Wine Cellars Pinot Noir paired with trofie and arugula pesto

In the year 2000, my partner Marc and I took our first visit to The Finger Lakes. Evan Dawson, the brilliant wine writer of the New York Cork Report, is the sole reason for the decision to travel north. His love for the great wines from The Finger Lakes convinced me that I needed to take a closer study of the region.

(In a previous post, I’ve written about our first encounter with Evan and our visit to Hermann J. Wiemerwinery. If you’d like to read about it, please visit this link.)

As we were getting ready for the departure of our trip, Evan graciously emailed me an excerpt from his soon-to-be-published publication, Summer in a Glass. I was thrilled to have an insider’s view. Evan’s writing is filled with enthusiasm for wine grapes and his beloved Finger Lakes. Marc read the book aloud while I drove along, our excitement increasing with each new page.

The book focused on Morten Hallgreen, a talented winemaker at Ravines Wine Cellars. When Marc finished reading the last paragraph, we were about thirty minutes away from Ravines. We decided to go in, even though it was set to close.

Six or five wines were served, each being great, but one of them, the Pinot Noir, caught my eye. When the wine poured into our glasses, I smiled at The hue! It was a deep ruby with garnet tones; it was so light you could see your hands straight in the glass. Making an Pinot Noir this pale took some determination. After hearing about the extraordinary life of Morten as a winemaker, and his commitment to the craft of winemaking, I was sure we would be in for an absolute real treat. I was eagerly awaiting my first one sip.

Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir

Producer: Ravines Wine Cellars

Region: Finger lakes

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2008

Alc: 12.5%

I suggest that you decant the wine for about 1 to 2 hours prior to serving.

Swirling and smelling it Ravines Pinot Noir is pure pleasure. The wine is vibrant and youthful, lively and bursting with scents of red cherry strawberries, plums violet, white pepper, earth and vanilla – there’s a lot happening for such a youthful wine! Every tastebud is asking for a glass.

All those wonderful aromas which filled your nostrils rapidly expand within the mouth. The delicate notes of cedar and herbaceous aromas are next. Light-bodied, with vibrant acidity and soft, sweet tannins The Pinot Noir is nonetheless intensely tasty. For a final teaser it has a long end. The great structure and flavor make this wine a wonderful one to pair alongside food.

As warmer temperatures are expected to stay for a few more days and local, fresh vegetables are in abundance, I decided to mix with Ravine’s Pinot Noir with a light summer meal. This trofie, paired with Arugula pesto and flash-sauteed cherry tomatoes was perfect.

The wine’s acidity is perfect for the tart but sweet cherry tomatoes and keeps the pesto sauce at bay. However, what’s remarkable is how well its body complements the slenderness of the dish.

Storing away a few bottles of this delicious Pinot Noir seems like a great idea. Certain, it’ll be a great source of more presents to be bestowed in the next few years.

I’ll be forever thankful for Evan Dawson for introducing me to the winemakers from the Finger Lakes. By his eye, the words of Evan and taste I’ve been able get to know their work in a an even deeper way. The wines become more personal, intimate. These winemakers Evan describes don’t simply make their mark into their wines, they add their soul to the wine too. It’s a thrilling pursuit just like the search for Terroir.


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