Wine Reviews: Ravines Wine Cellars

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 03-20-2021

This week I’m focusing on three wines from New York’s Finger Lakes that really impressed me.

Started in 2001, Ravines Wine Cellars is the product of Morten and Lisa Hallgren, whose palates were honed in the culinary and winemaking worlds long before they came to America. Morten, Danish by birth, grew up in Provence, where his parents owned Domaine de Castel Roubine. He went on to study oenology in Montpellier and worked at Bordeaux’s Cos d’Estournel.

He worked in wineries in Texas and North Carolina before taking a job at the renowned Dr. Konstantin Frank Cellars. It was here that he developed a passion for dry, bright Finger Lakes wine.

They now have 130 acres of estate vines. I love Finger Lakes wines, so I was excited to taste through these offerings. They were exciting and offer a lot of tremendous value, especially if you’re looking to stock up for Spring and Summer.

These wines were received as trade samples and tastes sighted.

2017 Ravines Wine Cellars Dry Riesling – USA, New York, Finger Lakes
SRP: $18
Light yellow color. Wow, these aromas pop! Peaches, limes, papaya, topped in white flowers, slate, minerals, mountain streams and crushed rocks. Precise acidity frames this wine beautifully, racy but juicy, with pretty lime, papaya and kiwi fruit. Perfumed with floral tones, too. Mineral City – Population: This Riesling. Wow, so much chalk, minerals, mountain stream. Precise and deep but so vibrant, this is a gnarly Finger Lakes Riesling that should age wonderfully. 52% White Springs Vineyard grapes and 48% from 16 Falls Vineyard, 3 g/l residual sugar. (92 points IJB)

2019 Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Dry Rosé – USA, New York, Finger Lakes
SRP: $19
Deep copper color. So floral and spicy on the nose, with nettle, honeysuckle and rose petals on top of wild raspberry and tangy strawberries. Plush texture meets racy acidity on the palate, with flavors of white cherry, wineberry and McIntosh apple. The saline and mountain stream notes and beautiful, along with notes of crushed shells, white pepper and mint. A perfect spring or summer wine that would pair with so many foods. Really impressive pink here, all Pinot Noir, sourced primarily from the Argetsinger vineyard. (90 points IJB)

2017 Ravines Wine Cellars Maximilien – USA, New York, Finger Lakes
SRP: $25
Deep ruby color. Spicy herbs on the nose with charcoal, menthol, black pepper, on top of tangy black cherries, raspberries and red currants. Bright acidity frames this wine, medium-bodied, with dusty tannins providing some structure. Tangy cherries and currants offer a bright appeal, while I get a lot of complexity in terms of pepper, leather, roasted chestnut, paprika and peat. Delightfully fresh and fun, but complex as well. Drinks great right now or could improve with some near-term cellaring. Includes 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Sauvignon. (90 points IJB)

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