Note: This is the last of my reviews for the opening day of TasteCamp and the tastings of Keuka Lake wineries. The following two vineyards were the last two that I tasted. Remember there were about 10 vineyards pouring for us that day and we only had about 2 hours to visit all of them. Needless to say, I could not taste all of them.
Imagine Moore, located in the Naples Valley Region of the Finger Lakes Wine Country is a small winery that has something going on. Tim Moore, who was there pouring that day, along with his wife Diane strive to make the vines talk. They work with small family farms around the Finger Lakes and strive to produce fruit forward, vineyard driven wines. They are a small producer – only about 2,500 cases. Imagine Moore had some of the best looking bottles there. Here is what stood out to me:
2009 Sauvignon Blanc (unreleased) Tim brought this to the event with out a label on the bottle. It was a tank sample of their soon to be released wine. I am glad he brought this for us to try. It was the only Sauvignon Blanc I tasted that day and it was very refreshing and thirst quenching. Bright, clean tropical notes dominated the glass. It was an eye-opening nose; it truly awakened my senses. On the palate I was picking up more of the tropical notes along with some melon and apple. It was a bright and clean taste with great acidity and vibrant flavors. I really wanted a second pour of this and I should have had this with my lunch.
The next wine from Imaging Moore was their 2008 Pinot Gris Peace. When I saw the bottle and the word Pinot Gris, I thought to my self, no one else brought a Pinot Gris, lets see what this is like. What I tasted was no where near what I thought it would be. I was expecting a clean crisp traditional Pinto Gris. But what I got was a soft lush wine that really grabbed my attention. It was made with extended surlie contact and it is 100% Pinto Grigio. I was getting Melon and pear with some toasty almond and some pineapple. It was creamy and viscous. It had a little oaked chardonnay element at first, that creamy buttery feel, but then it came on as an “orange wine”, thanks to extended skin contact. Yes this was a geeky wine. A real winner in my book and definitely one of the wines of the weekend for me.
The next time I visit the Finger Lakes, I will make it a point to visit Imagine Moore. You should to.
My day at the grand tasting ended with the host winery, Heron Hill Vineyards pouring some of there current releases and a little something from their library. First off, I have to say that Heron Hill Winery has a breathtaking view of Keuka Lake. What a great place to kick off TasteCamp. Heron Hill has been around for about 30 years and it’s owner John Ingle is a very engaging man. His Blue Heron Cafe, which is part of the winery in Hammondsport, provided us the lunch to go along with our grand tasting. On thing to point out, Heron Hill Winery is in the process of going green and trying the sustainable farming practices. Something that was nice to see.
Here are some of the nice wines that I tasted from Heron Hill: Ingle Vineyards 2002 Riesling. It is a library wine that was re-released. It is labeled Johannesburg Riesling. On the nose I was getting some white flower with some orange zest. There was a nice aroma of petrol, something you find in a well made and aged Riesling. There was crisp clean acidity that was bright after all these years. The finish showed a bit of lemon zest. This wine was a highlight of the day, not only by me but in conversations with other bloggers.
Two other wines they showcased was the 2006 Ingle Vineyards Pinot Noir and the 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve. Both Pinot Noir were excellent in my opinion and both very different, and both winners. The 2007 Pinot was showing big cherry flavors with a subtle earthy note. More juicy cherry and a touch of chocolate finished the palate with a bit of a dried herbal note at the end. The 2006 Pinot may have been my favorite. More earthy and dark cherry flavors with a subtle element of barnyard funk. Great acidity and light body. You could not go wrong with either of them. Both of these kicked off my intrigue and admiration for Finger Lakes Pinot.
I ended the tasting with perhaps may be the best late harvest desert wine I have had in a very long time. The 2006 Late Harvest Ingle Vineyard Riesling Reserve. Candied fruit dominated the nose. Elements of sugared apricot and peach with some dried pineapple and mango. The taste brought a wonderful citrus note up front followed by the dried fruit element I was getting on the nose. Zinging acidity and well-balanced. This wine was rocking. A perfect way to end the first round of day one.
Special thanks to Heron Hill Winery, John and his staff. Also to Morgan and the Finger Lakes Wine Country. Both were able to assist in the lunch for us TasteCampers. And a big Thanks to the Vineyards who came and poured for us on day one. And TasteCamp would not have happened with out the work of Lenn and Evan. Thank You!