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» Winter 2015

  • Aging Wine

    Sheldrake Point Winery Library

    Our wine library is the closest we have to a crystal ball. A vertical tasting can let us know how all the variables play out in the bottle over the years.

    A common assumption about aging wine is that the longer you keep it, the better it will get. However, while some wines will mature and improve over time, others will not. Throughout the world, most wine is meant to be consumed ‘young,’ or relatively soon after it is produced, within 12 to 18 months. So when we hear the frequent question, “how long do I keep wine before drinking it?”—the short answer is: It depends.

    Crisp and fruity white wines, like Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and light Chardonnays, should be enjoyed when they are fresh and young. Other whites—like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and, particularly, late harvest, dessert, and ice wines— develop interesting complexities when aged. “Generally, when aging a white wine, the higher the residual sugar at bottling, the better the chance that aging will improve the wine’s flavor,” says winemaker Dave Breeden.

    Aged Rieslings can have prominent flavors of toast and honey; the fruit becomes more subtle with flavors and aromas of peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Also, sugars and acids become more integrated with the fruit, making the wines fuller and richer. In drier Rieslings, citrus flavors diminish and characteristics of mineral, smoke, and petrol become more prominent. With Gewürztraminer, the floral notes and tropical flavors can evolve into a golden-hued wine with hints of dried apricot, honey, mint, beeswax, and lemon meringue.

    Aging Wine on Racks at Sheldrake Point Winery

    A cool, dark place with minimal temperature fluctuation is ideal for at-home wine cellaring.

    Aging red wines is tied to the opposite of sweetness. The skins of the grapes provide not only color, but also bitter tannins (like a strong tea). Tannins are an acidic preservative important to the long term maturing of red wines. Additional tannin can come from oak during barrel aging.

    Over time, tannins will precipitate out of the wine, settling as sediment in the bottle, and revealing the complexity of the wine’s flavor from fruit, acid, and all the myriad other substances that make up a wine’s character and balance. “It takes a fair amount of acid for a wine to tolerate time,” says vineyard manager Dave Wiemann. “We are fortunate that a unique feature of our wine region is that the acid stays in the grapes until harvest, and cooler Finger Lakes days and nights during harvest maintains those acids.”

    The variables of Finger Lakes weather, as well as differences in winemaking decisions from year to year, can impact the acidity, tannins, and sugars that all contribute to each wine’s behavior over time. Then, of course, wine is always evolving in the bottle.

    To get the most out of a wine aging experiment, store in a cool, dark place where temperature fluctuations are minimal. Exposure to sunlight and heat will absolutely ruin all the pleasing flavor your wine might develop with time.

    “This is why people buy a wine by the case,” says Dave Breeden of at-home wine cellaring. “You can sample it occasionally, and get the aging exactly right! Assuming you don’t run out [enjoy it all] before it has aged properly.”

    We occasionally find ourselves in the Sheldrake Point wine library picking through older vintages to see how a given wine has aged. Visit our blog post “Wine Aging 101” to read about our vertical tasting of five Rieslings we bottled over the last decade, and read another post about bottle aging, “2012 Cabernet Sauvignon: Why We Waited.”

    Learn more about aging wine by asking winemakers, sommeliers, and wine shop owners. Or, buy Sheldrake Point wines by the case and learn over time from your own observations.

  • High Expectations

    Grapes on the Vine at Sheldrake Point WineryExpectations are high for the 2015 vintage as our fruit going into harvest was spectacular!

    Summer provided enough heat and dry weather to nicely ripen our fruit and keep disease pressure low, meaning we would spend less time sorting fruit. And, rain came just when we needed it—notably, one good drenching after five weeks of dry weather. September’s weather patterns gave us a string of 7-10 days of sun to one day of rain, which kept us on our toes as the fruit was ripening quickly and changing every day. In fact, some fruit was ripe enough for picking about two weeks ahead of schedule.

