The Wines of the Finger Lakes;
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2008 ZUGIBE VINEYARDS GEWÜRZTRAMINER
In recent years, the quality of Finger Lakes Riesling has been widely acknowledged by the press, consumers, and the vintners themselves—so much so, perhaps, that some of the region’s other strengths have been overlooked. For instance, Finger Lakes wineries have made great strides with Gewürztraminer in recent years, but it seems a hidden secret. Word is getting out, though: Lettie Teague, writing in Food and Wine, stated that on her first visit to the Finger Lakes she was “hoping to find good Riesling and discovered great Gewürztraminer.”
Poor examples of this wine can be overly alcoholic and unfocused, but the best ones from the Finger Lakes marry the extroverted aromas and flavors of the grape with a balance and structure lacking in many domestic renditions. One fine example is the 2008 Zugibe Vineyards Gewürztraminer. It’s packed with the classic rose and lychee character associated with Gewürz, underscored by ginger and honey notes. The flavorsare rich and persistent. With 2 percent residual sugar, it is not bone dry, but this attractive hint of sweetness is balanced by the wine’s acidity and alcohol. (These virtues were appreciated by the judges at this year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, who gave it a gold medal.) Try serving this wine with roast pork or turkey, strong cheeses, smoked fish, or spicy Asian dishes.
Zugibe Vineyards, located in Geneva on the east side of Seneca Lake, was founded in 2005 by Dr. Fred Zugibe, a cardiologist. Since his death in 2006, his three sons have been running the winery: Frederick III is the winemaker, Sean tends the forty acres of vineyards, and the affable Brendan takes care of the business side. If Zugibe’s initial offerings, including this fine Gewürztraminer, are any indication, wine drinkers will be hearing much more about this trio in years to come.
— Dave Pohl
Dave Pohl, MA ’79, is a wine buyer at Northside Wine & Spirits in Ithaca.
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