A 2017 Grand Reserve Saperavi by McGregor Vineyards with Local Hard Salami and Sharp Chedder

Very excited about this one! 

Living in the Finger Lakes region is really something else! I love the wine up here! The region is best known for its white wine, specifically Riesling. However!…there are beautiful reds up here and as far as I’m concerned, this one is one of THEE best!

My approach to hunting for exceptional Finger Lakes wines made from purebred European vinifera vines is pretty simple. Learn about the grape varieties that do very well in the cooler climates of Europe and then search for those wines here. And kudos to the vineyards with the foresight to plant such varieties as Saperavi years ago. If it weren’t for them, most of us would never know about the success and existence of such grapes. So thank you for paving the way!

I recently spent some time on my day off at McGregor Vineyards on Keuka lake. This vineyard is clearly the leader of Saperavi in the region if not the country. I did a tasting of a variety of their wines; all were exceptional, from the sparking riesling to their red blends. But, I am on a Saperavi kick and have been ever since I learned about this unique grape varietal from the country of Georgia located way on the eastern side of Europe. I am also fascinated with Georgian wine-making methods and the fact that Georgia and Armenia are the oldest wine-making regions on the planet.  So being in the  Finger Lakes, a region that I feel is still “finding its way,” opens the door to knowledge of grapes produced in more obscure regions of the world! I find this to be very exciting! 

As you can see in the photo this wine has a very pronounced deep fruit appearance. It’s opaque, there’s no doubt about it.  And the visual is a clear indication of what’s to come. Give it a swirl and you are going to get smacked in the face with blackberry, black currant, dark plum, spice, and earthy overtones that represent classic Finger Lakes terroir. On the palate, it’s just more of the same with a full body and a wonderful long mouth puckering finish with gripping but also gentle fine tannins that are just going to get better with more time in the bottle. In addition, the alcohol is just right for this full-bodied red at almost 14%. It truly is a very well-balanced wine. 

This bottle retails at $80.00 and is worth every penny for the awesome experience of drinking it. I picked up a couple of bottles at the vineyard along with a Vignoles I plan to pair with my version of a Sicilian caponata. I could hardly wait to get home and open this 2017 Grand Reserve Saperavi and start enjoying it immediately on my balcony. And that is exactly what I did. 

I wanted to savor the moment so much that I had no desire to be distracted and pair this with a meal. I just wanted to enjoy the wine. I stopped at The Beacon Farmer’s market in Canandaigua and picked up some local hard salami and a farm-fresh sharp cheddar and that is all I needed. I do plan on pairing this BIG Finger Lakes red with a wonderful dish. I just have not decided which one yet. When I do, I will definitely be cooking “for the wine.”

I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for visiting my blog.



Published by mruglio

I'm a third-generation Italian American cook that is passionate about Italian food and all that surrounds it.

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