Momentum is the word that best describes where we are as a winery, and characterizes the 2017 vintage perfectly. Coming off the heels of the stellar 2015 and 2016 vintages where the quality of our wines reached new heights, and the world seemed to be paying close attention, we knew that we needed to carry this energy through to the 2017 wines. Now here we are, still rolling full speed ahead, ready to release our newest vintage. These wines are alive; uncork a bottle and you’ll feel it.
2017 was our second vintage working in the new winery. The pleasure in having our own space to work cannot be overstated. The flow and efficiency that we have in our simple structure is wonderful. 2017 also marked our seventh vintage. Of course, each year we aim to become better at the work we do, and it seems that though the 2017 vintage had its challenges, overall it was a great success. These wines represent joy, precision, and depth. We chose not to make Les Alliés Riesling or Les Alliés Pinot Noir this vintage, and de-classified our fruit in order to ensure the absolute best quality would remain in the Classique, our most important wine.
A portion of the 2017 vintage wines are now available online and at the winery, including our Dry Riesling Classique, and two new single vineyard Rieslings: Peach Orchard Vineyard and Breakneck Creek Vineyard. The remaining wines will be released throughout the summer and fall of this year.
As always, thank you for coming along on this journey with us and for your steadfast support. We hope that you enjoy these wines as much as we do.
Louis, Rick & Justin
Dry Riesling Classique 2017
2017 is a vintage epitomizing classicism and balance. The wines are crystalline and laden with freshness. -LB
Due to our focus on this narrow 8-mile stretch of slope on the southeast side which includes 13 of our 14 Riesling vineyards, this will be our first labeling under the Seneca Lake AVA. Our 2017 Classique was fermented and aged in neutral barriques (57%) and in stainless steel (43%). Candied lemon, apricot peel, Asian pear, and anise join with salinity to give impeccable freshness.
Peach Orchard Vineyard Dry Riesling 2017 $26
In a year as cold as 2017, the level of ripeness achieved by the Peach Orchard Vineyard is nothing short of wizardry. -LB
Planted in a former hub of fruit tree production, this aptly named site is the most fruit-focused of our Rieslings. Robust and round, it gives notes of quince paste, stony minerals, dried herbs, tangerine, and juicy peaches.
100 cases produced
Breakneck Creek Vineyard Dry Riesling 2017 $26
As the Breakneck Vineyard produced pure sense of place this year, it seemed important that we introduce it to you. The wine offers up outstanding minerality and a tension driven by freshness that is magnified by the total lack of sugar in our wines. -LB
Our first year working with this site has already shown great promise. The dramatic landscape of Breakneck Creek—cliffs and waterfalls—carved from hard layers of shale echoes in the minerality of this wine. It is dense with flavors of tropical fruits, lemon tart, chamomile, and vanilla.
125 cases produced
Leidenfrost Vineyard Dry Riesling 2017 $26
Anticipated Release Date: Fall 2018
Leidenfrost encapsulates this history of wine growing and the quality it is capable of producing. -LB
One of our purist expressions of terroir on Seneca Lake, this mature shale-laden, “Grand Cru” site continues to merit a stand-alone bottling. Intensely focused, the 2017 yields notes of candied orange peel, mango and fresh mint.
250 cases produced
Pinot Noir Classique 2017 $26
Anticipated Release Date: Summer 2018
The 2017 Pinot Classique draws marvelous aromas of camphor, Middle Eastern spices, ripe strawberry and liquorice from the shale along our hillsides. Its balance and delicacy meld with natural roundness. -LB
Hand-harvested fruit from our east Seneca Lake Pinot Noir vineyards were hand-sorted and partially (30%) whole-cluster pressed. Spontaneous fermentations with native yeasts were followed by additional barrel aging for ten months.
Rosé 2017 $17
Anticipated Release Date: Summer 2018
Same style, different site. The 2017 is our first Rosé with Pinot Noir from Sawmill Creek Vineyard. After 24 hours, the juice was bled off of the skins using the saignée method, resulting in the structured, savory style of rosé that we enjoy.
Here we are once again. It's that time of year when our newest vintage of wines
make their debut, and you, a faithful member of the Forge Foundry, are the first
to experience the unveiling.
There is no wine club at Forge, no hierarchy among fans of great wine, no complicated sales gimmicks, just a simple formula for sharing what we do with those who enjoy it. Our annual offering keeps us engaged with you a few times a year without filling up your inbox. We would prefer that you read less emails and have more time to visit us in the Finger Lakes.
