Finger Lakes Wine of the Week:
Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2014 Dry Riesling
By Nicholas Baldwin
A handful of new wineries and vineyards pop up every year in the Finger Lakes. Kelley O’Neill is a one-man workhorse working as the sole employee of the two-acre Randolph O’Neill Vineyard located on Route 89 in Ovid on Cayuga Lake. He is the owner, vineyard manager, winemaker, cellar rat and salesman. The small vineyard only has Riesling and a little bit of Cabernet Franc planted, and the 2014 vintage is the first time that Kelley kept most of his grapes to produce his own wines instead of selling them all to another notable winery on Seneca Lake. His watchful eye from the first day of the growing season to the finished product in the bottle is evident, because Kelley hit it out of the park with his Dry Riesling.
It is a rich wine with a subtle kiss of sweetness on the tip of your tongue and a long dry finish with aromas of Meyer lemon, tangerine, vanilla, kiwi and flint. The acid is bright and refreshing. It is one of the best Rieslings I have tasted all year. Kelley does not have a tasting room, but plans to in the next few years. This wine is only for sale in a few spots but there will be many more to come over the next few months, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled and pick up a bottle when you do see it, because there’s only a little over 100 cases available.
Nicholas Baldwin has worked in the wine and spirits business for more than 12 years and traveled the world visiting vineyards. He holds numerous wine certifications.
For more of Nicholas Baldwin’s wine tasting notes, click here.
If you’re a Finger Lakes wine producer and would like to submit wines for consideration, please contact Nicholas Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.