Archive for September, 2008

Finger Lakes Reds Rated Good to Very Good in October Wine Enthusiast

So when you think about the wines of the Finger Lakes, do you automatically think of Riesling? Of course, the region is most famous for its white wines, and now the producers here are receiving increasing acclaim for their red varietals as well.

The October issue of Wine Enthusiast includes reviews of fifteen wines of the Finger Lakes, thirteen of which are Finger Lakes reds, in the monthly section “The Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide” . The wines that were reviewed include:

87 Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2005 Owner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

87 Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Dry Rose

87 Red Newt Cellars 2005 Cabernet Franc

86 Damiani 2006 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon

86 Sheldrake Point 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

86 Swedish Hill 2005 Optimus

85 Goose Watch 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

85 Keuka Springs 2005 Epic Reserve

85 Treleaven 2006 EIS Lake Harvest Riesling

84 Anthony Road 2006 Cabernet Franc / Lemberger

84 Atwater 2005 Red Table Wine

84 Bellangelo 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

84 Billsboro 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

84 McGregor 2005 Black Russian Red

84 Shaw NV Keuka Hill Reserve Red Table Wine

The review of Chateau Lafayette Reneau stands out for the winery’s distinction as having a reputation for elegant wine and could be one to look to for more quality reds in the future. Overall, this is real progress for the region, on its way to establishing a solid presence within the top consumer wine publications that are so often looked to for a stamp of approval, both by wine consumers, distributors and those in the direct-to-trade circuit.

Several wines from Long Island were also included and rated at 86. Bully Hill NV Ravat 51 received a rating of 84 and designation as a Wine Enthusiast Best Buy.


Cheers! From Melissa’s Desk

Happy Friday!  A few news notes for you.

Week of 9/1/08:

  • The International Riesling Foundation has announced the creation of a program to help consumers in their selection of Rieslings by taste profile.  There are four very simple graphic options listed on the back label, point-of sale materials and other promotional items to provide a guide for consumers.  The graphics indicate where on a scale the taste profile of the bottle of Riesling falls, from Dry to Sweet.  With demand for Riesling growing steadily, producers have found that one of the roadblocks toward an even greater demand for the white wine varietal is that many consumers believe that Rieslings are all sweet in taste.  There has been some skepticism of the effort from what I’ve heard, but I think there is value in the scale for those who are new to Riesling or marginal drinkers (those who drink wine once or twice a month at most) who may be looking for additional guidance.
  • If you share in the frustration over navigating compliance issues, here’s a link to a vendor solution that you may find helpful.
  • REthink Compliance a free compliance solution powered by Inertia Beverage Group.  I received a walk through of this platform by Inertia’s Matthew Mann and found it to be intuitive and straight-forward.  There is some set up of SKUs initially that will take some time to input, but REthink Compliance simplifies the compliance reporting process and will analyze each order for compliance with every states laws, simplifying and streamlining the process.  To schedule your walk through, contact Matt Mann at and for more compliance tips and information, go to Inertia Beverage Group’s REthink blog at
  • Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s YouTube channel has just posted a new video featuring fun, playful interviews with winemakers from Hazlitt Vineyards 1852, Anthony Road and Seneca Shore wineries. 

That will do it , have a great weekend until next week!

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Wines of New York Being “Locapoured” at Union Square Greenmarket

Over the weekend, I was happy to discover the recent addition of the New York Winestand on Fridays at
The Union Square Greenmarket. As posted in NY Magazine’s food blog “Grub Street,” the event showcases
the wines of Long Island, The Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley paired with Greenmarket dishes from Manhattan restaurants such as Back Forty and Republic.

As a former frequenter of the Union Square Market on Saturdays, I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the wines of the Finger Lakes and throughout New York to get in front of the foodies/winelovers of Manhattan who are already interested in the locavore movement, so “locapouring” seems to be the next logical step…and a boost for creating a trend toward drinking local wines. I’ll be keeping a close eye on New York Winestand, and applaud this effort to continue to highlight our local New York wines. If you find yourself in the area on a Friday afternoon, be sure to stop by.

For more information on the Greenmarket:

Contact Information

Michael Hurwitz

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