The 2015 vintage is very small in terms of quantities. The volumes, meaning the juice we received from the grapes, was to put it...mildly frightening. However, wines from 2015 are so much fun to drink that you'll quickly forget how little there is--until you finish the bottle and go to look for another. Fortunately, you have some 2014 Forge wines that are aging gracefully (you do, don’t you?), and can always turn to this very complex vintage as a very suitable backup. Trust me, I am speaking from experience. I believe that for Justin, the patient one of the group, that the 2015 vintage was memorable because of the length of the fermentations. They were not complete (fermented to dryness) until well into the summer, hence the late release of the wines. Often I would ask him how fermentations were moving along, and the usual response was…”well, they are GOING…like a turtle."
Every year, I look forward to Louis' impression of the vintage. Here are a few of his thoughts:
"One of the nicest aspects of our work is having a different vintage every year. A computer company has to invent all sorts of new products and develop many kinds of marketing strategies to keep the customers on board You know what? Mother Nature does that for us, and it is so creative that every vintage is different. Obviously, sometimes a vintage can “look like” another, but my experience is that all of them have their own identity. 2015 gives a great picture of this; we had never seen a vintage like 2015 and we won’t see it again. On a tasting point of view, it is so pleasurable when the mark of a vintage is obvious, it gives a great dimension of “time” to the wine. The terroir gives the dimension of “place”, of “origin.” What is important is to get an idea of truth. It is important that the wine is a translation of a reality, a story, a moment. So, as a grower it is important to make the best possible wine, but it is a bad way indeed to go “against” a vintage. This is why I like the 2015, because it has a lot of self identity and when we drink it in 15 years time, the way it will taste will have a “time machine effect” on us and it will make us happy."
It will make us “happy”…this is indeed the 2015 vintage. They are hedonistic, exotic, and unlike any of the wines we have had the pleasure of crafting before. Enjoy, be happy.
RIESLING CLASSIQUE 2015
A classique not that classique. As Rick says it is more a great Burgundy than anything else. Ripe, wide, profound, long. But the freshness is still very present. An enormous impact of the vintage on this wine. A style on its own. -LB
Our most important wine aims to reveal the true nature of the vintage and to explore the terroir of east Seneca Lake. Working with 8 different growers on 10 parcels, we see the depth of expression possible in a ripe vintage. With this level of ripeness, fermentations continued into late spring in order to finish bone dry. Quince, lemon, fennel and slate mingle with marzipan and white chocolate, supported by precise acidity.
Production: 1800 cases
RIESLING 2015 $24
A ripe, smooth, round riesling from great vegetal material. So different from Sawmill and geographically so close. -LB
We consider this a “grand cru” site because of its close proximity to the lake and rocky terroir of shale near the surface. This vineyard always expresses its terroir clearly; grapes ripen early and well, yielding distinct character and power. The 2015 is savory and intense with flavors of stone and saline interplaying with apricot skin, apple and anise.
A very expressive wine with a stunning complexity and identity. A really great terroir/location/vine. No doubt. An aromatic spectrum that I deeply like. We do have something very special there, for sure. -LB
These 40-year old vines are part of the original Charles Fournier plantings, planted on shale with minimal topsoil. Due to some extra-loving care throughout the growing season, this site produced dynamic flavors that deserved its own bottling. Lifted aromas of menthol, wild herbs and wasabi contrast sharply with a rich, lush palate of glazed apples, preserved lemon, raw honey and dried orchard fruits.
Lodi (east side, Seneca Lake) Soils: shale Production: 25 cases
SAWMILL CREEK VINEYARD
RIESLING 2015 $24
That is classicism more than the classic. So elegant and talking about this particular microclimate on a very precise way. I think Sawmill is a wine to taste old. This is a proper super great pedigree wine, no doubt. The balance is great and works naturally well every year. -LB
We have come to expect great complexity and expression from well-farmed grapes on this site which lies in a slope contiguous to Leidenfrost. This vineyard is a jewel of the Finger Lakes where Riesling expresses itself with both minerality and ripeness year after year. A riper, heftier style that mixes dried apricot, dried apple and wild peach with honey, anise, ginger, white pepper and loam.
Very Burgundian in style but very « east side Seneca » in expression. It makes sense: the style is given by your work. The expression is given by…nature. And obviously our aromatics and texture are highly related to shale in this wine. -LB
Attractive mulled plums, violets, raspberry tea, truffle and charcoal aromas can be found on the nose. The ripe results of low yields in a warm growing season are evident in the density of this year’s Classique. Sweet plums, raspberries and pure cherry juice are spiced with cinnamon, cocoa powder and violets. Savory elements of underbrush and stone join the profile, staying focused and juicy on a long finish.
Production: 625 cases
ROSÉ 2016 $17
This rosé of Pinot Noir is full-flavored and structured with notes of vibrant crunchy red cherry, cherry pit, thyme, and mineral. Produced using the saignée method, grapes were hand-harvested from Standing Stone Vineyard (located in Lodi on the east side of Seneca Lake) and experienced 16 hours of skin contact to retain its rich color.