed


             Darrel Aubertine, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, will be the keynote speaker at our Unity Banquet on Wednesday, February 6 in Rochester.  Capping the first day of Viticulture 2013's great seminars, the Unity Banquet celebrates the people and organizations which in various ways have made major contributions to the grape and wine industry's advancement.  Commissioner Aubertine has long been a strong proponent of our industry, including as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee prior to his appointment as Commissioner by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

              Chairman Dennis Rosen, Special Counsel Thomas Donohue, and Licensing Director Kerri O'Brien of the New York State Liquor Authority will also be on hand for a special two-hour session clarifying the laws and regulations governing the New York wine industry--and EVERY winery should attend.  The SLA is truly a new organization: This week I received a question from a winery in an email, erased their winery information and forwarded the question to Tom Donohue, who responded in 13 minutes.  Then I was able to pass this information on to all wineries in the state to clarify an important point.  In April, Tom Donohue gave a great presentation in the Finger Lakes which clarified so many things, and the Viticulture 2013 session will be even better.  It is not to be missed.

              We also have a whole series of great seminars on key topics in viticulture and enology, with some of the world's foremost experts including those from our partner Cornell.  Speaking of which, we want to congratulate Dr. Gavin Sacks and Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel on recently receiving tenure and being promoted to associate professors.  Well deserved!

               Viticulture 2013 is only 45 days away, so don't delay--register today.  The entire program, registration form, and everything else is available at, and the early bird deadline for reduced rates is January 15.

                Meanwhile, this holiday season stock up on New York wines and grape juice to enjoy with family and friends.


Musings on the Bubbly


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne."

                                                            -- John Maynard Keynes


"In victory, you deserve champagne; in defeat, you need it."

                                                            -- Kevin Zraly


"Gentlemen, in the little moment that remains to us between the crisis and the catastrophe, we may as well drink a glass of champagne."

                                                             --Paul Claudel


"Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.  It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully."

                                                              -- Graham Greene


"Champagne is the only thing that gives me zest when I'm tired."

                                                               --Bridgette Bardot


                               "Happy New Year!"

                                                                                            --Jim Trezise


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