Bill Dowd photoNearly 800 wines were entered in the 22nd annual New York Wine & Food Classic competition this year. The judging panel I served on sampled 193 entries. Here are some quick observations on some I liked best and that received double gold (unanimous) or gold medals from my panel:
• Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Chardonnay Reserve 2005 ($19.99): This oaked chardonnay was redolent of spice, oak and flowers. Great balance and eminently drinkable now.
• Barrington Cellars Buzzard's Blush 2006 ($6.50): This hybrid blush, with a 4.0 RS, has strong plum notes accompanied by a whisper of florals. Well balanced, and with a lingering finish.
• Pindar Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2005 ($18.99): Spice and fruit foward, with a nice nose, smooth lingering middle notes and a lasting finish.
• Wolffer Estate Estate Merlot 2003 ($35): Nice nose, some heat in the middle, good balance beween sugar and acid, short but pleasant finish.
• Heron Hill Winery Ingle Vineyard Riesling Ice Wine 2004 ($49.99): Smooth, rich, with good fruit and a nice balance.
• Lieb Family Cellars Blanc de Blanc 2003 ($35): This sparkling vinifera had immediate apple notes, clean and bold taste, lingering finish.
• Herman J., Wiemer Vineyard Blanc de Noir 2003 ($25): A sparkling vinifera with a pleasantly raw taste of the grape that excites the palate, moving to milder middle notes and a short, pleasant finish.
• Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery Chardonnay 2006 ($12.95): A clean nose and initial impact on the palate for this unoaked chardonnay, with plum and apple notes and a long finish.
• Hunt Country Vineyards Pinot Gris 2006 ($14.99): Good fruit, proper balance between sugar and acididty, completed by a crisp finish.
• Goose Watch Winery Traminette 2006 ($12): A tang of fruit strikes the palate right off, followed by a crisp middle and a pleasantly acid finish.
• Fox Run Vineyards Fox Trot Red NV ($12.99): A native red that was like a glass of raspberries. Fresh, summery and delicious.
• Oak Summit Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 ($30): Bold on the tongue, set up by an aromatic nose. A well-made wine with impeccable balance.
• Pindar Vineyards Merlot Reserve 2003 ($18.99): Nice full fruit, good eye appeal with its rich garnet color, whisper light finish.
• Osprey's Dominion Vineyards Flight Meritage 2002 ($35): Heavy with berries, enticing nose, long finish. Overall, nicely constructed.
• Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red NV ($14.99): This red raspberry and cranberry melomel blend isn't at all cloying despite its ingredients. Nice balance, fruity, warm and rich finish.
• Pindar Vineyards Johannisburg Riesling Ice Wine 2005 ($34.99): A light, syrupy consistenct with a full body, good balance and full grape flavor.
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