The evening's lineup
The evening’s lineup from the Finger Lakes region

I t was #winechat time with the Finger Lakes folks. There is a group of wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York who have produced some great wines. They sent us some to samples to Tweet about during the usual #winechat session. There wasn’t a bad wine among them. We started off with 9 tasters and grew to 11.

The problem with sampling 5 wines is that there is a tendency to rank them. If we tried them each night we would like each of them for their different attributes. They group couldn’t decide a single wine that was best. They argued over the Swedish Hill and the Standing Stone (although more leaned toward the Swedish Hill). Before they could start fussing too much we just moved them onto the next wine.

Face it, no one wants to admit they like a sweet wine. The recommended tasting sequence was from driest to sweetest. Naturally they would like the driest.

Here’s the wines with our comments and some from the wineries:

Here are the wines presented (click to see more):

  1. Swedish Hill Dry Riesling 2012
  2. Standing Stone Old West Block Riesling 2012
  3. Red Newt Circle Riesling
  4. Wagner Riesling Select 2012
  5. Fulkerson Riesling Iced Wine


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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Swedish Hill Dry Riesling 2012
Dry and not sweet. But there is some fruit. Nice acid balance. Lemony citrus finish. Tasted great with the shrimp we were nibbling on. (We forgot to make the recommended sea bass). The overall vote of the 9 here is thumbs up.

Here’s what their website said. “The classic Riesling grape consistently makes outstanding wines in the cool climate of the Finger Lakes Region of New York. With elegant floral aromas and a clean crisp finish, this drier style of Riesling is versatile with many foods. Try it with shellfish appetizers, poultry or even Chinese dishes”
From: Finger Lakes, New York
Winery: Swedish Hill
Year: 2012

Standing Stone Old West Block Riesling 2012
What we said: Apricot burst at the start… that fades to a light mineral then fades back to apricot. The fruit is toward the beginning but disappears. Well balanced, doesn’t taste like a Riesling, one taster said, but nevertheless is excellent. Much longer finish than the first wine. Some palates said the minerality was too pronounced. Others said yes but was nice. Some said it was a tad metallic toward the end. I (Dan) think it was a bit flinty at the end. The tasting notes said “pear” we said maybe if it was a sour variety pear. Overall vote. Yes.

Here’s what their website says: Ripe, rich fruit favors with a nice acidic finish. Up front aromas of apricot and pear introduce this Riesling. Rich and opulent in the mouth, this wine offers flavors of white peach, with a hint of white pepper in the background. Enjoy the long, lingering finish, brightened by the refreshing acidity.
From: Finger Lakes, New York
Winery: Standing Stone
Year: 2012

Red Newt Circle Riesling
This one has notes of honeysuckle to some of us and to the true southerners tastes like honeysuckle. This is the third wine and the sweetest so far. Apricot on the start. Almost a Kool-aid rush. The tasting notes mention kiwi fruit. No one can taste kiwi fruit. There was a debate on whether or not this would go better with sweet or spicy food. We tried it with some spicy wings and it tasted great. Nice and balanced but doesn’t jump out with defining characteristics. That means it’s good, but as one taster commented…. I might regift this one. Several people said it’s the Riesling to turn to if you wanted a sweeter Riesling.

Here’s what their website said: Lovely peach fruit on the palate that is wonderfully refreshed by juicy acidity. An exuberant & delicious wine with a lively, fresh finish.
From: Finger Lakes, New York
Winery: Red Newt

Wagner Riesling Select 2012
Very nice with the hot wings. No mineral hints at all, which all of the previous wines had at least some. The tasting notes mentioned ripe pineapple and everyone said “ding ding ding” that’s what they were tasting. No citrus to mention. Honey is the taste that comes to mind. Not a dessert to some palates but it is a dessert to some.

Here’s what their website says: Our sweetest Riesling, lush & fruity with acidity to balance the sweetness. Tropical fruit aromas with citrus and pineapple flavors are accented by rich honey overtones. Delicious on its own, or a wonderful accompaniment to chicken, pork, & Asian dishes

From: Finger Lakes, New York
Winery: Wagner Winery
Year: 2012

Fulkerson Riesling Iced Wine
Nice golden honey color. One comment was “this is in place of dessert. I love it.” The aroma to some was like almond extract. The taste was like a white chocolate. (Dan said it reminds him of a Zero bar which was mainly white chocolate and almonds). Most definitely a dessert wine.

Here’s what their Website says: An estate grown wine. Aromas of dried apricots and honey with a nicely balanced and clean, smooth finish.

Winery: Fulkerson Winery


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