October 16, 2007

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling, 12 percent alcohol, about $17

Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars has been turning out the best Riesling in the U.S. since Konstantin Frank established his winery on the banks of Lake Keuka in New York State's Finger Lakes in 1960.

While the area's cool temperatures had most vintners convinced they could only grow grapes like Concords, the Russian émigré figured that, if the Germans could grow riesling in their cool climates, it would grow in New York.

The especially cold-hardy riesling clone he brought over from Germany still sets Frank's riesling apart from that of many other wineries in the US, which rely on a clone that gives fruitier wines. The 2006 Dry Riesling is anything but a fruit-salad wine: It's lean and elegant, its cool, clear citrus flavors shimmering with vibrant acidity and minerality - and a bargain at $17.

(Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars, Hammondsport, N.Y.)

This first appeared in the Denver Post.

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