forge

Another Sinfully Delectable Food and Wine Pairing

Photo by: Steven M Rice

Photo by: Steven M Rice

Our friend, Steve, from the Seattle area sent us this picture of our 2015 Lower Caywood Vineyard Riesling that he paired with local Dungeness Crab.  This may be one of the greatest parings with that wine that I could ever imagine.  The richness, minerality, and specifically the wild herb component of our Lower Caywood Riesling paired with the crab must have been wonderful.  

When Louis was here, we grilled Alaskan King Crab legs and had them with a magnum of 2012 Riesling Les Alliés, and it was sinful.  Remember, these are not your grandma’s Rieslings…

-RR

Dungeness Crabs Meet Harvest Ridge

Photo: Steven M. Rice

Photo: Steven M. Rice

Our customer, Steven, from Seattle sent us this picture of freshly harvested Dungeness Crabs made into homemade crab cakes.  The week before, Steven was telling me how he was out collecting oysters to go with another Forge Riesling.  We love nothing more than seeing how you pair Forge Riesling with different foods from your neighborhood.

The saline, oyster water, seaweed character of Harvest Ridge probably went really well with the sweet flavor of the Dungeness Crab.  Wish I was there to experience it first hand!

Please keep the pictures coming.  

Cheers.

-RR
 

A Perfect Score

Ratings, ratings and more ratings.  It seems like everyday the world of wine is consumed with scores.  You can’t blame us really as scores do help to sell wines and are especially important to small producers from emerging regions that lack the sales force or marketing dollars to tell their story.   Scores also help to guide consumers in choosing wine in the huge offerings widely available especially when in one of the “big boxes”.

I don’t care what any winery/winemaker/vigneron says, when you get a great score you smile and take a certain pleasure from the recognition.

Today, I think Louis’ father, Henri, is smiling for his son and all he has accomplished not only at Château de St. Cosme but also at Forge Cellars.

Well done Louis….it is not everyday you achieve a perfect score from the Wine Advocate.

-RR

Forge Cellars in Japan

A picture of Louis sharing Forge wines in Japan. On the right of the picture is our dear friend, Rudi de Pins of Château Montfaucon.

A picture of Louis sharing Forge wines in Japan. On the right of the picture is our dear friend, Rudi de Pins of Château Montfaucon.

A quick piece of advice -- if you are going to have partners in business make sure they are way cooler and more interesting then yourself!

Last week Louis emailed me and said that his Norwegian importer tasted the 2015 Forge wines at St. Cosme and absolutely loved them.  They placed a large order of Riesling AND Pinot, so we're very excited about that.

Plus, the week before, Taiwan placed an order!

Yesterday Louis sent me this:

"I am in Tokyo. I sold some Riesling and Pinots yesterday in Kyoto. Tomorrow tasting all day at Imperial Hotel WITH the Riesling. Tuesday with Enoteca buyer to re-present Pinot and Riesling. Wednesday tasting all day at Imperial Hotel Osaka with the Riesling." - Louis

While the rest of the team is hunkered down here in "the lakes" taking care of 2016 vintage, it is good to know that your partner is out in the rest of the world spreading Finger Lakes love.

-RR

Les Alliés Riesling is...

Louis Barruol - winemaking, cellar, Riesling

Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by "uncovering" itself. Our 100% indigenous yeast Riesling fermentations proceed very slowly, taking a very long time to become totally, completely, bone dry.  It's not in spring, but in the summer after the vintage that we are finally able to move toward bottling the wines.  Once they are truly finished, our team begins diligently tasting through each of our 70 barrels and two tanks, giving each Riesling a detailed rating and review, and writing personal tasting notes.  When we talk about small batch and individualized fermentations, we really mean it--70 separate, small French barriques from 10 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality. Some barrels simply speak so clearly of their terroirs that they must become single vineyard wines.  We do not hold them as "better" than our other wines, but they deserve and earn their places as wines that are so expressive of an individual place that we wish to present them in their own bottlings.  (These vary from year to year as different sites reveal themselves.)

