Château de St. Cosme is known as the benchmark of quality for Gigondas, one of the great Crus of the Rhone. Translate that pre-eminent commitment to a small-scale project in the newly emerging region, the Finger Lakes of New York, and you have Forge Cellars.
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Forge Cellars website http://www.forgecellars.com
"Rhône Valley vintner Louis Barruol is making some of the Finger Lakes’ best wines with his Forge Cellars partners Rick Rainey and Justin Boyette.”
- James Molesworth
Chateau de St. Cosme is known as the benchmark of quality for Gigondas, one of the great Crus of the Rhone. Translate that pre-eminent commitment to a small-scale project in the newly emerging region, the Finger Lakes of New York, and you have Forge Cellars.
In its first five years, Forge’s bone dry Rieslings and savory Pinot Noirs have received great interest from the critics and wine public. But what really sells these wines is their sense of pure deliciousness, depth and intensity. These wines are low alcohol, can be enjoyed widely at the table, age beautifully and translate a sense of place like no other.
After exploring several countries with the purpose of finding the perfect place for a new winemaking endeavor, Louis determined that the Finger Lakes had the greatest promise.
Forge Cellars focuses exclusively on bone-dry Riesling and Pinot Noir that reflect the diverse, mineral-rich landscape of the Finger Lakes, New York.
Our focus is on the east side of Seneca Lake, the deepest (620ft) of the eleven Finger Lakes. We look for premier sites with considerable slope and an abundance of different clones and soils.
In a cool climate, every day of hang time matters to gain the full expression of the vineyard, which is why we manage the yields and canopies very closely. Timely leaf pulling in the fruiting zone and controlled yields are critical actions we use to achieve healthy, ripe fruit with a prolonged hang time. We harvest for ultimate ripeness and balance, so that each site is brought in at ideal quality. Hand harvesting and re-sorting at the winery ensures only the choicest, healthiest fruit makes the cut.
The Forge team works closely with each of our growers to get to know their properties and vines, and we pride ourselves on these long-term relationships. We stay involved throughout the season to manage the fruit to its highest standards.
We are a small, artisanal producer focusing entirely on Riesling and Pinot Noir. We are made up of three like-minded and passionate friends--French Winemaker-Grower, Louis Barruol of Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas and Finger Lakes partners Justin Boyette (Winemaker) and Richard Rainey (Vineyards, General Manager).
Our goal: We strive to grow grapes and handcraft wines of interest and value that perfectly balance minerality, aromatics and fruit to reflect our exceptional Finger Lakes terroir.
RIESLING (by James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator)
Sourcing fruit from up to 10 different sites, the Forge team chose three for bottling on their own in 2014, with the rest blended into a dry white. The Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Sunrise Hill Vineyard 2014 (92, $24) is the top-rated wine in this report, a pure and racy offering that lets yellow apple, anise, honeysuckle and jasmine notes glisten through the racy finish. The blend, the Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Classique 2014 (91, $24), is almost as lovely, with a range of citrus oil, lemon curd, white peach and yellow apple fruit flavors, proving that broader-based vineyard blends can produce compelling wines.