Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Villa Bellangelo unveils a new 'bench' series of wines

"I'm obsessed with texture," winemaker Chris Missick said as he poured the latest wine in the series of wines by Villa Bellangelo called "Bench" at a tasting in the winery's new library tasting room. The title, short for "bench trial," refers to a limited run series that allows the Bellangelo winemaking team to seek out experimental, textural expressions of the wines it crafts each vintage. The newest wine in the lineup is a 2015 Riesling.

Bench emerged from a collection of barrel projects that started at the winery some years ago. The lineup of current releases includes the 2013 Fifty 50, a hal- white Pinot Noir and half-Chardonnay blend aged in neutral oak for two years, and three separate 2014 skin fermented white wines from Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Seyval Blanc grapes. 

The new release, to be made this month, will be a very different take on Riesling. The 2015 Bench Riesling was uninoculated for its primary fermentation, aged in neutral barrels, and permitted to go through malolactic fermentation. The results, says winemaker Chris Missick, "are a striking change for the person familiar with Finger Lakes Rieslings. Combining citrus with a softer acidity than is typical for the region, and perhaps closer in line with a cold climate Chardonnay than a typical cold climate Riesling, the 2015 Bench Riesling offers an exciting curiosity to the 2015 line-up of Rieslings produced from Bellangelo."

The 2016 Bench wine, still in the barrel and that will not be availablr until 2018, is composed of Gewurztraminer that underwent a carbonic maceration and a late harvest cluster select Gewurztraminer fermented to dryness.

Bellangelo's primary portfolio of wines continues to win awards, most recently at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, earning Double Gold for thei 2015 Gibson Vineyard Riesling and Gold for the 2015 Dry Riesling. 

"We don't enter many competitions," said Matthew Missick, "but the San Francisco Chronicle competition is among the most prestigious and rigorous competitions in the entire country. This recognition for our delicious cold climate wines feels very good." 

 Bellangelo is a family owned winery beautifully situated in the Finger Lakes on the west side of Seneca Lake at 150 Poplar Point, Dundee. Phone: (607) 243-8602.

• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Notes On Napkins
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail

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