Ravines Wine Cellars is a Finger Lakes treasure. Under the direction of its proprietor, the skilled producer Morten Hallgren Ravines has been making its mark on the Finger Lakes region for years since the establishment of the winery around 2000.
In his captivating book, Summer in A Glass wine writer (and anchorman for the news) Evan Dawson recounts how Morten Hallgren’s wanderings as a winemaker led him to the upstate of New York, where he bought a 17-acre plot of land that was carved by glaciers on a hillside on Keuka Lake’s Eastern side of Keuka Lake, where he established Ravines. (See this link for Evan Dawson’s highly acclaimed book at the bottom of this article.)
In the present, Morten Hallgren makes handcrafted wines using grapes grown in his own vineyard, as also grapes purchased from reputable producers within the Finger Lakes region. His hands-on, meticulous method of winemaking has produced stunning wines that are worth a look.
Enjoy the 2008 Chardonnay which I’m highlighting here. The vineyards are situated on a parcel that has the perfect micro-climate for Chardonnay. After harvest, the grapes are reintroduced into the winery which is where the remaining 20% are sown on screens to dry for up to four weeks. This is a technique employed since antiquity to produce dessert wines, as well as red wine such as Northern Italy’s famed Amarone.
The air drying process takes four weeks, Hallgren and his team will take the grapes for drying in the sunlight during the day. They after which they return them to the barn after dark in a room that is well-ventilated. As if that weren’t exhausting enough, they continue to remove the rotting grapes to ensure that they don’t infect the entire tray.
However, something amazing happens over these four weeks: grapes lose their moisture and flavors and sugars begin to concentrate. They’ll end up producing an extremely rich and delicious juice.
After the grapes have been pressed and the juice that is resulting is then fermented in old French oak that imparts the slightest hint of nuttiness, but doesn’t overpower the delicious flavors that are created during the drying process.
This is truly small-production winemaking at its very best. It’s a distinctive Chardonnay with a unique aroma. Take a sip!
Ravines Wine Cellars 2008 Chardonnay
Producer: Ravines Wine Cellars
Region: Finger Lakes
Residual sugar 3gr
Serve with a light chill
Sip your glass of Ravines 2008. Chardonnay into a glass, and it will appear as if you’re looking at glowing gold in a pale liquid. The wine is beautiful and vibrant. wine is glowed with a playful glow.
The first time you sniff the nose, it fills with strong aromas of white blossoms, pears, and citrus fruits. There are also delicate nutty notes that emerge. It’s a must to keep the glass open to the glass to take in the aroma an amazing experience in the sense that Chardonnay isn’t known as an especially fragrant wine.
If you take your first glass, the gorgeous flavors are reflected on your palate, including lemon curd, fresh pear, delicate hazelnut along with herbal notes. The wine is rich, delicious and silky, with bright acidity and most importantly, incredibly tasty, it lingers on the palate in a delightful way.
When I first tasted the 2008 Chardonnay I immediately thought about pairing it up with this Autumn harvest salad that includes Fennel-roasted grapes, apples blue cheese, and hazelnuts toasted. When I finally got a opportunity to serve them together I knew I had the perfect match. The wine’s strong flavors were the perfect match to the flavor in the salad particularly the apple roasting in the oven. The wine’s vibrant acidity was perfect to the cider vinegar. The Chardonnay’s delicate, nutty flavors were a perfect match with the hazelnuts, and its velvety texture was delicious with blue cheese.
Deliciously balanced, intensely fragrant and incredibly seductive This 2007 Chardonnay can also be a great food wine to enjoy with food. In addition to being delicious to accompany the salad of the harvest It is also a great match with an array of other foods, such as this delicious butternut squash and leeks potato latkes with cumin that has been pan-roasted and fennel. Also, this soup with a radish top and slow-roasted radish root with Fennel as well as and this artichoke risotto made with lemon and herb pesto and a cheese platter served with fall fruit… (To just name only some!)
When you take into account the price of just $20 The 2008 Chardonnay is a bargain. I’ve already tucked some bottles away in my cellar. They’ll be able to hold me while the next batch is waiting to be enjoyed.