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Best Case Scenario


Just after posting the second part of my Finger Lakes Wine Visit last week, I opened up the Hosmer Dry Riesling 2004 that we brought back with us and was most impressed. I realize that my two lengthy features make me sound a little disappointed with the trip –the weather and crowds were a problem, and the last couple of vintages were certainly cruel to the red grapes – but having worked our way through most of the wines we returned home with, it’s clear that there were many good buys. Here is my Best Case Scenario from those wineries we visited. With eleven different grapes (including three hybrids) spread across five whites, a rosé, four reds and two dessert wines, it’s evident that there’s something for just about everyone in the region.

Two of the better wineries from Lake Cayuga: Sheldrake Point and Hosmer both have a wide range of fine wine.

Lucas 2004 Seyval Blanc: lemony, crisp, simple and pure picnic style cross between Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
Hosmer 2004 Riesling: orange, tangerine, apple and pear, dry and complex.
Atwater 2003 Gewürztraminer: ample fruit, usual lychee flavors, spicy oiliness on back palate yet reasonable degree of restraint.
Thirsty Owl 2004 Chardonnay: buttery apple leading to crisp Granny Smith finish.
Atwater 2004 Semi-Dry Riesling: pronounced lime and apricot and peach, good acidity, and a lightly honey-sugared finish
Atwater 2004 Dry Rosé: astonishing blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvigon, with enough spice to rival a Tavel, and a full-bodied palate screaming of summer fruits.
Sheldrake Point 2002 Cabernet Franc: raspberry and cedar, well balanced with long, lean, lightly peppery finish.
Hosmer 2004 Pinot Noir: big up-front black cherry nose, pleasant strawberry flavors and a solid earthy texture.
Standing Stone 2002 Estate Bottled Merlot: plummy, oaky, gingerbread notes.
Frontenac Point 2001 Chambourcin: plummy, spicy, gamey flavors, with a zesty Zin-ful lip-smacking chewiness.
Sheldrake Point 2004 Bunch Select Riesling: unctuous pineapple and apricot flavors, just the right touch of botyritis.
Standing Stone 2004 Vidal Ice: full of sweet apricot and honey textures, the ideal finale to any dinner.

Grown in the right environment, hybrid wines can offer great value for money. The Lucas Seyval Blanc and Frontenac Point Chambourcin are both exceptional.

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