D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 34: New York Reds

New York Reds: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Red Friends
Continuing their journey through New York, John and Sara take a deeper dive into the red wines grown across the state in search of an elusive flagship variety. The Thieves make the call that New York’s signature red grape must surely be cabernet franc, even if their wine producing friends are reluctant to say it themselves. Merlot may be more widely planted but it remains a Long Island specialty, pinot noir demands ultra-specific sites, cool syrah shows great promise but lacks critical mass for now, blaufränkisch performs admirably but is a mouthful to say (and its synonym, Lemberger, is not particularly attractive), and grenache, well, remains quixotic at best. One thing’s for sure, New York winemakers don’t like to be boxed in, which is why we see such tremendous diversity in the varieties planted and wine styles emerging from the state’s 7 distinctive wine regions.
Our guests this episode are Josh Wig, co-owner of Lamoreaux Landing, a family-owned cabernet franc specialist located on the east side of Seneca Lake of the Finger Lakes, also specialists in grape-fed venison, Master Sommelier Christopher Bates, co-owner of Element Winery in the Finger Lakes, a high-intervention cook and low-intervention winemaker, and Christopher Tracy of Channing Daughters on Long Island, who talks field blends and the importance of diversity and expanding along with the universe. Join us with a glass of cabernet franc, merlot, pinot noir or Lemberger (scratch that, blaufränkisch) in hand as we discuss the where and the how of the reds that New York does best.