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Finger Lakes Riesling grapes

A feature in the June 30 issue of Wine Spectator magazine praises the Finger Lakes region for its 2016 vintage, and specifically its Riesling.

The feature's writer, James Molesworth, said the season's warm and dry growing season reduced the disease pressures faced by the region's growers. Then, when much-needed rain fell late in the season, the growers "made the most of the opportunity" by waiting to pick, Molesworth wrote.

The result was the Finger Lakes region's best vintage since 2012, he said, based on blind tastings of nearly 250 wines. 

"It's not yet a world-class wine region — the critical mass of quality isn't quite there," Molesworth wrote. "But if more vintages like 2016 come along, it won't be long before the Finger Lakes can lay claim to that mantle."

The region's 2016 Rieslings, in particular, are "fresh, pure and focused," Molesworth said. He singled out Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard's Late Harvest Single Select 2016, whose 94-point rating makes it the highest-rated Finger Lakes wine in the history of Wine Spectator. The Dundee winery's Riesling is "a lush dessert-style wine that displays creamed apricot, tangerine and nectarine notes that stay refined and focused thanks to light orange blossom, citrus oil and jasmine hints."

Molesworth also praised 2016 Rieslings by Keuka Lake Vineyards, Domaine LeSeurre, Empire Estate, Red Newt Cellars, The Element, Sheldrake Point, Lamoreaux Landing and Silver Thread. The region's red wines, meanwhile, "take a backseat in the Finger Lakes but continue to show improvement as well."

The issue hits newsstands May 29.

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