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Finger Lakes - 2007 version - Printable Version

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- Kcwhippet - 06-15-2007 12:42 PM

Well, once again I've procrastinated enough. Time to give my spin on the weekend.

My friend, Don, and I got to the Inn at Glenora about 3:00 on Friday and checked in. I asked if Gene was around and the front desk put in a call to him. He was over at Knapp on Cayuga Lake tending to his grapes and would meet up with us later. Jane (Wondersofwine) hadn't made it in yet, so Don and I went up the hill to the tasting room so he could get some idea of what sort of wines we would be in for over the weekend. Judy and I took Don with us last year when we went to Napa/Sonoma and he commented that Glenora made a lot more different wines than any winery we went to in CA. I mentioned that to Gene the next day so he could give Don the story on why they needed all the different types of wines available to satisfy all the different types of people who dropped in. Anyway, Don REALLY liked the 2001 Glenora Brut, and he bought a case before we left.

So, we went back down to the Inn and I picked up a few of the papers they had at the front desk to read until it was time for dinner. Read an interesting article about an 05 Riesling made as a joint venture by the winemakers from Fox Run, Anthony Road and Red Newt. It's a blend of wines made by the three and the final blend turned out to be almost equally divided among the three wines. By then we were ready to go into dinner and we met up with WOW and Gene and went in for some truly great food in The Inn's restaurant, Veraisons, prepared by Joe Sutton , the executive chef. I raved about the food from our last trip made by Art Kelly, Joe's predecessor. Gene told us Joe has no formal training having apprenticed with Art. I mentioned to Gene that I had some unusual grapeseed oils that Kathy (CCK) sent me to try, and I wondered if maybe Joe would be amenable to trying to come up with something with them for one of our dinners. So, we went in to see Joe with the oils and he said he'd give it a try. The oils are unusual in that they're varietal oils - The Chardonnay oil is made from Chardonnay seeds, Riesling from Riesling seeds, etc. Some of them are flavored as well. So, we had some very delicious food that first night accompanied by a few wines. They were

04 Willow Crest Grenache (with 5% Gewurtztraminer) made by Victor Palencia when he was just 20 years old

1987 Guigal Hermitage - from the same batch I brought down on the last FL trip - still doing well but starting to show its age.

2004 Coyote Canyon Syrah sent by Kathy for us to try, and it was wonderful. It was made by Matt II who we met at one of Kathy's dinners during our trip up to WA two years ago.

1997 Dehlinger Russian River Cab sent out to Glenora by WW. This was a wonderful wine and has yet to reach its peak.

That was it for the first night and we made plans to meet up the next morning for breakfast before we headed off to hit some FL wineries.

Well, the next morning we sat down for the Inaugural Winoweenie Memorial Breakfast of Champions. The first thing we ordered was the 01 Glenora Brut to be brought to the table, and it was a wonderful way to start the day. In honor of the Weener, I ordered a three egg omelet with extra onions. Delicious breakfast!! Then with Gene driving we headed off to do damage to the FL wineries wine inventory. I'm not going to list all the wines we tried, but I'll touch on those I liked and bought. First stop was Hermann Wiemer where we tasted through most everything he made. I picked up some Dry Riesling and Dry Gewurtztraminer. I saw they had a large number of small grape vines for sale and Gene helped me pick out two nice ones I planted when I got back - a Riesling and a Lemberger. Apparently, Hermann Wiemer does a huge business selling rooted cuttings to other wineries. Next was Fox Run where I (once again) picked up some of the Cab Franc. As a result of the article I read, I also picked up a few bottles of the Triece Riesling. Next was Sheldrake Point over on Cayuga Lake which we reached after a haul up the west side of Seneca Lake from Fox Run to the west side of Cayuga. Lunch was very good and Gene, Don and I had flights of their wines with our food. Jane opted for a glass of their Riesling. I got the red flight which had Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and PN - all of them looked like blush wines and didn't have much more power. Didn't buy anything there. After that we went to Lamoreaux Landing on the east side of Seneca. Very impressive winery building and some very nice wines - I picked up some of their Dry Riesling. They also had some well made dessert wines, but we have so many in the cellar that we're not drinking too fast I didn't want to add any more. Got a call from WW while we were there. I noticed his name on the display so I gave the phone to Jane to answer, and they had a nice little chat. When I got on I mentioned to WW al the really nice Rieslings we were trying and, of course, he spluttered and scoffed at us for letting SW's pass our lips. Next on the list was Wagner further down the east side of Seneca. My priority there was the beer, which I really liked from the last visit there. So Gene, Don and I went off to taste the beers while Jane went for the wines. Got a few bottles of beer and headed down to Watkins Glen and around the bottom of Seneca back up to Glenora. I mentioned to Gene that the very first time Judy and I were out there many years ago I had seen an old house with four big pillars out front that I wanted to take a picture of. Judy didn't want me to take the picture because there weren't any people in it and she wasn't getting out of the car in the rain. Gene said he knew exactly which place that was and he drove by so I could finally get my picture! I haven't shown it to Judy yet. So, back up to the Inn to relax before dinner.