Along the way, we decide that some very special barrels are stand-outs.  Some are so outstanding, unique, and by consensus, the most exceptional of our Rieslings--dense, pure, minerally, intense and balanced.  This is the consensus that makes up Les Alliés -- the allies, the partners, the united ones. We don't "make" Les Alliés, we discover it together, and it's an easy decision because it tells us what it wants to be. 

The Les Alliés Riesling is what we call a freight train of a wine--built for the long haul.  You may certainly open it now and enjoy it immensely, but save some for your cellar to watch it reveal itself over the next decade.


Forge Cellars Les Alliés Riesling in the Press:

2014 Riesling Les Alliés
92 POINTS, TOP WINE (Wine Spectator)

"Forge Cellars leads the way here with its late-release 2014 Riesling. The Les Alliés (named for "the allies,” the estate’s three owners from America and France) is a combination of the best lots sourced from various vineyards. It shows how complexity and depth can be built in a wine, rather than drawn from a single site. The employment of used barrels for aging Riesling is a relatively new technique in the Finger Lakes, and it’s helping forge this distinctive wine’s personality and mouthfeel." - James Molesworth

2014 Riesling Les Alliés
92 POINTS, TOP WINE (Vinous)

“An exotic wine, with a nose of raw cashews, quince, lemon curd, papaya and the subtle stamp of oak. The palate is lively and layered, with great textural complexity and a palate-coating, lanolin-like quality that carries through into the finish. A unique, and interesting wine.” - Kelli White

2013 Riesling Les Alliés
90 POINTS, TOP WINE (Wine Spectator)

"Focused and pure, with anise, ginger, blanched almond, pear and mirabelle plum notes that extend on the mineral-edged finish." - James Molesworth

2013 Riesling Les Alliés
91 POINTS, TOP WINE (Vinous)

“The Les Alliés is effectively Forge’s reserve wine, assembled from select lots and aged for an extra three to four months in barrel. The nose is marked by scents of warm brown spices, butterscotch, white flowers, and hard cheese. The palate is lovely, with a punchy, expressive personality and a brighter acidity than the basic 2013 Riesling. A touch of flint comes through in the finish, as does a hint of oak.” Kelli White

Snapshots from our first day at our new facility...

Drinking Forge Riesling in WALES

Finger Lakes Riesling fans traveling through Wales - be safe to add an evening of dining at The Hand at Llanarmon to your itinerary. We're happy to let you know That you can order a bottle of Forge Cellars Riesling to pair With Their superb and inventive cuisine. 

Not traveling to Wales Any time soon? Here's one of Their recipes for you to try out at home Alongside a glass of our 2013 Riesling.



 

The Forge Standard

I could rant about the necessity of offering a "special member" card, sales during certain days of the year, a "buy 3 get 1 free" deal, or granting membership in a “club"...and on and on.

As a matter of fact, I recently spoke with a “professional” about how to expand our online presence and get wine club (we don’t have one) members to buy more by offering free shipping and keychains. Maybe I am just really old school but I am just happy to keep everything as simple as possible.

Work hard - make great wine - offer it to people in a simple and straightforward manner without having to jump through hoops and keep the price reasonable.  

Maybe I am so old school that I'm cool?  Not a chance…

Here is to clarity….cheers.

- RR

What is the Forge Standard?  The Forge Standard is simple, it's standard practice that we offer complimentary shipping on wine orders of six or more bottles.  Enjoying wine should be rewarded and rewarding.

Triangle Wine, what is it?

92 POINTS, TOP WINE
2014 Riesling Sunrise Hill Vineyard

91 POINTS, TOP VALUE
2014 Riesling Classique

When VALUEINTEREST, and HAND-CRAFTED join together to form a perfect balance, you’re given a wine that wine drinkers prize. It’s a combination of these elements that give a wine its strength, giving it a life that exists far beyond the bottle.  It becomes a Triangle Wine.

