Friday, January 25, 2008

Bacchus' I LOVE NEW YORK Wine Tasting

The event was much cheaper than usual, and the place was crowded, mostly with women, who came in pairs and triplets. Most people dressed comfortably, and so the atmosphere was more casual than ever.

The wines for tasting are from either Finger Lakes or North Fork, Long Island. The vineyards on Long Island have the benefit of ocean breezes, the advantage apparently enjoyed by many famous European vineyards. Of the pinot gris, chardonnay and riesling on offer, I like Hunt Country Semi-dry Riesling best. It is sweet and big. The owner of Hunt Country is a six generation wine-maker. The reds include merlot, pinot noir, and cabernet franc, grapes that can do with a shorter period on the stalk.

We tried an unusual grape, Dr. Konstantine Frank's Rkatsiteli, which we really liked. The description from the winery's website:

The grapes were picked mid-October after a long cool ripening season. The grapes were crushed, pressed and the juice was cold settled. The juice fermented in stainless steel and the fermentation was stopped after four weeks with a small amount of natural sugar remaining. The wine was racked, filtered, cold stabilized and adjusted for bottling.

The Rkatsiteli shows its characteristic fruity complexity resulting from early bottling. Along with the intense fruit are the typical spicy notes as well as pineapple and mango notes. The wine is presented in a dry version with the crisp acidity, the residual sugar and the tremendous fruit providing a very pleasant balance. The Rkatsiteli remains one of Dr. Frank’s greatest achievements in the Finger Lakes.

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