Monday, October 11, 2010

Ravines Wine Cellars: Tastes Like Success

Regional Wines from Ravines Wine
Cellars were featured during the recent TWAV tasting.
Bookmark and Share    We love regional wine and we're helping to celebrate Regional Wine Week with this report on some of our favorites. The week-long celebration is sponsored by Drink Local Wines.

 Ravines Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York is a small boutique winery whose quality has captured the imagination and the palates of the Toledo Wines and Vines tasting team. Owner Morten Hallgren was educated on his family's Centuries-old vineyard in the South of France and degreed at Europe's premier winemaking school. He marries Old World winemaking techniques with American innovation to craft small batches of dry, elegant and balanced wines from 100% Finger Lakes grapes.

When Wine Chick and Sax Man made their most recent visit to the Finger Lakes, they too had a great tasting experience and joined the Ravines wine club. They recently received their fist shipment and were kind enough to share the bounty during a special Ravines tasting at their home.

The first bottle was the 2006 Dry Riesling, a single vineyard selection from the Argetsinger Vineyard, one of the oldest and most beautiful in the Finger Lakes region. It is on a steep limestone hill which helps give the wine its minerally quality. This wine had a delightful crispness and flinty taste. This is what quality dry Riesling is all about!

To round out the Ravines bottles, we had a couple of other wines. The first was a 2007 Tangent Ecclestone. Ecclestone is a rockin' white California blend with Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Albariño, Viognier, and Riesling. This was tangy and mineraly with a nice balance. Ace of Bass considered the wine to be "unexpected."

Returning to the Ravines portfolio, the next wine was the 2008 Pinot Dry Rose. Green Dragon is a little hesitant about rose since I brought one home and she thought it was objectionable. (I thought it was fine, which is good because I had the whole bottle to myself.) But there is a whole world out there of light, dry rose. The Ravines falls into this category.  It is pleasant to drink and is a good choice when you want something different but not a heavy red.

The Ravines 2008 Pinot Noir was up next. This is what quality winemaking is all about. This has a deep violet color and a wonderful balance. It is lithe enough so that the subtleness isn't concealled behind dense oak and tannins. This was perhaps the tastiest bottle of the evening.

I'm a fan of Ravines' Cabernet Franc and was looking forward to the 2007 Cab Franc. Glorious T is our in-house expert on Cabernet Franc -- she has the ability to discern between at least four different types of pepper tastes. Cab Franc -- at least to me -- is most noticeably different from Cabernet Sauvignon due to the dash of pepper in its flavor. This is an elegant, hearty wine that has a round mouthfeel and tastes of black berries. If you want a quality Cab Franc, bypass California and go directly to the Finger Lakes -- and Ravines would be a good place to start.

Corks were popping and appetizers blazing as the party moved out to the newly expanded and refurbished deck outside. To round out the evening I grabbed a bottle of 2007 Prejean Marechal Foch. We had learned that the next day was the birthday of the French WWI war hero. Although we were a bit hazy on his accomplishments, we all agreed that this Finger Lakes wine was a winner with a great finish and fruit balanced by light tannins.

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