A first impression of Finger Lakes - Tai-Ran Niew for Jancis Robinson 10 Aug 2011
“But the winery that I am particularly fond of is Bloomer Creek. Kim Engle and his artist wife, Debra, have been growing grapes for over 30 years and, with meticulous attention to detail, have cultivated naturally balanced vineyards. Winemaking is very much minimal intervention (even before it was trendy), using indigenous yeasts. The resulting wines are astonishingly delicate and graceful, revealing a deft touch that is the signature found through their entire range of wines.”
Old World wine suggests a flavor profile that is leaner, with more subtlety and nuance than rich, concentrated wines produced in the warm-climates of the New World. These distinctions can often blur as a result of modern winemaking techniques. However, Old World verses New World wine suggests differences stylistically. Viticulturally, the cool climate of the Finger Lakes should produce an Old World style of wine. Because we are committed to crafting wine as an unadulterated reflection of a place and time, Bloomer Creek follows the more traditional cellar practices found in the Old World.
At Bloomer Creek we make make multiple passes through our vineyards, harvesting at various stages of ripeness and various stages of botrytis development following in the centuries-old tradition of Germany and Austria. Modern vineyard practice calls for the use of synthetic spray to prevent botrytis, thereby assuring optimal productivity in a vineyard. Yet botrytis – known in France as “the noble rot” – is crucial to the production of some of the world’s finest wines. Botrytis is a fungus that causes grapes to shrivel and, as a result, concentrates richness, allowing for more complexity in fermentations. These wines have an earthiness in the mid-palate that bring a range of flavors, like dried fruit and honeycomb.
At Bloomer Creek we love the pure, crystalline transparency of our 1st Harvest Rieslings as well as our nuanced and compelling 2nd Harvest Rieslings made from grapes picked a month later. (Our “1st and 2nd Harvest” designation roughly corresponds to Kabinett and Spatlese in Germany.) In a rare season when botrytis becomes fully developed and the grapes don’t fall to the ground or fall prey to a marauding flock of birds, we produce a limited amount of Late Harvest Riesling - a wine rich with earthy splendor that reminds us, like a poem, of that last bit of golden sunshine before the darkness of winter. Because we believe wine should be like a diary that records every aspect of a vintage, Bloomer Creek embraces vintage variation and therefore we do not chaptalized or reduce acidity. All wines are unfined and most are unfiltered - except for vintages of extraordinarily high acidity when a kiss of sweetness is left in the wine for balance.