The Damiani Lemberger “Sunrise Hill Vineyard” (Finger Lakes, NY) 2012 $22 [Excellent] is one of the three best Finger Lakes red wines I tasted during the spring and summer of 2014, along with the Bloomer Creek Cabernet Franc 2010 and the Fox Run “Reserve” Cabernet Franc 2012. In April 2014 this wine was a bit angular and tannic, but it has developed beautifully. Satiny smooth, with excellent balance, substantial fruit, and a wonderfully invigorating saline mineral quality, it is delicious — and a terrific bargain too.
Light to medium ruby in color, the Sunrise Hill has warm meaty aromas that include notes of steel and smoke, tobacco, earthy loam, pepper, and black fruit. Full bodied, very satiny, with fine tannin, this wine is on the soft side but has excellent balance and texture. The slightly medicinal blackberrty fruit has very good intensity and focus, and is given complexity by notes of tobacco, pepper, earthy loam, licorice, and a lovely saline mineral quality. This wine shows its terroir, without any obtrusive oaky notes, and its earthy/mineral qualities make it savory and mouthwatering. The finish has very good precsion and length. Drink this wine now and over the next year or two. Lovers of French (and Austrian!) wine will particularly enjoy this bottle. September 2014