Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
Last Sunday, January 15, Ravines kicked off its "Chef and Winemaker" series with a vertical tasting of 5 vintages of Ravines Meritage.
Attendees had a chance to do a side-by-side tasting of the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 vintages, and winemaker Morten Hallgren surprised everyone by bringing a couple of bottles of the 2006 vintage as well. According to Morten, all of the tasted vintages are "far away from peaking", although both the 2006 and 2010 are closer than the others (2006 because it's older, 2010 because it was riper and more lush).
In his opening remarks, Morten also said that these Meritage blends have amazing aging potential, and that as a relatively young wine region we don't know how many years the wines can age for. "Perhaps in another ten years we can do another tasting like this with the same wines."
Having a chance to taste these vintages together shows the significant differences between years ("vintage variation"). The Finger Lakes doesn't have the luxury of consistent weather - 2006 and 2009 were both cooler years with later harvests, 2010 was warm and sunny, 2008's weather was in-between, and 2011 was a combination of everything with a warm spring and rainy September.
The event started with a chance for attendees to try to create their own Meritage blend. Everyone was given some of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the 2015 harvest (both taken from barrel) and some of the newly-released 2015 Cabernet Franc (poured from bottles), and after tasting each component everyone started to blend different proportions of the three wines together to create something pleasing. Morten tends to use a higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in his Meritage blends (such as the new 2013 Maximilien), but some participants seemed to prefer a more Merlot-heavy blend.
Ravinous Kitchen Chef Scott Riesenberger created a slate of small bites to complement the wines. Smoked duck, fondue, and potato tart each harmonized with the Meritage and enhanced the experience - as it should be, since Ravines' wines are designed to go with food.
The full schedule for upcoming Chef and Winemaker events is available here. Seats are limited, so book yours early!
Weekends at the Ravinous Kitchen in the Geneva tasting room, Chef Scott Riesenberger creates delicious small plates that pair perfectly with Ravines' wines.
This weekend's menu features a flight of three winter soups (spiced tomato and prosciutto, black garlic consomme, broccoli and Comte) that would pair perfectly with our Winter Flight of Riesling, two vintages of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and our Maximilien blend; a series of savory tarts, waffles, and fennel bread that pairs well with our Sparkling Flight; and a board featuring local cheeses and charcuterie that could pair with Riesling, Chardonnay, and/or Pinot Noir.
Chef Riesenberger's tasting room menu changes weekly. Stop by on one of these cold winter afternoons and see what's cooking!
For directions and hours of operation, click here.
Sundays this winter, come to the Ravinous Kitchen for our series of events called "The Chef and the Winemaker".
Each week, join Winemaker Morten Hallgren in the Barrel Room of Ravines' winery in Geneva to taste through flights of library wines from his personal cellar. Each flight will feature old and older wines in contrast to newer vintages to demonstrate and appreciate the variation between the vintages and how the growing season affects the attributes and characteristics of the various wines. Chef Scott Riesenberger will prepare a Grazing Slate for each guest: a slate board of delicious savory foods he has created to pair with the various wines. He will explain why he has chosen the ingredients and how they pair with the wines to give guests an insight into pairing food & wine.
Each event starts at noon. The current event list:
Participation is by ticket only, and spots are limited. Call the Geneva Tasting Room at 315-781-7007 for assistance, or click each link above to purchase tickets.