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A Sampling of the 2012 Class of Finger Lakes Rieslings


Every year the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance (“FLWA”) sponsors a virtual tasting on Twitter for members of the wine media (using the term very generously in my case) interested in trying some of the new vintage of Finger Lakes rieslings. As anyone who reads this blog with any frequency knows, I have long been an advocate of the Finger Lakes as an under appreciated wine region, particularly with regard to its rieslings. The five sample bottles that the FLWA was kind enough to send this year again showed the consistent quality available throughout the region. If you want to check out the tweets from the virtual tasting, you can search for the hashtag #FLXWineVT.

One noteworthy comment from the winemakers during the tasting is the trend toward drier rieslings, a trend driven at least in part by consumer preference. This trend was reflected in the tasting I participated in this year, with 4 of the 5 wines labeled as dry with only one semi-dry offering. As usual, the wines were of high quality, an excellent demonstration of the quality rieslings regularly produced by this region. If you have never tried a Finger Lakes riesling and you are looking for something new, one of these five wines would be a good place to start.

Three Brothers Wineries & Estates 2012 Stoney Lonesome Zero Degree Dry Riesling — Aromas of tart citrus, petroleum, and hints of honey. 0.15% residual sugar and 11% ACV. Very light, pale color. High acidity, with subtle flavors of limes, tart pineapple and orange. Hints of minerality. 86, $14.00 per bottle.

Dr. Frank 2012 Dry Riesling — Petrol on the nose, even at this young age. 0.65% residual sugar and 11.6 % ABV. Medium to high acidity, dry wine with flavors of orange peel, lemon, with floral notes and hints of white stones. Tart, but not overwhelmingly so. A bit on the powerful side, so pair wisely, it may overwhelm lighter cheeses/dishes. 89, $14.99 per bottle.

Thirsty Owl 2012 Riesling — Subtle aromas of peach and apricot with a light golden color. High acidity. 1.6% residual sugar and 11.3% ABV. Very fruit forward, which gives an impression of additional sweetness. Flavors of peaches, nectarines, apricots, and hints of pineapple/citrus. A completely different style from the last two, but very enjoyable. 89, Appx. $14.95 per bottle.

Hosmer 2012 Dry Riesling — Intriguing nose of petroleum and barnyard that should only get more interesting with age. 2.5% residual sugar and 11.8% ABV. Light pale color with an immediate hit of high acidity and flavors of lime and tart citrus. Almost a more intense version of the Three Brothers. 88, $15.00 per bottle.

McGregor 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling — Subtle aromas of lemon and petroleum. 3.0% residual sugar and 11% ABV. Semi-sweet, high-but-not-overpwoering acidity, and fruit-forward. To me, no particular fruit stands out, but that does not detract from the enjoyment. 87, $17.99 per bottle.

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