Finger Lakes Riesling

Finger Lakes Riesling

As I’ve done in the past, this past Wednesday I did an interactive tasting on Twitter of some Finger Lakes Riesling courtesy of Jon Witherspoon (@vcuspoon) at his shop, The Wine Cellar.  Along with my wife, we sampled 6 Rieslings from the Finger Lakes region of New York.

The first one we sampled was the 2008 Fox Run Riesling.  A high acid wine with petrol on the nose (a theme throughout the night), the best descriptors for this wine were “green sour patch kids” and “alcoholic sour skittles”.  With lemon on tropical fruit on the palate and only 1% residual sugar, it wasn’t the typical sweet Riesling that most people think of when considering Riesling.

Next was the 2008 Ravines Riesling.  The wine with the least residual sugar (.3%) was one of my favorites for the evening, with flavors of green apple, lemon, and lime with a bit of mineral and effervescence when held in the mouth.  This wine would be a great substitute for champagne of a morning with breakfast.

Our third wine of the evening was the 2009 Lamoreaux Landing Red Oak.  The nose on this one let you know it was a Riesling, but it was light in the glass with floral, peach notes that reminded me of nothing so much as a Viognier.  A great deck wine, it was probably my favorite of the evening.

Fourth was the 2009 Lamoreaux Landing Yellow Dog.  Candied peach on the nose was somewhat similar to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and while it had similar floral notes to the Red Oak, they weren’t as prominent.

The 2007 Heron Hill Riesling was our next wine and it had a heavy petrol nose.  With flavors of lime, mineral, and lemon rind, I got a finish that I could only describe as rubber.  There were a few BP comments about this wine in regards to the heavy petrol nose.

Finally we had the 2009 Swedish Hill Riesling.  With the highest residual sugar of the night (2.9%), it was also the “darkest” wine of the evening.  Flavors of honey and floral notes with a low acid flavor this would be a great deck wine and would pair great with turkey, ham, or fish – the perfect Thanksgiving dinner wine.

This is the third time I’ve done one of these tastings of Finger Lakes wines, and I’m always impressed by them.  They are definitely making my wife and I want to take a trip up there to further explore many of these vineyards that we’re getting to sample in these tastings and I definitely recommend that if you’re in the Finger Lakes area that you take advantage of the great vineyards that you have up there.

About George Perry 895 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.


  1. I summered on Lake Keuka and always enjoyed the finger lakes wines especially Riesling (one of only two “Noble” white grapes) and I like your description but do you ever drink German or Alsatian wines? I don’t see any reviews of German or Alsatian wines and if you ain’t dinking them you ain’t drinking Riesling. Again – sharpen up your taste buds by drinking the real deal. I swear, you’ll never go back to imitations – unless your looking for a cheap drink.

    • It’s been a while since I drank German wine, but having lived there for 5 years I did get to try some of their Riesling and remember it as much different than what I was tasting last night.

  2. Hi George!
    This tasting was so much fun, wasn’t it? Reading your descriptions made me remember each wine clearly. I think the best part of the evening was the terrific variety in the wines, each showing quite well.
    I hope you and April get a chance to visit the Finger Lakes soon!

    Lamoreaux Landing

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