Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
Ravinous Club members will be receiving their club boxes for May 2015 soon. One of the four wines in this collection is our 2011 Meritage, a Bordeaux-style blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot.
This wine has opened up tremendously since it was released last fall. Right now, tastes of red cherry predominate at first, giving way to woodsy notes; there is a long finish of red currant and raspberry.
Compared to other Ravines Meritage releases in a recent vertical tasting, the 2011 is still young, but shows great potential for the future. This year's blend is the first with no Cabernet Franc, so it tastes fresh and bright. (In comparison, the 2005 vintage was predominantly Cabernet Franc. The 2006 through 2010 vintages each contained approximately 25% Cabernet Franc.)
Come try the 2011 Meritage at either of our tasting room locations, perhaps as part of a pairing with local cheeses. We feature Meritage paired with Keeley's "Little Pond", a semi-soft cow's milk cheese from a friend of ours on Cayuga Lake.
If you've visited one of our tasting rooms, it's likely that you have seen the "Library List" near the register. This is a list of older vintages of some of our wines that are available for purchase. We hold back a few cases of each release so that our customers can buy some of these beautifully aged wines.
Successive vintages of the same wine can be very different. Since 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012 were warm and sunny, the wines from those years tend to be fruit-forward and more intense. 2006 and 2009 were cooler, and the wines from those vintages are balanced and show great cellaring potential. 2011 had a little of everything, with a cool and wet spring, warm dry summer, and warm and wet fall.
While you might expect the majority of our older wines to be reds, we have a good selection of aged whites as well: four vintages of Chardonnay, for example, and two of our Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling, among others. If you were able to attend last summer's Vineyard Picnic, you may remember that we paired three library wines with French cheeses from Murray's in New York City - 2007 Meritage, 2008 Pinot Noir, and 2008 Chardonnay.
You can buy some of our library wines online, and the entire library list can be purchased in the tasting rooms.
Lindsay Prichard featured Ravines' library program in his New York Cork Report article "The Joy Of Going Vertical" last year.
Last weekend, Ravines hosted our annual Spring Barrel Tasting Weekend at our Geneva facility. Ravinous Club members enjoyed a preview of six of the wines from our 2014 vintage, paired with food prepared by Chef Christopher Bates from the FLX Wienery.
We started Sunday's Spring Barrel Tasting Brunch with a welcoming glass of our 2006 Brut in the tasting room; then everyone moved to the cellar. Winemaker Morten Hallgren talked about the new Riesling and Gewurztraminer releases while everyone got a taste of the wines that had been pulled directly from the fermentation tanks. The fun then moved to the barrel room.
Attendees next tried tank samples of the 2014 Keuka Village White and Pinot Rose. These were followed by a comparison between the current vintage of our Chardonnay, which was poured from the bottle, and the 2014 Chardonnay, which was pulled directly from the barrel; the 2014 will remain in the barrel until at least July 2015.
We also compared Pinot Noirs in a similar way; the current 2012 vintage was poured from bottles, while one of the components of the 2014 vintage was pulled from the barrel.
These events are a great opportunity for Club members to talk to Morten and get the inside scoop on the winemaking process by asking questions and seeing the barrels and tanks up close. One Club member asked a great question about the way we re-use our barrels; a barrel that was used to make red wine will remain a red wine barrel for its lifetime with us, although we might not always use it for the same grape (for example, a barrel we use for Pinot Noir this year might contain Cabernet Franc next year).
Each dish on the menu was created to pair perfectly with the wines.
We wrapped the event up with a taste of 2011 Late Harvest Vignoles before moving back to the tasting room for a sampling of our 2008 Pinot Noir from the wine library.
For more information about upcoming Ravinous Club events, click here. The next Club event is May 1.
For information on how to join the Ravinous Club, click here.
This week, winemaker Morten Hallgren disgorged more Sparkling Brut — almost a decade after it was bottled.
Disgorging is the process whereby the yeasts in each bottle are removed. In the classic method used by Ravines, the bottles have been riddled to get the yeast and other sediments into the bottles' necks; once the riddling process is complete, the necks are frozen and the plugs of ice containing the lees are removed (this is the actual disgorging process).
Once the bottles have been disgorged, a small amount of sugar is added to the wine before a cork is placed in each bottle. This process is called dosage, and is done to balance out the acidity of the wine rather than to add any sweetness.
The time between when a sparkling wine is bottled and when it is disgorged is called time en tirage. The longer a wine is en tirage, the finer the bubbles and foam will be, and the wine will develop more of the brioche taste and aroma that people associate with a brut sparkling. If a wine is disgorged early, it will be fruitier, with larger bubbles. (Morten likens these bubbles to those found in soda.)
