We at Slope Cellars are just a tiny bit sad to say goodbye to all the rosé and the joys of summer, but the excitement and promises of autumn are here to carry us forward!
First off, welcome Ravines Wine Cellars! From the eastern slopes of Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes, Ravines is a labor of love: husband-and wife team Morten and Lisa Hallgren are making stellar, polished wines and operating a boutique kitchen with food to make them shine. The 2014 Keuka Village field Red —a blend of Cabernet Franc and Noiret (Cornell’s hybrid)—is bursting with tart cranberry acidity, tarragon, white pepper and frankincense. Their stunning 2014 Dry Riesling spoke Meyer lemons and green apples, with a savory and oily long finish.
Secondly, and though we've been fans of Shinn Estates for a while (the First Fruit Sauvignon Blanc and NV Red Blend currently graced our shelves) we are especially excited to have the 2014 'Mojo' Cabernet Franc. Barbara Shinn and David Page have been uncompromising in showcasing the ecosystem of Long Island’s North Fork—the water, the soil, the air, the grape’s native yeasts—and the ‘Mojo’ crystallizes that effort. Quintessentially Cab Franc, with an heirloom tomato acidity and the aromatics of a tomato vine, it has a wet potting soil minerality, with a meat and roasted achiote peppers savoriness.
Lastly, a Burgundian-style beauty from Cayuga Lake, 2012 Heart & Hands Pinot Noir is a small production helmed by winemaker Tom Higgins, formerly from Calera in California. With a minimalist approach to their winemaking—in the vineyard, they keep sustainable practices, grapes are grown in small clusters and are hand-harvested; and in the cellar, they are very hands-off, letting gravity do the grape-crushing, with minimal intervention until the wine sees 12-18 months in French oak barrels before bottling. The resulting Pinot Noir is silky and light-bodied, flowery and feminine, with pink peppercorn and truffle notes, raspberries and hibiscus flower.
Of course, these are not the only gems from New York state. We've been long-time fans of Keuka Lake Vineyards's Vignoles, with its soft lemon and honeysuckle notes; Raphael's Merlot, ripe and juicy with charred toast, and Bedell Cellars 'First Crush' Red, with its balsamic notes and concentrated fruit.
So if you were still mourning summer's departure, here is wine from our home state to remind us that autumn in New York is magical. We are certainly relishing in having to live in a New York state of Wine.