Last Week's Tasting Notes (11.16.18)
All wines from Hermann J. Wiemer on Seneca Lake, NY:
"Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard stands on the western shores of Seneca Lake. The New York State winery – producing approximately 17,000 cases each year – was designed in 1982 by an award-winning team of Cornell architects. Enclosed within the shell of a 90-year-old scissor-trussed barn, the structure accommodates a full wine production area and tasting facility. Its unique white cathedral-like interior balances the bare wooden walls and sleek Italian stainless steel tanks.
Our winemaking processes pay homage to the ancient winemaking tradition and winemaking history of Hermann’s ancestry while incorporating the best of modern practices. We craft our wines in very small lots to focus on subtle differences between site blocks within vineyards and even clones within varieties. We utilize up to 25 different fermentation tanks within the winery to isolate vineyard sections and pickings dates to best showcase the varietal’s characteristics. Our small lot production allows for more control of the final product and is extremely labor intensive.
Our signature long fermentation on indigenous yeast is made possible by the ecologically balanced viticultural methods in our vineyards. We seek lower and balanced yields per vine, ensuring healthy vines that reflect the character of the soils in which they are deeply rooted."
"Our signature Riesling is vibrant and aromatic, featuring the distinctive minerality that has become our trademark. Fragrant essence of spring blossoms sets the stage for a succulent palate of early fruit, balanced with a refreshing crispness, revealing the true qualities of the Riesling grape. A brilliant texture carries into a lingering finish, in a wine that accommodates a wide range of food.
Food Pairing: Asian cuisine, Poultry, Shellfish"
"This wine draws from a 1967 plot in our Josef Vineyard, one of the oldest plantings of vinifera in the region, which produces grapes with exceptional depth and maturity. Much like Riesling, Gewürztraminer is a strain that is ideally placed in the cool climate of the Finger Lakes. Vivid, flowery aromas, accompanied by hints of fruit and spice showcase the distinctive characteristics of the varietal. Limited skin contact during fermentation fully accentuates these traits while producing a lean and focused style. A vigorous play of fruit and spice leads into a long, zesty finish, a perfect accompaniment to earthy or spicy food.
Food Pairing: Asian Cuisine, Pork, Aromatic Cheeses"
"Chardonnay is a cornerstone varietal at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. Hermann first planted these vines in 1978 and produced an estate Chardonnay every year from 1981 onward. Those vines are still in production in our HJW Vineyard, providing mineral and acid backbone.
Aged in stainless steel and barrel, the result is a lean wine with a broad mid-palate and clean finish."
Standing Stone Dry Riesling ($13.99)
Finger Lakes, New York
From the producer:
"Standing Stone Vineyards is integral to the heritage and future of the Finger Lakes region. Located on the Eastern slopes of Seneca Lake, the site is not only visually stunning but also ideal vineyard land. Factors such as proximity to the lake, slope, and soil type are vital components that contribute to moderating lake effects and ripening, and contribute to the distinct nature of our wines.
In order to achieve the purest expression of place, we implement low intervention practices, both in the cellar and in our farming methods. We have increased biodiversity and ecosystem health and eliminated synthetic inputs. It is an exciting time to delve into what this farm has to offer and we invite you to taste the wines, and explore with us.
Our Dry Riesling is sourced from one of the oldest Riesling vineyards on Seneca Lake, planted in 1972. The combination of vine age and the site’s location contribute to a concentrated and ripe presentation. The palate is agile and crisp with round fruit flavors and a textured mouthfeel.
Vinification Techniques: Indigenous yeast fermentation lasting three months, blend of two Riesling blocks but heavily weighted toward the older West block, no fining or filtering agents."
Standing Stone has been a solid Finger Lakes producer for years, but upon the retirement of the original owners, Hermann J. Wiemer bought the brand and the vineyards. Wiemer is an exceptional label, so I am thrilled that they are putting their name behind Standing Stone. This Riesling comes from older vines, and you can really sense that in the body and in the ripeness of the fruit. It starts fruit-forward, drinks elegantly over the mid-palate, and has a dry finish. Even if you think you don't like Riesling, do give this a try.