The wine that was disgorged today has been en tirage for almost 8 years, having been bottled in May of 2007.
Ravines' 2013 Chardonnay pairs wonderfully with this hearty, creamy soup from Chef Christopher Bates of the FLX Wienery. This pairing was featured at a recent Keuka Lake Wine Trail event; we share the recipe with you so you can make it at home on one of these cold winter days.
1 lb sweet onions
Peel and slice onions. Peel and dice potatoes. Mince garlic. Heat chicken fat over medium heat, add onions and cook till soft but not brown. Add garlic, potatoes, herbs, pepper and stock. Simmer 1 hour. Add cream. Purée with a hand blender adding butter while pureeing. Season with salt as needed.
|1 C ricotta
1 tsp salt
|1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp truffle oil
Whisk together. Pipe on top of soup in bowl. Garnish with cooked bacon pieces. Serve with Ravines 2013 Chardonnay (learn more here).
Over the past few weeks, the Finger Lakes have received several feet of snow and been subjected to blasts of arctic air. While this makes for slippery roads and slow going for people, our vines are snug under their snowy blankets.
The snow insulates the roots from the icy winds and actually keeps them warm, which should prevent any damage to the rootstock that might kill the vines.
The photo above is of several rows in our White Springs vineyard in Geneva. If you stop into our Seneca Lake tasting room, these vines are to your left as you come down the driveway off Pre-Emption Road. The tasting room is open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm; come visit us and taste a selection of warming wines like our 2013 Cabernet Franc.
The Finger Lakes may have just received a foot of snow, but the activity doesn't stop at Ravines.
Both tasting rooms are open, so you can stop in to taste our newest releases and perhaps pair the wines with our Ravinous Plate of local cheese and artisan chocolate. The 2014 vintage wines are in their tanks and barrels; winemaker Morten Hallgren and Assistant Winemaker Darrin Scott are carefully checking their development every day. The vineyard crew is tending the vines. And Neil, our wine club manager, is preparing the Ravinous Club Pack for March.
In addition to the wines (Ravines' 2011 Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling, 2013 Keuka Village Red, 2012 Pinot Noir, and 2013 Gewurztraminer), the package also includes the Ravinous Newsletter, which contains notes from Morten and Lisa and recipes which were specially selected to pair with the four wines. One of the recipes is for duck breast which has been smoked over grapevines - and since many people likely won't have access to grapevines, the package also includes a bundle of vines from our White Springs vineyard.
Club members receive four packages a year, in March, May, September, and October. Usually there will be two reds and two whites, and often there will be a wine that may not be available to non-club members (for example, one of our single-vineyard Chardonnays, or our exclusive Cerise blend of Pinot Noir and Lemberger). Club members also enjoy a 20% discount on all wines, with the exception of our Appassionata and Late Harvest Vignoles dessert wines, and receive complimentary wine tastings for themselves and up to three guests at either of our tasting rooms. Club members are also invited to some of the best events around, from our Spring Barrel Tastings to the Fall Harvest Festival and more. (See the full event calendar here.) And there's no membership fee! If you're not already a member, why not take a few minutes and join your fellows who are Ravinous?
Ravines Wine Cellars has been selected by MSN as one of their Top 101 Wineries in America.
The article notes that Ravines makes "excellent...dry riesling" and other "serious" wines, while combining "old world ideology with modern technology".
Ravines 2011 Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling was selected by a team of sommeliers as a "contemporary classic" of the Finger Lakes region. The article, "Sommelier Scavenger Hunt", appears in the December 2014 issue of Wine & Spirits magazine.
Teams of sommeliers were sent to various American wine regions to locate wines that best express that region's terroir. All selected wines were then presented in a grand tasting once the teams compiled all their tasting data.
The three-member Finger Lakes team lauded the Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling’s "precision" and called it "astounding". "Even the highest-acidity, driest Rieslings don’t have this wine’s crystalline quality," said Matthew Kaner of Bar Covell in Los Angeles, who was the Finger Lakes team leader. "...the vineyard…[is] trained perfectly, 30-year-old vines with the right sun exposure...fantastic grapes."
Ravines Wine Cellars is saddened by the passing of Sam Argetsinger, who died at his home on Sunday, December 28, 2014.
Sam Argetsinger was an excellent vineyardist and a beloved member of the Ravines family. The Argetsinger vineyard on Seneca Lake provides fruit for many of Ravines' wines, including single-vineyard Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.