Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn's)

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Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn's)

Postby Ed Draves » Thu May 18, 2006 11:50 am

Stopped by to visit and meet WLDG regular contibuter, John D. Zuccarino, at his winery Silver Springs (Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, New York, USA) on my way down to Corning.
Upon walking through the door I was warmly greeted by John and his wife and made to feel most welcome. We introduced ourselves and got to tasting John's wines. We began with some very nice Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauv, although NY is not known for Bordeaux grape reds, these wines were fantastic and were well worth the $19-$22 price range John asks for them. They all had nice forward fruit coupled with nice balance and good finish. We moved on to Deleware (1% rs, would not be out of place served next to good Riesling), a non-foxy Catawba (1.5%RS)and 2 different Cayugas(3&5%RS).
The wines alone were well worth the trip down (couple that with the fact John has some great neighbors) and meeting John and his wife were a very special treat.
Those going to NiagaraCool will get to try Silver Springs wines as John has donated 2 cases of Silver Spring wines to the picnic http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewtopic.php?t=1151
I'll be reccomending Silver Springs
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn's)

Postby Paul B. » Fri May 19, 2006 12:34 am

Ed, thanks for the detailed impressions.

I've been most interested in the wines that John makes since we first began corresponding about Delaware and Catawba specifically. Of course, Cayuga is also high on my interest level after tasting a phenomenal dry Cayuga sparkler made by none other than our very own Howie Hart.

From what few photos I've seen, the Finger Lakes are a beautiful area - I must visit one day. Now with the Canadian dollar riding so high in value, I really have to start thinking about that visit all the more ... :lol:

John, it's good that you're working with the natives. I've been saying for years that what the native grapes need is bold winemakers - winemakers willing to step outside of the narrow boxes that convention has drawn for them and try wholly new styles. The times have changed and no longer are people looking for tacky soda-pop wines: they want the real thing. And this is where our heirloom grapes have a great chance at stepping onto centre stage.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Ed Draves » Fri May 19, 2006 7:51 am

Paul,
Wine makers like John and Jeff Murphy ( Johnson Estate, the Saturday winery trip hope you join us) are artists who take these "under utilised" grapes seriously and the results are serious and commercially viable wine. I purchased John's Deleware and White Catawba and have already enjoyed them at home. John's Catawba is not recognisable as the same grape as the "Pink Cat" so many people know, Silver Springs has such great acid and flavor.
Imagine if the world judged "Howell Mountain Cabernet" based on several tastings of Carlo Rossi Cab jug wine. (extreem example but I'm making a point).
That said tacky soda-pop wines will always be with us as actual tacky soda pop sells millions of cans a year. People who educate themselves on the difference will find a lot more enjoyment. And if someone finds they perfer "tacky soda-pop wines" at least they found what they like.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Thomas » Fri May 19, 2006 8:51 am

John's Delaware is quite a wine.

His Cabernet Franc is at the top of my list of his wines.

The lower RS Cayuga is a great summer wine.

I have not had the Catawba--but I will soon.

Stay awake John. I might pop in one day unexpected. Had I known Ed was coming this way, I would have tried to meet up.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Ed Draves » Fri May 19, 2006 10:26 am

Thomas,
Had I been more sure of my plans, I'd have been more public about my visit. The week went kind of like this: Monday I decided I'd visit wineries on Seneca on my way to IEWC, Wednesday I called Dick Reno and made arrangements to be at Chateau Reneau early Friday afternoon. I wanted to visit John and put a face with the posts a taste with the wines. My plan was to leave Buffalo early hit , CLR and Silver Springs then be in Corning by 3 pm. I got a late start, got to Reneau late and did not even get to see John until 4.
I will frequently (when PearlAnne is a bit older)make "firm plans" in the Finger Lakes and, if you wish, send you a note each time. I think we'd have fun tasting together. I have promised Bob Wojnar that I'd visit Dr Frank's winery this year. I also have plans to visit the Culinary center with Premier. In the meantime are you comming to NiagaraCool? How about the Chautauqua visit?
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Thomas » Fri May 19, 2006 10:44 am

Ed,

You will find that we have indeed met--about ten years ago, when I worked for Summit (Div of Lauber).

Anyway, if you visit Dr Frank's you will be 1/4 mile from my home, so odds are we'll share a glass.

As for NiagaraCool; I'm trying to work it out. Writing and teaching schedule makes it tough for an overnight, and since it is a 3-hour drive one way, it makes a one day even tougher for these old bones, not mention old brains.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Paul B. » Fri May 19, 2006 11:21 am

Ed Draves wrote:John's Catawba is not recognisable as the same grape as the "Pink Cat" so many people know, Silver Springs has such great acid and flavor.

I have to say, Ed, that I don't know "Pink Cat" and chances are that I'm better off for it. I as a home winemaker have, over the years, chiseled and defined my personal style of labrusca wine, and that style is crisp, unameliorated, unsweetened, boldly aromatic and very, very expressive of the fruit and nothing but. I agree with you that whoever likes the tacky fizzy/sugary stuff should be able to enjoy it, but let no one ever say that that is the only way to make labrusca! Word about wines such as John's will likely get out eventually and people will eventually take notice. And as I've mentioned many times in the past (and to little avail, it sometimes seems), dry Catawba, dry Niagara and even dry Concord are very comparable to a dry Muscat in that both are highly aromatic but simultaneously crisp and clean.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Thomas » Fri May 19, 2006 12:36 pm

Paul,

You bring up an inetresting point--for me.

Rarely do I cotton to muscat wines. Maybe whatever it is that makes me wary of muscat also makes me wary of many so-called natives. It's the intensity of those particular aromatic varieties to which I react.

Having said that, there are some muscats and some so-called natives that I have been able to like, yet it remains a rarity.
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Paul B. » Fri May 19, 2006 12:39 pm

Tom, I understand what you mean. It also tends to apply to Gewürztraminer and maybe Viognier to some example: the overt, monotonic fruitiness turns some people off.

Personally, it's not complexity that I seek in these wines, but purity and boldness of expression. As I wrote in my poem on Concord:

The grapes are blue, the bunches husky.
The wine is fruity, bold and musky.
It's nose - precisely due to this -
Forms subtlety's antithesis.

And that's how I think it is :o
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Thomas » Fri May 19, 2006 1:47 pm

And while we are at it--

if my memory is uncannily
good,
or even vaguely keen (fine),
gewurztraminer is of the family
muscat,
or was that muscadine (dine)?
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Paul B. » Fri May 19, 2006 1:59 pm

I love Niagara's big perfume -
You can smell the grapes before you view 'em!
They ripen well in summer's heat
And make a wine that's truly neat.

:mrgreen:
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Re: Winery visit impression-Silver Springs (no specific wtn'

Postby Steve Guattery » Fri May 19, 2006 6:12 pm

Thomas wrote:As for NiagaraCool; I'm trying to work it out. Writing and teaching schedule makes it tough for an overnight, and since it is a 3-hour drive one way, it makes a one day even tougher for these old bones, not mention old brains.


Thomas,

It looks at the moment as if I'll be driving from Canandaigua to the picnic and back on Sunday. If it makes things easier, you can ride with me from there. Drop me a note if you're interested. I'll be spitting at the picnic, by the way.

If anyone else from that area wants to carpool, let me know.
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