  • Awards & Accolades

    Wine & Spirits - Top 100 Winery 2015Sheldrake Point Winery Named:

    Top 100 Wineries 2015
    Wine & Spirits Magazine

    Best Winery 2015
    Ithaca Journal Reader’s Choice Award

    2014 Wild Ferment Riesling Ice Wine

    Best Wine of the 2015 Challenge
    Canberra International Riesling Challenge

    Best in Class Dessert Riesling
    Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge

    Gold medal winner (95 points)
    Wine & Spirits Magazine

    Gold medal winner (93 points)
    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

    Gold medal winner (92 points)
    Wine Enthusiast

    Editor’s Choice
    Wine Enthusiast

    2013 Chardonnay

    Gold medal winner
    East Meets West Eastern Division

    2013 Gewürztraminer

    Gold medal winner (90 points)
    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

    Gold medal winner (90 points)
    Wine Enthusiast

    Silver medal winner
    New York Wine and Food Classic

    2013 Riesling

    Gold medal winner (92 points) and Best Buy
    Wine & Spirits Magazine

    Gold medal winner (92 points) and Great Value wine
    Ultimate Wine Challenge

    89 points
    Wine Enthusiast

    2013 Reserve Dry Riesling

    Gold medal winner (91 points)
    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

    2014 Luckystone Riesling

    Best in Class Sweet Riesling
    Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge

    Gold medal winner
    New York Wine and Food Classic

    2014 Riesling Ice Wine

    Best Ice Wine
    Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

    Gold medal winner (94 points)
    Wine & Spirits Magazine

    Gold medal winner (94 points)
    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

    Double Gold
    New York Wine and Food Classic

    Best Dessert Wine
    New York Wine and Food Classic

    Gold medal winner (90 points)
    Wine Enthusiast

  • Cooking Classes with Chef Brud Holland

    Saturdays: January 23, February 27, or March 26, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
    Learn and make three recipes in this hands-on cooking experience with Chef Brud Holland. Includes a sit-down wine and food pairing, plus a complimentary gift. 12 seats available for each class. Choose one class or attend all three!
    $75 per person per class.

  • An Exploration of Aged Finger Lakes Rieslings

    Wine Tasting at Sheldrake Point WinerySaturday, February 13, 2:00-4:30PM
    Taste and learn about 10 aged Rieslings from various Finger Lakes Wineries. Small bites will be served. Reserve soon, only 12 seats available!
    $60 per person.

  • 2015 Rosé Horizontal Tasting

    Saturday, April 2, 2:00-4:00PM
    Taste and learn about 6 Rosés from the 2015 vintage, each produced by a different Finger Lakes winery. Small food pairings demonstrate the versatility of this style of wine. 30 seats available.
    $30 per person.

  • Annual Barrel Tasting

    Annual Barrel Tasting at Sheldrake Point WinerySaturday, April 23, at 11:00AM, 1:00PM, and 3:00PM
    A peek at how wines look and taste while they are developing. Enjoy samples straight from the tank and barrel, along with food pairings. 30 seats available for each time slot.
    $30 for Wine Club members, $40 for non-members.

  • Tasting Points

  • Spotlight: 2012 Reserve Meritage

    In the Glass

    A medium-bodied red wine, bright with aromas of chocolate, stewed berry and plum, which lead to a long, warm, and spiced finish.

    Pairs beautifully with light proteins such as lamb and pork. Feel free to experiment with a variety of sauces and glazes.

    read more»
    Double Gold Medal

    New York Wine & Food Classic, 2016

    87 Points

    Wine Enthusiast

  • Recipe: Filet of Beef Bourguignon

    Filet of Beef Bourguignon

    Our Sheldrake Point 2012 Meritage Reserve and this classic French dish are a hand-in-glove pairing. The rich sauce balances the acids and tannins, and accentuates the creamy mouth feel of the wine. Plum and currant notes float over the savory tenderloin, and the sweeter carrot and onion heighten the wine’s

    read more»
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