The long, cool 2017 growing season resulted in very nervy, mineral-laced Pinot Noir. More Burgundy than California in style, expect bright red fruit alongside subtle notes of forest floor and French oak.
Pinot Noir—chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France— is grown around the world, mostly in cooler climates. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, Pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and earthy aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine. Thin skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lend Pinot to producing mostly lightly coloured, medium-bodied and low-tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging.
The Finger Lakes region of New York State is an exciting, emerging area for cool climate wines of freshness and elegance. Despite its relative anonymity, it is a region that has been around for some time. Less than a 5 hour drive from both Toronto and New York City, this bucolic area is now home to over 160 wineries. Grapes here range from the obscure (Rkatsiteli) to the familiar (Riesling) and plenty in between. Regardless of the variety, the wines all exhibit Old World freshness, bright flavours and elegant structures that are perfect accompaniments to a wide variety of foods and festivities.
Sourced primarily from the original estate Keuka Lake vineyard (plantings in ’58, ’74, ’81 and ’86) with a smaller amount of fruit coming from the Seneca Lake site. The Keuka Lake shale-based soils provide minerality and acidity. The Seneca Lake vineyards, with their silty loam soils and warm mesoclimate, add warmth and upfront fruit flavours.
Grapes were destemmed and cold soaked for several days prior to fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Manually punched down 3 times per day. Aged for 18 months in 2-4 year old French oak barrels.
Kostantin Frank arrived in New York from Ukraine in 1951. A PhD holder in viticulture and doctor of plant sciences, Frank was the first to experioment with vitis vinifera in the state, where plantings had been confined to vitis labrusca and Concord varieties. Situated at the heart of the Finger Lakes region, on the south-western hills surrounding Keuka Lake, the winery has a collection of old vine plantings that few others in North America can rival. The work is done in the vineyard, with a very deft touch by the winery, focusing on food-worthy, lively wines of elegance and depth, wines that keep the palate fresh, inviting another sip. Grapes are sourced primarily from the original estate Keuka Lake vineyards, where shale soils provide minerality and acidity, but also from Seneca Lake vineyards, which are warmer, imparting more weight and up-front fruit.