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What's Open Owen? - April '22 Edition

I write extensively about Old World wines, so I thought it would be exciting to switch it up and talk about a New World wine region that is certainly up and coming. I might go as far as to say that this particular one has already arrived.

It is quite American, isn't it, to pioneer new winemaking regions? A real entrepreneurial spirit exists in our culture with an emphasis on trial and error. This is not to say it would never happen in the Old World, but typically not as aggressively as here in the U.S. We have tried, failed, and succeeded in experimentation with wine all over the country in terms of both viticulture and viniculture.

Some examples of newer exciting U.S. wine regions include Willamette Valley, Washington State, Virginia, New Mexico, and New York State. Yes, you read that right.

In fact, every state in the United States produces wine at some level. I did not say at a quality, world-renowned level, but they are emerging in their own way. California makes up about 84% of winemaking in the United States, so they really take the cake in terms of production. But, have you ever tried domestic wines from outside California?

The one I am highlighting this month is the Finger Lakes wine region in upstate New York. It is such an exciting region that is indeed starting to get some worldwide praise. So what makes this region perfect for making wine? Well, in terms of terroir, it is eerily similar to the Mosel region in Germany. They have some harsh winters which are not great for agriculture, however, lakes and other bodies of water can act as climate regulators either heating up or cooling the area off.

This has made Finger Lakes an exceptional environment for varietals such as Riesling, Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch, Chardonnay, Ice Wine, and Cabernet Franc.

Here is what's open this month:

2018 Glenora "Black Diamond Express" Red Blend.

I received this wine as a gift from a tasting group that I am a part of. They knew full well about my affinity with Finger Lakes, and I was very excited to try it.

This wine is a dry red blend made from four grape varietals. It has Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Noiret (I had to look this one up). Noiret is a blending grape used specifically in New York, and it was developed and identified by Cornell researchers.

I wanted to show off a lesser-known wine from the region; something truly unique and interesting.

This wine is bone dry with a big flavor profile. It has notes of sweet jam, blueberry, freshly cracked pepper, earth, and baking spices. It has a silky smooth tannin structure after decanting for approximately thirty minutes with a medium finish.

I will be completely honest, it was not the best red blend I have ever had in my life. However, we have to keep this in the context of the region. For a red blend from New York (a more up-and-coming region), I was very pleasantly surprised. I think you will be too.

Have any questions or comments? Don't be afraid to reach out and let me know what you have open this month!


Owen Huzar

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