Review: 2 Fulkerson Winery Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, New York

Sipping the Finger Lakes.

In September, I participated in the Finger Lakes 2011 Riesling Launch. The focus was the release of the 2011 vintage. Samples were provided and several days were focused on tasting and tweeting about the 2011 Rieslings from the Finger Lakes wine region. We used #FLXwine in our tweets about the Finger Lakes wines.

One of the wines I received in September was a 2011 Fulkerson Winery Semi-Dry Riesling. That is the second wine reviewed on this post. My notes for the Semi-Dry Riesling are from September. The other wine I am reviewing was shipped to me last week, it is the 2010 Fulkerson Winery Dry Riesling. That is the first wine reviewed today.

Fulkerson Winery Tasting Room.
Fulkerson Winery is a family owned and operated winery and fresh juice plant in Dundee, NY in the heart of the Finger Lakes on the West side of Seneca Lake. They offer over 23 varieties of Wine, 33 varieties of fresh grape juice in the fall and a full line of home wine making supplies and select brewing supplies. They actually began as a juice plant on their 200 year old farm in 1979, selling juice and wine making equipment to home wine makers. They joined the other Finger Lakes Wineries in 1989.

Fulkerson 2010 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Review: Fulkerson 2010 Dry Riesling, Estate, Finger Lakes, New York

Color: Pretty gold color.
Nose: It had petrol, spice and apricot fuzz at first. After 15 minutes, as it lost some chill, the nose was more concentrated and reminded me of the top of a baked apple pie. It had a distinct peach skin flavor and finish, with pleasant minerality filling out this dry, light bodied wine. It was smooth, and a pleasant sipper.

This wine is a good choice for those who like to hot tub with their wine. No hot tub? Then how about a cozy bath with an intimate companion and a bottle of Fulkerson Dry Riesling? I'm not responsible for what transpires. For a good example of the proper method of tasting wine in the tub, watch this video of Allie Merrick and her husband Peter. Quite instructional :)

If food is more your inclination, I suggest pairing this wine with seafood, grilled, with something spicy added or on the side. Other good companions to this wine, a Fritata, spinach Quiche or cheese fondue.

Another aspect I appreciate with this vintage, the acid is moderate and does not irritate my throat. I enjoyed the 2010 Fulkerson Dry Riesling, as did my wife, who kept asking for a refill. Recommended.

ABV: 11.8%
Closure: Synthetic cork
Sample provided by the winery

Fulkerson 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Review: Fulkerson 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, Estate, Finger Lakes, New York

Color: Clear straw.
Nose: Vaseline, kind of funky. As it warmed up it became more herbal, reminding me of sagebrush on a windy day, with some white pepper and molasses. At first, the nose did not match flavors or finish.
Flavors: Don't drink this wine too cold...let it warm a bit, you will be rewarded with lovely fruit flavors of peach, nectarine and apricot. It had a good finish of apricot, almost sweet, really lovely. Some sort of wild spicy, exotic flavor emerged when I paired this wine with Havarti cheese and crackers. Reminded me of an apricot pie - big smile. Weight mid-palate lingers a while. Surprising crisp finish for a semi-dry wine.

I'd pair this Fulkerson Riesling with pork chops, ham, turkey and roasted chicken. A terrific value at $12.99 SRP – but don't serve it too cold, this wine really comes alive at 55-60 degrees. Recommended.

ABV: 11%
Residual Sugar: 1% natural sugars (not back sweetened).
Closure: Natural cork
Cases produced: 537
Suggested retail price: $12.99
Sample provided by the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance

The 2011 Growing Season Highlights.

Growing season began cool and wet - heavy rains in the spring. Hot and dry in the summer - borderline drought conditions in June and July. Wet and warm through harvest - with heavy botrytis pressure. A season of extremes was challenging for growers. Bright spots? Higher yields, especially native and hybrid varieties. Fruit quality remained good to very good.

Quick facts on the Finger Lakes
  •  Established in October 1, 1982.
  • 100 plus wineries.
  • 11,000 acres under vine.
  • 600 + acres of Riesling.
  • 100,000 cases of Riesling.
  • Small, specific producers whose wine reflects place and personality.
  • Strong, regional aromatic whites with a focus on Riesling.
  • The average producer makes 2.5 styles of Riesling wine a year.
  • The Finger Lakes is home to over 200 Riesling brands.
Fulkerson Winery
5576 Route 14
Dundee, NY 14837
Phone: (607) 243-7883
Fax: (607) 243-8337

I'd like to thank Fulkerson Winery for their kind response to my tweets and the wine they shipped to me. A big thank you as well to the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance for allowing me to participate a second time, in a twitter tasting of Finger Lakes Rieslings. In my part of the world, it is difficult to find Finger Lakes wines.


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