When we went into dinner, we started off with some 14 yo Rosebank Lowland Single Malt I brought with me. Wonderful, light, apperitif-type Scotch that everyone liked. After the first sip I suggested adding a drop or two of water to bring the wonderful light honey and caramel notes. Then Joe Sutton presented us with the creation he made with the grapeseed oils. It was a lamb medallion, portobello mushroom and sauteed veggie dish that was scrumptious. To use the oils, he first made a vinaigrette with the Chipotle/Merlot oil and red wine vinegar to marinate the portobellos. He heated the Chardonnay oil, infused with black truffle peelings and let it cool down. Then he sauteed the lamb, mushrooms and veggies in the Riesling oil, drizzling the dish with the Chard/truffle oil at presentation. Wonderful!! Kathy, Joe wants to know what other oils are available and how can he get some more, preferably in bottles a bit larger than the 187ml ones you sent. With dinner we had the following which were very different expressions of CA PN but all wonderful:

2002 Arcadian Sleepy Hollow Vyd PN

2002 ROAR Rosella's Vyd PN - This was the wine I brought to the first FL offline that Gene said "This is what Pinot Noir is supposed to be like."

2002 Dehlinger Russian River Valley PN from WW's stash.

The next morning at breakfast we were joined by Mike (The Engineer) and his wonderful wife Genevieve who had come into the Inn about midnight. We had the second edition of the Breakfast of Champions (Brut and onion omelette). Gene met us again and took us up into the bowels of the winery where he showed off the Brut disgorging process. The we all went up to the winery and purchased a large amount of Glenora wines. I picked up some Dry Riesling, Gewurtz and some Special Selection Norbud Vyd Dry Riesling. Gene had a lot of work to catch up on, so we all packed into my SUV (actually this is Judy's car) and took off for Keuka Lake wineries. We headed over to the west side of Keuka Lake with a first stop at Heron Hill and they had some nice wines but not nice enough for me to buy any. Next was Dr. Konstantin Frank where we were put at a counter with our own person. Bill was a fount of history and info on all the wines from Dr. Konstantin Frank, Chateau Frank Champagne Cellars and Salmon Run. He soon got the hint we weren’t really wine newbies and altered his presentation accordingly. When we tried the reds, we were astonished that there was finally a winery that was able to make some dark, fruity wines, as Mike mentioned. When we were ready to into the winery to purchase some wines he made a notation on the tasting list that we were industry and were to get a 33% discount. I picked up some Dr. Frank Dry Riesling and Cab Franc, Salmon Meritage and a very interesting Chateau Frank Brut Riesling. Next we headed back down to Bully Hill for lunch. Lunch was very good, and we didn’t try any of their wines. Headed up Keuka through Hammondsport to the east side of the lake and stopped at Keuka Spring Winery. They have a nice new winery building up the hill from the old white barn Judy and I stopped at years ago. We didn’t buy any of their wines then, and none this trip either. Then we made our way over to Seneca to get back to Glenora. Made a stop at Prejean, but not much going on there. We met up with Gene again and went into Veraisons to open up all the rest of the bottles for Mike and Genevieve. Mike expounded on the wines we had and they left for home before dinner. Unfortunately, Genevieve had to be at work the next morning and couldn’t call in “sick” because she was covering for someone else. That was something to do with Mike not letting her know about the trip until he walked in the door and told her to pack quickly. Anyway, the rest of us had a great dinner prepared by Joe Sutton’s sous chef since Joe was off Sunday. After dinner we called it a night. Don and I packed the car with all the wines we bought – no danger of heat damage since the temp was about 50. Got up early and left before the restaurant was open for breakfast.

I have to thank Gene for being an incredible host once again. I found out that he’s a sailor, too, so I knew there was something about Gene that I really liked, besides his great hospitality and great wines. It was great meeting Mike and Genevieve. This was another wonderful trip with Jane, and I can’t wait for her post since she took all the notes. It was too, too bad all the other folks who had planned on being there couldn’t make it. You folks missed another great time. Too bad we missed Foodie, but I think we drove past his house and we were tempted to drop in, but didn’t because we weren’t sure.

I guess next year will be back on the left coast. Any thoughts folks?


- dananne - 06-15-2007 02:21 PM

Really nice notes, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time. Anne and I really hope to see everyone again soon.


- Innkeeper - 06-15-2007 02:31 PM

Terrific notes KC. Sorry we couldn't make it. Bev still not doing too well.


- wondersofwine - 06-15-2007 06:39 PM

Silly me. I transfered my little memo book to my flight bag so don't have it in my purse at work and won't be able to post until Monday at lunchtime or possibly Tuesday.
Gene gave us super treatment as others indicated and it was great seeing Bob and Don again (although we missed Judy) and meeting Engineer and Genevieve.
I'll post notes next week but will say here that I liked all three Pinot Noirs we opened on Saturday and the Rubicon, Coyote Canyon Syrah, etc.


- winoweenie - 06-15-2007 08:31 PM

Super-Duper pooper notes there Bobby! Sorry I wasn't there but sounds like youse guys kept the "Breakfast of Champions Club" going full blast. Gene must be a descendant of Jobe to put up with our group. Will have him send me a box or so of the 91 Brut this fall. WW


- wondersofwine - 06-15-2007 08:33 PM

I think it was the '01 Brut we had--not '91, WW.


- Kcwhippet - 06-15-2007 09:45 PM

I think WW really did mean 01, but the 0 is right next to the 9 and we all know how those fat little fingers do go astray at times.


- TheEngineer - 06-15-2007 10:36 PM

Great notes Bob! Put me back right into Glenora Inn again...... Gene, thanks again for the hospitality! Will definitely give you a call before I go up again.