CONTEST: Why I Want to Go To Portugal to Visit Enoforum Wines with Jo Diaz

I had a direct request from Heron Hill Winery, “Would I consider learning about Heron Hill Winery wines from Hammondsport, New York?”

It was something that I welcomed and really looked forward to as a new experience.

Here’s what arrived on my doorstep, and here’s what was tasted. As I tasted these wines I didn’t compare them to any other terroir. To do so would be an injustice to the wines. I just wanted to know… What’s their best foot forward?

The wines are very, very impressive. They’re well crafted, and beautifully flavorful… wines that I truly enjoyed. They were open for days, so the enjoyment lingered much longer than one would imagine. I made certain to leave the semi-dry Riesling for last, because I knew the tiny bit of residual sugar would help this one last longer than the other two whites. As a result, I had a wonderful week of New York whites to enjoy with lighter fare. The tasting notes are a collaborative effort of Melanie’s Wednesday Wines (she’s got such a gift for adjectives) and they’re her food pairings. I raised my kids in the kitchen with me, and now each one eclipses my wildest dreams for foods. Enjoy the adjectives and offerings. Please know in advance that these cold climate wines all proved to be a lot of wine for the money, for my palate.

  • 2006 Heron Hill New York Riesling (Dry, green bottle glass) ~ (Alcohol 12 percent) [$12.99] ~ Flavors of honeysuckle aromas up front, with added apples and spice, citrusy orange bouquet and a hint of mineral quality in nose. Very fruit forward palate, apples, pear and lemon with slight herbal attribute in mouth. Pleasant flavors, easy wine. Pair with pork chops, fresh steamed green beans and polenta. [SCORE: 92]
  • 2007 Heron Hill New York Riesling (Semi-Dry, brown bottle glass) ~ (Alcohol 11.5 percent) [$12.99] ~ Herbaceous nose displays typical characteristic petrol aromas. Bright pear, fig and almond round out the bouquet. A light mouthfeel, mildly sweet. Bergamot mint on palate, with copious peaches and poached pears, clover honey in the gentle finish. Pair with cheese and fresh fruits. [ SCORE: 91]
  • 2006 Heron Hill Eclipse, New York State White Table Wine (47 percent Chardonnay, 29 percent Pinot Blanc, 24 percent Pinot Gris)  ~ (12.5 percent Alcohol) ~ [$15.99] Bright nose, very apparent Macintosh apple in the bouquet. Added notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and cantaloupe, with a suggestion of nutmeg and cedar. Palate is fresh and lively, Kaffir lime leaves and more apple flavors through to the end. Pomegranate and Rainer cherries in the lingering fruity finish. Pair with Thai foods. [SCORE: 93]

The following red wine also arrived, and I’m saving this one for a red wine review. If it’s anything like its white wine counterparts, it should be a wonderful wine that has me loving wines from New York… a new found love. I adore wines with lots of Cab Franc, so I’m really looking forward to this wine.

  • 2005 Heron Hill Eclipse, New York State Red Table Wine (54 percent Merlot, 46 percent Cabernet Franc)  ~ (12.5 percent Alcohol) [$13.99] ~

Heron Hill Winery, in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region, overlooking Keuka Lake, was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of 11 chosen as “The World’s Most Spectacular Tasting Rooms.”  The magazine references Heron Hill Winery as, “Greek Revival and traditional farm architecture (both of which can be found in abundance throughout the area). The cobblestoned floors of the airy, vaulted-ceiling Tasting Hall, where Rieslings and Chardonnays along with a selection of reds are poured, came from the nearby Hammondsport quarry.”