Category Archives: Wine Advocate

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has offered some of the most influential commentary on wine ever. We’re proud to the be the topic of recent reviews of the Finger Lakes.

2013 Riesling “Lahoma Vineyards” – 91 points

The 2013 Riesling “Lahoma Vineyards” has 39 grams per liter of residual sugar and 8.9% alcohol. Elegant and distinguished, this has a delicate beginning and power on the finish. Classically aromatic and with typical flavors, this shows plenty of finesse, but it does tighten a bit with air. When I went back to it, it was just a bit more interesting. The acidic ping on the finish doesn’t take over this wine, as with some of the drier styles, but it does fight back against that sugar. This is very nice. This will be released just about the time this article appears.

91 points – #225, The Wine Advocate

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2012 Pinot Gris “Curry Creek Vineyards” – 89 points

The 2012 Pinot Gris “Curry Creek Vineyards” comes in at 13.5% alcohol and 25 grams per liter of residual sugar. Curry Creek is planted only with Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, the vines used by the winery since 2007. Calling 2012 a “particularly ripe vintage,” the winery says it allowed more residual sugar this year as well as a six-month fermentation and extra time on the lees. Seeming quite fresh while finishing with a sweet edge, this is a nicely focused Pinot Gris that is most notable for its friendly demeanor, but also capable of showing some tension and grip on the finish. The sugar covers some Pinot Gris character, which is sometimes a bit hard to find, but it is fresh and finishes cleanly. It’s very enjoyable in its off-dry style. Drink it young or hold it a few years, but it is certainly rather enticing now. There were 200 cases produced.

89 points – #219, The Wine Advocate

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2013 Dry Riesling – 89 points

The 2013 Dry Riesling comes in with 6 grams per liter of residual sugar and 11.8% alcohol. This is the winery’s workhorse Riesling. Says winemaker Kelby Russell: “The 2013 marks the style it will be going forward; an intentional flint/smoke note from reduction…rich fruit underneath…extended lees contact….” I was a little worried about that flinty comment, but this tastes pretty clean. Focused, surprisingly concentrated at this level and just a bit fruity at times, it is beautifully balanced. It finishes dry with some tension, but not austere, making it easy to like and easy to drink. At the price point, it is a very good value from Red Newt. If it doesn’t quite hit the “exceptional” mark, it isn’t far off. It does everything well and exceeds expectations. This was sourced from 8-year-old vines. There were 1,150 cases produced.

89 points – #219, The Wine Advocate

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2008 Dry Riesling Reserve – 88 points

The 2008 Dry Riesling Reserve is another rather austere Riesling Reserve from Red Newt, with that big power and acidity. Sourced from Sawmill Creek (not indicated, though), the acidity here is less the problem than the funk. It has a bit of a smoky demeanor. Once past that, though, this is fresh, transparent and rather vigorous. This might yet improve, but the funk makes it hard to deal with just now. Note: The name here going forward formally became “Dry Riesling Reserve,” but this is more or less the same idea as the 2006 (not called “Dry Riesling Reserve,” but so listed on the back).

88 points – #225, The Wine Advocate

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2013 Riesling “Lahoma Vineyards – The Knoll” – 88 points

The 2013 Riesling “Lahoma Vineyards – The Knoll” is the first vintage of this bottling. It has been seen before, but it is worth another look. Its structure is lovely, but the petrol/sulfur is a fairly significant overlay at this point. It certainly mars the performance here. Winemaker Kelby Russell said to me that he thought this would blow off–and it might. I’ve seen it move in that direction before. That said, it is worthwhile at the moment exercising a little caution. It should be entitled to a notable uptick.

