I attended the tasting of the double gold medalist in New York this Tuesday. I was there two years ago and like two years ago, not much came out of this tasting. This year brought the same conclusion; very average wine in general and only a few good picks.
Among the white, Hosmer Cayuga Blend had a good showing. It’s already recognized as one of the best Riesling in the Finger Lakes (New York) so no surprise here. The bottle they entered was Cayuga Lake 2004; a blend of white grapes on the property; Riesling, Pinot Gris, Seyval. The flavor concentration is medium but this bottle strikes a good balance between acidity and alcohol. A bargain at $8.
I will always remember this winery since I biked there to taste their wines and ended up on the side of the road repairing my flat tire for 30 minutes under a baking sun.
And for the Merlot addicts, there was Northstar Winery Merlot from Columbia Valley in Washington States. This state always had a good rep for their flavorful Merlot, rich with a restrained structure. The Washington Cabs are always showing high alcohol and rough tannins corrected with severe oak flavors.
The texture and the flavors are showing some good winemaking techniques. With fresh cocoa and coffee aromas, the texture was creamy and the tannins very ripe and soft.
Unfortunately, the winemaker knows it since he retails at $40 a bottle. Talking about the winemaker, his name is John Steel. He is the winemaker at Northstar but also run his own show at John Steele Wine. Definitely a name to look for. Did you ever have it?