Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finger Lakes Report: Miles Wine Cellars

Miles Wine CellarsImage by mava via Flickr
FINGER LAKES REPORT -- Continuing the winery reports from our October tasting trip. The story of our visit to Miles Wine Cellars on Seneca Lake can now be told. Starting in October I've been relating our travels and tasting experiences from the Finger Lakes. With more than 20 wineries visited, it's taken a while.

But there's a reason I couldn't write about the visit to Miles until now. When we visited the Finger Lakes in 2008, my wife decided that we needed to visit because it had a wine called Ghost which had just won an award for its label design. She thought this would be a great gift.

Well, during that trip time got away from us and in order to make meet our friends in time for lunch, we never made it to Miles. This time we made the stop and bought the special Ghost wine. However, I couldn't write about it until now. Our neighbors read the blog and we wanted to keep the special gift we purchased a secret in order not to ruin the surprise.

Miles Wine Cellars is one of the most unique wineries in the Finger Lakes. Miles Wine Cellars is located in a Greek revival mansion overlooking Seneca Lake at a location that was once the site of a ferry crossing. The large pillars gracing the front of the building make any visit a grand entrance.

We started our tasting with the 2006 Chardonnay, which is very low oak with flavors of ripe apple. This is a pleasant sipper. Our next glass was of Ghost.

Ghost is a step up on the sweetness scale (1.7% residual sugar). It is fruity and light and is a Chardonnay/Cayuga blend. Ghost is a special tribute to the spirits said to inhabit the old mansion. On the front of the bottle is an image of a ghost-like silhouette of a woman. Through her skirts and the wine in the bottle, one can see a line drawing of the house, which appears on the back of the wine bottle. On the front porch of the building you can see small figures of a man and woman embracing.

Clairvoyants who have visited the house to taste wine have told owner Doug Miles that the building has spirits. For years the Miles family has experienced strange sounds, mists and forms. The bottle includes the invitation to "taste the spirits within."

The wine is flavorful and also makes a great gift.

Also sampled during our visit was the 2006 Cabernet Franc. This deep red wine is barrel aged in Hungarian oak and offers flavors of mocha and smoke. This was my favorite of the visit. A bottle goes for $19.95.

We closed our tasting at the ghostly mansion with a sample of Call Me a Cab. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir blend. This is a sweeter wine said to complement spicy foods and can be served chilled.

The grounds at Miles Wine Cellars are spectacular and are certainly worth the drive. The winery is at the site of an old ferry landing and offers a spectacular view of Seneca Lake. There is also a dock for those who wish to boat to the mansion.

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