Skip to main content

4 Wines of Damiani Wine Cellars - Finger Lakes, NY @DamianiWine


Regular readers of this wine blog and my East Coast wine friends, know that I have become a fan of Finger Lakes Riesling. They have a quality and flavor profile which I adore. It should be no surprise that I am always eager to expand my palate and experience more wines from New York. They do grow more than Riesling in the Finger Lakes.

It was a delight to be asked by Damiani Wine Cellars to review four of their wines; a Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Damiani Wine Cellars is a winery located on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake, New York. They have 23 acres of vineyards which they hand-pick and ferment in small batches. Owners Glenn Allen (GM), Lou Damiani (Winemaker) and Phil Davis (Grower) produce a full line of distinctive red and white wines.

I encourage you to seek these wines out. If you live on the East Coast they will be easier to find. Visit their website to check on shipping options and availability.

"We let the land and vines speak for themselves in creating unique, handcrafted, elegant wines, 100% Finger Lakes Grown."
- Damiani Wine Cellars 

Damiani Winery & Vineyard
4704 Rt 414, Burdett, New York 14818
(607) 546-5557

An every day Riesling.

Tasting Notes 2012 Riesling

Color: Straw with green highlights.
Nose: Hit of mineral, spice, touch of petrol, melon, apricot.
Palate: Light, apple, apricot, peach, creamy, vanilla, nice backbone of gentle acid, good weight, pleasant medium finish with Fuji apple, spice and honey.
Thoughts: Tasty Riesling with enough complexity to keep my interest. A warm growing season has allowed this wine to develop a lot of fruit on the palate. It was very good with turkey at the table. I'd also pair this with chicken, Shepard's pie and cheese fondue. Drink over the next three years. Recommended.
ABV: 11.9%
RS: 2.25%
Closure: Agglomerated cork.
Production: 325 cases.
SRP: $15.99
Sample provided by the winery.

Damiani  brings home the Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes 2012 Chardonnay - Barrel Fermented

Color: Pale straw, with silver highlights.
Nose: Melon, mineral, fresh bread, floral note, vanilla, suggestion of ginger and spice.
Palate: Melon, mineral, pear, bright edged, spike mid-palate, lemon zest on the fresh, slightly buttery finish. Satisfying drinker by itself.
Thoughts: I like this restrained, yet complex style of Chardonnay - balanced, dry, fresh, gently oaked and food worthy. This wine put me in the mood for seafood - lobster, prawn fettuccini, sea bass, grilled oysters. A perfect wine for relaxing with friends and book clubs. Recommended.
ABV: 13.9%
Closure: Natural Cork
SRP: $17.99
Production 170 cases.
Sample provided by the winery.

Wonderful food wine.

Tasting Notes 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve - Davis Vineyard

Color: Ruby.
Nose: Enticing, raspberry, strawberry, spice, dill, mushroom. Raspberry jam at 30 minutes.
Palate: Fluid, smooth, strawberry, raspberry, bright down the middle, tingle on back palate, a lot of red fruit flavor, dry, earthy towards the front with strawberry, mushroom and vanilla on the finish. After 30 minutes dry on the cheeks, full raspberry and strawberry with dark fruit notes and a little blacktop on the bright palate. Really good after 30 minutes, stimulated appetite.
Thoughts: This is a food wine. The dill and mushroom aromas blew off after 30 minutes. Which allowed the lovely fruit to show off on the dry finish. It was wonderful with the sausage stuffing my wife made; big smile on my face and even bigger belly when I was finished. Suggest also game bird, ham and especially beef Carpaccio. Strongly Recommended.
ABV: 13.9%
Closure: Natural cork
SRP: $46.99
Sample provided by the winery

An impressive Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Color: Deep purple.
Nose: Cherry, currant, vanilla, mineral, tarragon.
Palate: Friendly is the first word which came to mind when I tasted this wine. It was fluid, with an amiable grip on the gums, greeted by cherry, raspberry, red delicious apple edge, medium cherry with cassis finish. Noticeably drier after 30 minutes with a big finish. Recommend pairing with a nice juicy rib-eye at this point.
After 4 hours an expressive wine, creamy dry, complex, wonderful mouth feel, the mid and front palate were spot on. Delightful with Italian salami and smoked Flagship cheddar cheese from Seattle. Groovy baby.
Day two: Dark drinking red, blackberry, tar, tarragon, espresso bean, dry, dry, Bing cherry finish. A bit lighter mid-palate, but that wondrous dry finish kept my interest. I'd pair with fatty foods on day two.
Thoughts: Ready to drink at opening. Improved the longer it was open. Suitable to almost any occasion, friends, meals and just because. Really impressed by this Finger Lakes Cabernet Sauvignon. Well done Damiani, well done. Recommended.
Closure: Natural Cork.
ABV: 13.9%
Production 145 cases.
SRP: $44.99
Sample provided by the winery

Truly, this New York winery is crafting not only world-class Riesling, but also Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and even Cabernet Sauvignon. I'm impressed by the quality and range of styles. Well done Damiani Wine Cellars. My friends I encourage you to broaden your palate and bring some of these wines home to your table. Share with your family and friends the fruit of the harvest from New York.

Damiani Winery & Vineyard
4704 Rt 414
Burdett, New York 14818
(607) 546-5557


  • The Finger Lakes AVA

Established in October of 1982, the Finger Lakes AVA is the largest wine-growing region in New York State with approximately 11,000 acres of labrusca (native), French-American and vinifera (European) grapes and just over 100 wineries. The four main lakes of the Finger Lakes AVA include: Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. Each lake has its own unique viticultural characteristics providing unique flavor profiles. Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake are officially recognized AVAs.

  • Finger Lakes Vinifera Varieties

The most significant vinifera grapes of the Finger Lakes include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc as well as several French-American and native varieties. The region is especially well-known for producing aromatic whites such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

  • Finger Lakes Vinifera Acres Planted by Variety

Riesling 828.60 acres planted
Chardonnay 340.53 acres planted
Cabernet Franc 220.75 acres planted
Pinot Noir 179.19 acres planted
Gewurztraminer 104.94 acres planted
Merlot 62.25 acres planted
Pinot Gris 51.45 acres planted



Popular posts from this blog

Review: Sho Chiku Bai, Unfiltered Sake

Last month in Seattle, I purchased a bottle of Nigori sake at Uwajimaya. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been visiting Uwajimaya for almost 40 years. When I was much younger, I’d buy model ship and plane kits, Japanese comic books (manga) and I never left without at least one steaming Humbow in hand. Today I buy the manga for my son; while I still enjoy the tasty steamed Humbows, now I never leave without at least one bottle of Sake in hand. Uwajimaya has a terrific selection of imported sake. This most recent visit, I left with a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori sake. Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Typical sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process; however Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a cloudier beverage. Before serving, the bottle must

Spirit Review: Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin' @OleSmoky

Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%). "Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia My family is no stranger to Moonshine.  That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries d

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend.  February 28th was Open That Bottle Night - I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved. "Blending wine is no task for mere mortals."   - William Pollard Jr.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing. *Note: What is Open That Bottle Night? Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle