Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finger Lakes: McGregor Vineyard

2009_1004fingerlks20018 FINGER LAKES REPORT – Our travels on the second day continued with a drive up a steep road to McGregor Vineyard. The winery building itself is just a few feet away from the vines. The operation is overseen by Max the wine dog. Glorious T and Spiderman are great dog lovers and were missing their own dog Scarlet, so they were glad to be greeted by Max.

The McGregor tasting room doubles as their restaurant, so this was the only sit-down tasting we had on our trip. It was good we were sitting down, because the tasting was a slow paced one. However, Max helped the time pass quickly by gladly sitting in the laps of each of our group.2009_1004fingerlks20019

The vineyard was established in 1971 and the winery opened in 1980. It was our first visit to the winery but probably will not be our last. The winery has a very distinctive down home feel. The tasting fee was $5, the highest we encountered on our trip, but it did include a snack plate of cheese and some great pesto dip.

The first wine was an unoaked 2007 Chardonnay. This was medium bodied with an apple and pear taste. It was rated “nice” by our group.

The tasting started to get very interesting with the 2007 Dry Riesling. This was very pale straw color with notes of grapefruit and lime. The showstopper (at least thus far) was when our server brought out the 2008 Dry Riesling for comparison. This vintage had a bit of spritz that created an entirely new and pleasing effect. It wouldn’t have been a bad day to spend just sipping this wine and enjoying the great McGregor scenery.

Next up was the 2007 Traminette. Traminette is very reminiscent of Gewürztraminer. This did not disappoint and it was especially good for McGregor’s first Traminette. Nice and dry with a spicy aroma.

Another unique wine was next up: Rkatsiteli-Sereksiya. We have enjoyed several glasses of Dr. Frank’s R-Kat over the years, but this was the first blend of this variety. Dr. Frank and McGregor are the only two R-Kat producers in the Finger Lakes. McGregor is the only producer of Sereksiya. It is considered a “mash-up” of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer as far as taste goes. It was enjoyable, but not sensational. It retails for $24.99.

We next moved on the the reds and found two succulent, tasty wines. First was the 2006 Rob Roy, a Bordeaux style blend of Cab Franc (50%), Merlot (42%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (8%). The wine is aged in French oak for more than a year and the resulting wine is soft on the tongue with flavors of raspberry and black cherry. This is a standout and is priced at $39.99.

The crowning moment of our visit (well, maybe second to Max) was the 2006 Black Russian Red, a blend of Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni unique to McGregor. It is a deep, dark purple in color with bold aromas of plum, cranberry, blackberry and oak. I told Green Dragon I tasted elderberry as well. Glorious T ranked it as “so flavorful.” This was the winery winner and it is priced accordingly at $49.99.

The Rob Roy and Black Russian Red are available in large format bottles: a magnum (equates to two bottles) or the Jeroboam (equates to four). We discussed splitting a large bottle but ended up getting the pesto dip and headed out the door. There were more wineries to visit….
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Anonymous said...

Max certainly added to the entertainment value at McGregor's - I don't think his little feet touched the floor that day. We also enjoyed the nice snacks and tasty wines accompanied by lively, friendly service! -GT

Anonymous said...

Who was your server at this winery?

Dave Nershi, CSW said...

Our server was a very pleasant young lady. Didn't make a note of her name.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to taste the 2007 Black Russian at some point--it's stunning. I sampled it at a barrel tasting around six months ago and just picked up my futures order this past week. The wine hasn't been released publicly yet, but once you taste it, you won't be disappointed. I've sampled several vintages of it, and to my taste, the 2007 stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Dave Nershi, CSW said...

A barrel tasting of Black Russian sounds outstanding. If 2007 is better than the 2006, it's got to be awesome. Thanks for commenting.