Category Archives: WINE

Our passion. Our story.

Red Newt Cellars is a top producer of life-changing Finger Lakes Riesling.  Founded in 1998, Red Newt wines have garnered national and international acclaim for decades.

Founding winemaker David Whiting and winemaker Kelby Russell share their perspectives…

I’ve been making wines in the Finger Lakes since the 80’s. Back then, we worked really hard. We helped each other out, we collaborated, we pulled each other up by our bootstraps to make the best wine that we could.

When I think of what makes Riesling producers special, it’s that. Maybe it’s because we feel like we’re underdogs whereas Riesling, whether its Germany, whether its the Finger Lakes, people who make Riesling love the grape and love wherever it comes from and don’t really prejudge what’s the best and what’s the worst.

Red Newt’s been around for about 18 years. We started very small and made the best wines that we possibly could. And our focus now is primarily on Riesling… 75% of what we produce is Riesling.

I love Riesling. And I love it for more than just what is in the glass. I love it because to me it represents a place. Each vineyard has its own personality. Each vineyard has its own soul. And when I can taste the wine and make the connection between that place, it’s truly magical.

Tango oaks is a really remarkable vineyard site for us. The soil type is driven by stones… more grave, more stones than we would expect to see anywhere else in the Finger Lakes.

From a winemaking standpoint it is rewarding to work with.

I think of Lahoma and I think a site that, even though it is due across the lake from us,

I think of as our home site. It kind of exemplifies why you need to be so patient in the vineyard and pay attention to the vineyard. Every year the nuances of the vineyards we work with totally changes.

And we have an idea from being out in the vineyard a lot of what to expect, but the joy of winemaking is the surprise.

I think of Red Newt as one of the great Riesling estates in the world. And I think we’re on that stage: One, because we want to be, because we value that sort of achievement of excellence. And two, because we really actively compare ourselves and talk to the other producers that we look up to around the world.

Our commitment is unwavering. The Finger Lakes has a story around Riesling that is yet to written, and this is a story for us to write.

2012 Gewürztraminer Curry Creek Vineyard 86

Like the Pinot Gris from the same vineyard and vintage, this is a seriously ripe wine that is a bit lacking in terms of finesse and energy. Though more successful than the Pinot Gris, it is still too rich for my tastes. The nose is intensely floral, with tropical fruit accents. The palate is soft and broad, with low acidity and 17 grams of residual sugar. A phenolic edge on the finish adds interest. 17 grams per liter residual sugar.
— Kelli White  86   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit

2013 Riesling The Knoll Lahoma Vineyard 89

Red Newt’s 2013 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling presents a nose of pink grapefruit, a tinge of petrol, and a flinty, reductive note. The palate is fairly creamy, with a glycerin type quality that winemaker Kelby Russell claims comes from prolonged lees exposure. The lowish acidity only emphasizes the textural breadth, and the finish is of medium length. 9 grams per liter residual sugar.
— Kelli White  89   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit

2013 Riesling Lahoma Vineyard 89

The 2013 Lahoma Riesling offers a low-toned nose of ripe stone fruits, flint, worn leather, and a kiss of vanilla. The palate is a bit more lively, with a soft, fleshy core and a subtle sweetness that coats the cheeks and tongue. Though the acidity is lower than average, it still helps frame the wine, and becomes a bit more pronounced in the finish. 39 grams per liter residual sugar.
— Kelli White  89   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit

2013 Dry Riesling 88

Pale gold/green in hue. This extremely aromatic wine offers a punchy, tropical nose of apricot, star fruit, kiwi, and lime, in addition to a compelling smoky note that snakes through the fruit. Given the exuberance of the nose, the palate is surprisingly austere, with a pronounced structure and a distinctly chalky undertone. 6 grams per liter residual sugar.
— Kelli White  88   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit

2012 Riesling Bullhorn Creek Vineyard 92

Pale yellow gold. A fantastic wine, the 2012 Bullhorn Creek Riesling is impeccably balanced, with the nose and palate in perfect harmony. This is decidedly not a fruity wine, though its nose of wet stone, moss, diesel, and a touch of Asian pear still manages to be charming. The palate boasts 10 grams per liter of residual sugar, which it wears quite well. Super-expressive and juicy, this wine is mouth-watering and extremely appealing on the palate. The finish is long and stony, with a Chablis-like mineral funk underlining the finish. Very nice.
— Kelli White  92   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit

2015 Late Harvest Riesling (90-93)

Deep, bright gold in hue. This Beerenauslese style wine was produced from botrytis-infected bunches that were picked in the second half of November. The nose is gorgeous, offering super sweet apricot, white flowers, white tea leaves, warm spice cake, and pineapple. The texture is extremely concentrated and unctuous, with a sweet core of tropical fruit that coats the palate and lingers well into the finish. The acidity is modest but does its job, adding definition to the billowing palate. (tank sample)
— Kelli White  (90-93)   reviewed Jul 2016   Visit