2011 Lieb Cellars Reserve Blanc de Blancs: My Lake Tahoe Wine of the Moment

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The first weekend of May 2017, I finally crossed Lake Tahoe off my bucket list with my first trip there. It seemed only fitting to celebrate my inaugural visit with a sparkling wine. Instead of choosing Champagne or a California sparkling wine, my usual go-tos, I selected the 2011 Lieb Cellars Reserve Blanc de Blancs (sample, $30 SRP). Similar in style to a Crémant d’Alsace, this bubbly is made from 100% pinot blanc from the North Fork of Long Island, New York, and is aged for 48 months prior to disgourgement (dégorgement). On the palate without food, it shows bright, tart, citrus flavors, such as lemon, lime, grapefruit complemented a yeasty quality that I likened to fine, French brioche. The refreshing acidity begged for food, so my travel companion and I, while enjoying our warm, inviting fireplace after an unexpectedly snowy, wet day, decided to have some fun with this wine, trying out pairings such as Kettle brand Salt and Pepper and Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips, dry roasted sea salt almonds, and beef jerky. Of course, we had to revisit these options a few times (poor us), but we both concluded that bubbles and potato chips are always a winning combination, and in this case, specifically the Kettle Krinkle Cut Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper potato chips, whose thick texture and simple flavors of potato, salt, and pepper intensified the wine’s fresh fruit qualities. Less is indeed more. To learn more about Lieb Cellars and to purchase, visit their website, or better yet, visit in person.

Cheers!
Beth

Lamoreaux Landing and #ChardonnayDay!

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars

One of the wineries I visited on both of my trips to the Finger Lakes in November 2012 and April 2013 was Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars. During my first trip, I attended their Harvest Celebration Winemakers’ Dinner and on the return trip, I visited the tasting room.

Bubbles Reception at the Harvest Celebration Winemakers' Dinner
2006 Blanc de Blanc at the Harvest Celebration Winemakers’ Dinner

Lamoreaux Landing has received much recognition in the press, such as being named Wine & Spirits Winery of the Year in 2010 and 2012, and has appeared in Wine & Spirits‘ Top 100 Wineries in the World twice in the past three years, most recently in winter 2012. In the August 2011 issue of Wine & Spirits, Lamoreaux Landing received seven 90+ ratings across four vintages and a best buy designation for their 2009 Dry Riesling. In 2008, New York magazine wrote, Lamoreaux Landing is made upstate near the Finger Lakes, and the cooler climate makes for a fresher, crisper, more elegant Chardonnay than what you’d typically get from California. The winery also graced the cover of Wine Spectator’s May 2006 issue.

2007 Blanc de Blanc welcome!
2007 Blanc de Blanc welcome!

My visit to the tasting room was nothing short of magnificent. The staff welcomed me with a glass of their 2007 Lamoreaux Landing Blanc de Blanc. You can never, ever go wrong with bubbles as a welcome.

Wines paired with chocolate!
Wines paired with chocolate!

The staff also treated me to one of their chocolate and wine flights. I chose the flight that paired local chocolates with their 2011 Grüner Veltliner ($19.99, which I purchased), 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling, 2009 Merlot Block 137, and 2010 76 West (a red meritage blend comprised of 52% Cab Franc, 24% Merlot, 24% Cab Sauvignon). First bubbles, then chocolate and wine? I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Local chocolates
Local chocolates

Since May 23, 2013 is #ChardonnayDay, I thought it would be the perfect pairing with my post about Lamoreaux Landing. Below are my reviews of two of their Chardonnay offerings.

2008 Chardonnay
2008 Chardonnay

2008 Lamoreaux Landing Chardonnay (purchased at the winery for $12.99 less industry discount)
88 points, Wine & Spirits, and Best Chardonnay from the 2011 NY Wine and Food Classic
I love this barrel-fermented Chardonnay. It has a creamy mouthfeel with oak aromas and flavors like butterscotch, toffee, and vanilla combined with aromas and flavors of apple, citrus, melon, and pear. Even after five years in the bottle, it retains that distinctive cool-climate, Finger Lakes acidity to which I am highly addicted. And it’s only $12.99? Get outta here!

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Total Acidity: 9.4 g/L
pH: 3.33
Alcohol by Volume: 12
Fermentation: 67% Oak Barrels
Production Level: 3400 cases

2007 Blanc de Blanc
2007 Blanc de Blanc

2007 Lamoreaux Landing Blanc de Blanc ($24.99 at the winery, media sample provided by Lamoreaux Landing)

Made méthode champenoise, this Chardonnay was harvested and fermented initially in 2007, bottled in 2008, fermented a second time in the bottle, then aged three years en tirage on yeast lees. It’s a delicious, food-friendly sparkling wine, with aromas of bread and yeast, a creamy mouthfeel, complex flavors of citrus, tree fruits, and toast, and mouthwatering Finger Lakes’ acidity.

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Total Acidity: 9.2 g/L
pH: 2.97
Alcohol by Volume: 12.6
Fermentation: Stainless Steel and En Tirage
Production Level: LOT #1- 52 Cases

View of Seneca Lake from Lamoreaux Landing
View of Seneca Lake from Lamoreaux Landing

Lamoreaux Landing is one of my favorite wineries and I can’t wait to return. If you’re planning a trip to the area, let me know and I’ll assist and/or refer you to one of the best tasting experiences in the Finger Lakes. And, don’t forget! On Saturday, May 25 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., Finger Lakes Wine Month concludes with Finger Lakes Wine Hour, The World’s LARGEST Finger Lakes Wine Virtual Tasting via Facebook and Twitter! I hope you will join me for this comprehensive tasting of Finger Lakes’ wines.