I can’t believe that I have not really had any wines from New York state except the one time that I had some Great Western Extra Dry New York State Champagne. In terms of production New York is the third largest state in the production of wine and they started wine production in the Seventeenth Century. In fact, Cornell University of Ithaca, New York is famed for their Viticulture and Enology department and they are known for their creation of hybrid grapes like Chardonel, Traminette and Cayuga. Some friends of ours took a vacation and roamed around the Finger Lakes region of New York in pursuit of scenery, dining, shopping and wine. I mentioned that if they found any interesting wines to pick me up a couple of bottles.
The first bottle that I will discuss is the Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008. If you are used to having wines from the West Coast or from the Continent, the idea of Cabernet Sauvignon from the colder climates like New York, seem strange, but since I am from Michigan and have had wines of this nature from here, Ohio and Ontario, Canada, I know that it can be done quite successfully. This particular Finger Lakes wine is aged in oak for four years before it is bottled and I am sure that when I open it, it will show the winemakers craft. As I did some research because I am blissfully unaware of wine making in the State of New York, I discovered that the major grapes used there are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, but one can also find Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and an Easter European grape Rkatsiteli, not to mention the American hybrids Niagara, Cayuga and Vidal.
The other bottle that I will mention is Manitou 5 Grape Blend 2013 from Belhurst Estate Winery which pays homage to the five lakes of the region and the five tribes of the Iroquois Nation and of course five different grapes in this particular wine. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The fruit was harvested in 2008 and spent three years in oak and two years in the bottle, but it carries a vintage date of 2013. With all of the reference to the Finger Lakes, this wine actually carries a New York appellation, so I just ponder about the rules, but it is beyond my knowledge. All I know is that I look forward to trying these wines in the future and then I can say that I have had wines from seven states out of the fifty, and I guess I have to up my game.