In the May 2006 issue of Wine Spectator Mitch Frank penned “New York Rising”, a story identifying New York as “America’s next great wine region” adding that “New York was once known for industrial bulk wine production, but passionate vintners, most working from small wineries, have dramatically improved the quality of the state's wines.
This wine marks the first time that winemaker Vinny Aliperti has decided to arrest fermentation instead of back-sweetening, and the results are outstanding. By picking slightly earlier than his colleagues, he allowed the grapes to maintain a crackling natural acidity.
In some ways, New York’s wine regions are ideal for making sparkling wine. The generally cool weather—combined with lake effect in the Finger Lakes and ocean breezes in Long Island—allows grapes to ripen slowly with gorgeous aromatics and natural acidity.
This wine was a favorite; it’s a joy to drink. Lemon yogurt on the nose, and the flavor followed through: a flute of this wine is like a scoop of puckering lemon sorbet and a slice of cheesecake all in one. It’s focused and fresh, with lively small bubbles and prominent tartness. There’s a hint of rich pear and a delicate wisp of toasty vanilla—this wine spent three years en tirage. Pair it with a lobster roll or fragrant shrimp pad thai.
With Golden Delicious apples and honey on the nose, this blend of 54% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay is food-friendly but not extremely complex. The flavor is a little musky, with notes of apples, radicchio, a squeeze of lemon, and a delicate nuttiness. The bubbles are a bit bigger than others sampled, making this wine a bit less elegant than other options at this price.
This blend of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 5% Pinot Meunier is the kind of wine you want to bathe in, with a rich scent of baked cinnamon apples and brioche. It’s fragrant and a little decadent, soft and cleanly integrated, with delicate acidity that supports but doesn’t stick out. Caramelized challah french toast as well as a whisper of pineapple and honey. Pair it with shrimp dumplings or salmon sushi. Lovely and rounded in the mouth.
Though there’s a hint of strawberry-vanilla saltwater taffy on the nose, this is a seriously dry wine, with loads of minerals, Earl Grey tea and thyme, as well as a hint of Clementine (pith included). This wine is crystalline and restrained, with delicate raspberry notes and the tiniest bubbles.
Whether Montalcino red or Finger Lakes white, consumers should remember that an appellation can't perfectly predict a bottle's personality. Still, some producers have discovered something unique and consistent about a site - the site's terroir - worthy of producing single-vineyard wines.