Hello and welcome to my weekly dig through the pile of wine samples that show up asking to be tasted. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.
This week’s edition is a little unusual as I’m using it as an opportunity to share with you a bunch of wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York. I recently made a trip to Seneca Lake (the largest of the 11 Finger Lakes and the one with the most wineries and vineyards). I wrote up the top wines from that visit as part of my monthly column for Jancis Robinson this week, but there were a bunch of excellent wines that didn’t make it into my final article that I want to make sure to share with you. So I’m doing a little Finger Lakes takeover of Unboxed.
Let’s start with some wines from Anthony Road Winery. Self-taught winemaker Peter Becraft grew up in Virginia and studied art in New York, thinking he was going to be a sculptor. But then he ended up with a girlfriend who worked in fine dining, and he caught the wine bug. He talked his way into working in a wine shop in Tribeca on the weekends, and he and his girlfriend began to dream about moving to the country, specifically the Finger Lakes. On one of their scouting trips, they stopped by Anthony Road winery for a taste, and by the end of that visit, Becraft had talked his way into working the next harvest.
And that, as they say, was the first day of the rest of his life. After working that 2006 harvest as an intern. Becraft and his girlfriend moved to the region, and he got a full-time job at Anthony Road, working in both the vineyard and the cellar. Two years later he was assistant winemaker, and in 2014 he took over as winemaker.
Becraft produces a wide portfolio of wines all of which are made at a very high level of quality. His sparkling wines are quite tasty, as this Blanc de Noir that gets 4 years of lees aging demonstrates. The Anthony Road rosé of Cabernet Franc was one of the better pink wines I tried in the region, and both the skin-fermented pinot Gris and Lemberger (aka Blaufränkisch) were quite tasty as well.
George Nosis, winemaker and owner of Atwater Estate Vineyards has a wonderfully eclectic and playful lineup of wines that includes one of the best renditions of the Vignoles grape that I’ve had. A cold-hardy hybrid grape with a slightly mysterious past, it has the ability to make aromatic wines with a range of sweetness. Nosis’ version has just a whisper of sweetness and a lovely floral quality along with excellent acidity. His Symvoli red blend is one of the best red wines I’ve had from the Finger Lakes.
Just up the road from Atwater, Lamoreaux Landing makes a number of excellent Rieslings, including their Red Oak Vineyard bottling, which has a lovely green apple brightness.
Fox Run Vineyards has been making wine on the shores of Seneca Lake since 1990. I’ve got their tasty Traminette (another cold-hardy hybrid grape) and their Dana Lake Riesling to recommend.
Finally, I have a number of wines from Boundary Breaks Wine, started and run by Bruce Murray and his wife Diana Lyttle. Bruce started his career working for newspapers in New York before joining a startup in the first Internet boom of the 1990s. He made a little money with that company sold, and started his own company, and made a little more money when that one sold. But he wasn’t loving how hard he was working and how little connection he had to the real world. But a combination of his first taste of Dönnhoff Riesling at the famous Lotus of Siam restaurant in Las Vegas and a fateful conversation with Finger Lakes vintner John Wagner planted the seed that would become Boundary Breaks.
In the early 2000s, Murray bought some property and spent 6 years planting vines, making his first vintage in 2011. Today Boundary Breaks makes about 10,000 cases of high-quality wine with an emphasis on…
Source : https://www.vinography.com/2023/10/vinography-unboxed-week-of-10-22-23