 
 

 

Let’s think about this concept with our 2014 Riesling Classique

Value:  James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator awarded this wine 91 points, but more importantly considers it the Top Value out of over 200 wines tasted from the Finger Lakes.

Interest:  Combining texture with distinct minerality and freshness balanced by bone dryness, all with a fruit driven core – our 2014 Riesling Classique has a dynamic profile that keeps you engaged.

Hand-crafted:  Harvested from low-yielding vines, picked by hand, resorted in the winery, spontaneous fermentation, and made in a small quantity.  Each part of the process is guided naturally by the Forge Cellars team, with thoughtful and conscious decisions that allow the wine to speak of place and quality.

There you have it, Forge Cellars Riesling is Triangle Wine.

So go forth, find balance and drink outside of the box.

It is Bigger Than a Score

Photo by Chandra Russell ( Sawmill Creek Vineyards )

Photo by Chandra Russell
(Sawmill Creek Vineyards)

I have struggled to write this post over the last few days.  Usually when you get good scores from a national publication the first thing you do is to run to the top of the highest mountain and yell at the top of your lungs.  After all, it feels great to receive recognition for your hard work, because if you know anything about the wine business you are not doing it for the money.  So we received great scores but I just didn’t have it in me to spread the news.  Why?  Well, I think it took a few days to know why and it is very simply this.  Crestwood.  Crestwood you ask?  Yes, the company that wants to store pressurized gas under Seneca Lake in old salt caverns.  Want to know the details?  Check out Gas Free Seneca.  In a nutshell we have an out of state company that wants to put a gas storage hub along the west side of Seneca Lake and then pump pressurized gas into caverns UNDER the lake.   Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds.  And if you take the time, I hope you do, to read more you will see it borders on the insane.

So why did I have a tough time posting the reviews?  Because there are people in our industry that 1) think it is okay or 2) refuse to talk about it because of the blowback.  At a time when we are really hitting our stride (see the reviews below) our biggest challenge is not with other regions in the world producing, in this case Riesling, but with a Texas company who wants to jeopardize our lake and our communities.  And what is worse is that we actually have people in the industry that are on their side.  Every year we gain more recognition, every year we make a bit more wine, every year we continue to develop vineyards and renovate or build new buildings, every year more people come to witness the beauty of the Finger Lakes, every year our reach grows internationally.  But every day we must devote a portion of our day to defeating Crestwood and the risk it poses to our region.


Imagine what we could do if our energies were solely devoted to continuing to make this region realize all of the potential of its land and its people in a way that doesn’t directly threaten what is great about it.


From the Wine Spectator Jan 31 – Feb 29 2016 Edition:

92 – Forge Riesling Sunrise Hill 2014 – $24
Pure, with yellow apple, anise, honeysuckle and jasmine notes that glisten through the long, racy finish.  Shows length, cut and precision.

91 –  Standing Stone Riesling Ice Wine 2014 – $25/375
A delicious sweetie, with orange zest, date, maple and quince flavors that show excellent focus and zip through the unctuous finish.

91 – Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Classique 2014 – $21
Jasmine and citrus oil notes lead the way, followed by lovely lemon cur, white peach and yellow apple fruit flavors.  The long,, stony finish is very pure.  A SAVY SHOPPER Selection

90 – Standing Stone Vidal Finger Lakes Ice 2014 $25/375
An enticing sweet wine, with lush mango, creamed apricot and candied orange peel notes melding together and carrying through the maple-accented finish.

90 – Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Harvest Ridge 2014 $24
Juicy and engaging, with ginger, peach and yellow apple notes, back by a racy melon rind edge through the finish.  Solid.

90 – Ravines Dry Riesling 2014 $18
A taut, dry style, with pure lime, kiwifruit and pippin apple flavors backed by a slate note that gives the finish good tension and length.  Very solid. A BEST BUY.


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