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Finger Lakes Rieslings...

Recently had the opportunity to taste a Konstantin Frank 2008 Rkatsiteli, lovely Georgian varietal similar to VV or Riesling, really delicious, crisp, and well-crafted, and a 2008 semi-dry, auslese-reminiscent Riesling. Easily as good as many MSR German Rieslings I've had. All from Chateau Frank, his Finger Lakes vineyard.

Anyone out there try these? Recommend other vineyards?

FR

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  1. Frank's are about the best...you might try Hermann Weimer's rieslings, too...I find them just a bit less flavorful but it's been a while since I last tried...

    1 Reply
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Loved Hermann Wiemer's rieslings! I find that any of the big producers that set roots in NY have good luck. Have any others done the same?

    2. I've been drinking Finger Lakes wines about as long as I've been able to drink -- well, maybe a teensy bit before I was legally able. :) We go there every year on a stock-the-cellar vacation. Someone once told me that if you go into a Finger Lakes winery and you get a lousy Riesling, turn around and leave, because they can't make wine. Many are doing great work with Late Harvest style now.

      Dr. Frank and Wiemer are two of the very best. We've also had good luck with these places for Rieslings:

      On Seneca Lake -- Standing Stone, Lamoreaux Landing, Red Newt, Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Atwater, Anthony Road.

      On Keuka Lake -- Ravines and Heron Hill.

      On Cayuga Lake -- Sheldrake Point.

      3 Replies
      1. re: barefootgirl

        Yum...I like what I'm hearing. Perhaps I'll take a trip up there and do a little tasting. Those all sound wonderful.

        1. re: barefootgirl

          Not so much for Heron Hill. I tried the reserve Riesling and it smelled like paint thinner. I told the person behind the counter that it was defective, and he grabbed a glass and tasted it himself. "Oh, no , sir, that's PETROL. Thats a varietal characteristic of Finger Lakes Riesling". He wasn't bs'ing me, he actually believed it.

          On Cayuga, try Cayuga Ridge and Hosmer. avoid Thirsty Owl.

          1. re: Dave_in_PA

            From what I know of Riesling -- he's correct. Petrol notes are very common in European and well make american rieslings. Cayuga Ridge is Ok... some of the best Riesling I've in NY was from Red Newt Winery. Of course there are the Dr. Frank, etc. to look at, but Red Newt surprised me.

        2. Years ago, my wife and I visited Vinifera Wine Cellars and had the good fortune of tasting wine with the renowned Dr. Frank himself, in an outdoor gazebo. That sold me on New York rieslings!

          I wish they were easier to find.

          1 Reply
          1. re: comestible

            All right, that is extremely cool. That must have been so neat!

            They're dastardly hard little buggers. Can barely find them in MA and CT. Had to have my dad bring a bunch of bottles back when he went on a tasting tour.

          2. Another vote for Dr. frank here. Also worth checking out is his NV riesling sparkler. Absolutely delicious and a crowd pleaser at $20! Great bubbly! -mJ

            4 Replies
                1. re: zammdogg

                  The Celebre is a very happy wine, and we served their Brut at our wedding along with Weimer's dry riesling.

                  We never met Dr. Frank but I interviewed his son Willy about 10 years ago. Charming guy and a wonderful evangelist; in fact, when he passed away a couple of years ago he was on a trip to publicize FLakes wines. Grandson Fred runs things now.

                  Dr. Frank and Hermann Weimer will ship, depending on your state's laws. But it really is worth the trip to go hang out in the Lakes for a couple of days. Go mid-week if you can, so you can talk to people and have a really good tasting experience. Weekends can get brutal with the "let's rent a limo and go get hammered" crowd.

                  1. re: barefootgirl

                    I'd like to 2nd just about everything barefootgirl says - she knows of what she speaks! Especially the bit about the limo crowd on weekends.

                    The only thing I don't like about the Dr. Frank operation is their endless BS about all the awards they have won (let the wines speak for themselves) and the use of "Champagne" on their otherwise excellent Chateau Frank wines.

              1. For riesling from the finger lakes, Chateau Frank is the best and the only one worth spending money for. Further, I would prefer any Chateau Frank wine over something from any other vineyard in that area. I live near Albany and save an occasional find Finger Lake vineyards are rare.

                1 Reply
                1. re: feelinpeckish

                  Chateau Frank is the sparkling wine division of Dr. Frank's operation. They make a sparkling riesling - is that what you are refering to? Otherwise, there are plenty of FL rieslings that are worth the $$.

                2. Chateau Lafayette Reneau Dry Riesling 2009 (Seneca Lake) -- the most enjoyable Riesling I can recall evey having. Beautiful!

                  1. Dr. Konstantin Frank is the best Finger Lakes producer. Others to consider:
                    Hermann J. Weimer
                    Treleaven
                    Red Newt

                    Standing Stone (Gewurztraminer)