Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

Filtering by Tag: Finger Lakes

Holiday Prep with Chateau Frank

We're only a week into the holiday season but don't be fooled; time is going to fly.  While Christmas music still prompts an urge to sing along and the onslaught of holiday festivities hasn't reached its apex, now's the time to think about holiday beverages.

Whether you're looking for a hostess gift or something to serve at your own table, bubbly is always appropriate. While Champagne is a classic, I urge you to think domestic; specifically, the Chateau Frank Celebre Rose, Finger Lakes, NY, NV.  

Dr. Konstantin Frank is credited as one of the forefathers of Finger Lakes wines.  Merely ten years after immigrating to the US, he partnered with Charles Fournier and began producing quality wines in an area previously considered to be unsuitable for vineyard growth.  He believed, and rightly so, that it was the rootstock, not the climate, that was the cause of mediocre wines.  By growing European Vitis Vinifera, as opposed to the native Vitis Labrusca, he proved that this Northern New York territory could produce some stunning vino. 

Years later, Dr. Frank's son Willy, gifted with his father's pioneering spirit, started Chateau Frank, a label devoted specifically to sparkling wines.  Located down the road from the main winery, Chateau Frank inhabits an old winery that the previous owners converted into a champagne cellar.   Carved out deep below ground, the cellar provides the perfect cool environment essential for champagne storage.  Like his father, Willy believed that traditional varietals would thrive in the Finger Lakes climate, so he began growing the three classic Champagne grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Again, turning to France, he mirrored the methode champenoise, the traditional method for creating champagne, to great results. 

Chateau Frank Celebre Rose, Finger Lakes, NY, NY. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine. 

Chateau Frank Celebre Rose, Finger Lakes, NY, NY. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine. 

The Celebre Rose showcases ripe strawberry and cherry with a hint of kiwi on the nose.  A slight note of bread is also present in the aromatics, showing the traditional champagne method in action.  Sipping through, the berries are bright and lively and the soft bubbles are texturally pleasing on the tongue.  Delicious as an apertif or with fruit-based dishes such as cranberry sauce, this bubbly is a winner for the holidays.

Rose's Last Call

Not to be a downer, but.... I'm going to be anyway. Summer is coming to a close.  You need to get your rose on.  Now.  Here are a few new ones I discovered at a recent tasting.  

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Bubbles! This Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV, had a lot of fresh strawberry on the nose but was beautifully balanced with a brioche toastiness on the palate.  

 

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

A bit of Finger Lakes history for you.  Charles Fournier was one of the pioneering winemakers in this northern New York region and is credited with moving the industry forward.  In the 1950s he brought Dr. Konstantin Frank over and together they revolutionized FInger Lakes wines.  The Dr. Konstantin Frank label is fairly well known but there hasn't been a Fournier Private label for a while.  The Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013, was somewhat Provencal in style with the lighter body but it showcased more New World style fruitiness. 

 

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

And then, there was this awesomeness. Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013, was a Bordeaux blend rose.  Fuller in body, it was rich in fruit but what was most interesting was a bit of creaminess and a slight dairy tang.  Yep, this rose was treated with a bit of malo.  

Finally, with the cooler weather coming, I recommend these two Rosato-style roses. Heftier in body and juicy beyond all belief, they are the sweatercoats of Rose: Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013  and Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. 

 

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

I'm gunning for Endless Summer....