88 points – #225, The Wine Advocate

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2012 Riesling “Bullhorn Creek Vineyard” – 90 points

The 2012 Riesling “Bullhorn Creek Vineyard” comes in at 10 grams per liter of residual sugar and 11.2% alcohol. This, said winemaker Kelby Russell, is planted with Clone 90 and is at a higher-altitude vineyard than Sawmill or Tango Oaks vineyards; it ripens approximately two weeks later. Showing dry but not teeth-shattering, this is a beautifully focused Riesling with reasonable depth, impeccable balance and a stone-washed feel to it. While it does have that reasonable depth and subtle concentration, the principal impression here is one of elegance. It seems beautifully constructed, never heavy, never intrusive, yet always persistent. Fresh and full, it is the perfect food wine, but it is also just fruity enough to drink on its own. It touches the bases well. There were 200 cases produced.

90 points – #219, The Wine Advocate

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2006 Riesling Reserve – 90 points

The 2006 Riesling Reserve was from a cool vintage, according to owner David White. It certainly seems that way. It has intense acidity, some grapefruit eccentricity on the finish and even more acidity. That said, the mid-palate isn’t so bad either. It is nicely concentrated. If this is austere, perhaps even slightly shrill when too cold, there is plenty of fruit, too. It badly needs food. It is very youthful, very dry and quite piercing.

90 points – #225, The Wine Advocate

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2012 Riesling “Sawmill Creek Vineyards – Fred Block” – 93 points

The 2012 Riesling “Sawmill Creek Vineyards – Fred Block,” seen before, is coming along just fine. It comes in at 16 grams per liter of residual sugar and 10% alcohol. Showing more transparency now as it unwinds, this also is increasingly complex. Classy and big, it doesn’t sacrifice its concentration or tension. It will be interesting to see if this continues to develop over the next few years. I think it will–and it should continue to unwind.

93 points – #225, The Wine Advocate

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2013 Gewurztraminer – 86 points

The 2013 Gewurztraminer is the sweetest of the Gewurzs here, at 9 grams per liter of residual sugar, a more “consumer-friendly style (if such a thing exists),” said winemaker Kelby Russell. It comes in at 13.1% alcohol. At 9 grams per liter it actually still seems reasonably dry, so this is still easily a table wine. That’s not really the issue so much as its gentle style and modest concentration. Nuanced with some of that classic Gewurz lychee flavor, it seems just average in mid-palate concentration, although solidly enough built for this modest price range. On opening, it is pretty nice. It marches down the middle of the road, with a hint of something distinctive here and there, while not quite seeming to project Gewurz in full flight. Everything is toned down. It does not benefit from any aeration or warmth and it becomes less interesting, in fact. In fairness, considering the modest price point, the quibbles here can be overlooked. It is a nice picnic or on-the-porch white and a reasonable value. There were 574 cases produced, the workhorse of the Gewurz production here.

86 points – #219, The Wine Advocate

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2012 Riesling “Sawmill Creek Vineyards – North Block” – 91 points

The 2012 Riesling “Sawmill Creek Vineyards – North Block” is a much sweeter style (a Spatlese, said winemaker Kelby Russell) than its South Block sibling reviewed this issue. It comes in with a hefty 67 grams per liter of residual sugar and just 7.2% alcohol. On opening, this by far was the least impressive of the Sawmill trio featured this issue because it didn’t quite balance the sugar on opening as well as some of the others. This is more or less my preferred style, but it just didn’t seem to execute it as well. Of course, the sugar content is rather high here and it’s not meant to seem dry. That said, it was just plain delicious, but nothing more. Somewhat to my surprise, this blossomed with a couple of hours of air, integrating its sugar far better while still seeming persistent, crisp and relatively full-bodied. At this point, the acidity took over, enlivened the wine and provided rather impressive tension on the finish. The balance became far more interesting, far more classic Mosel, with the acidity waging war with the sugar. The Day 2 rating, in other words, was a lot higher; it seemed far simpler on first taste. Every time I thought that, it proved me wrong. This is another winner in this lineup, easy to like, but also easy to admire.

91 points – #219, The Wine Advocate

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