Kings Garden Vineyards - A Dry little garden

Kings Garden Vineyards in Lodi, NY has been developing on the Eastern side of Seneca Lake for nearly two years and now it is finally open. It always impresses me when these new wineries start up and have great wine right out of the gate. Kings Garden WineryThough in this case, Kings Garden Vineyards has been making wine for a few years, but thanks to some heel dragging authorities in the State, the liquor license was slow in getting approved.   This small winery sits just North of Lamoreaux Landing and Just South of Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine.

The Wine 

Being fortunate enough to stop by on their opening weekend, I was impressed by the option of doing a vertical tasting of Chardonnay that ranged from 2003 through 2007. That was completely unexpected. I am not usually a Chardonnay fan but I enjoyed the opportunity to taste multiple years side-by-side. The winemaker and owner had done each of the Chardonnay's with slightly different styles of aging (some in Oak, some French Oak and some in stainless) so it wasn't a perfect comparison of just the years difference. All were quite enjoyable and quite different. They were on the dry side and all had complex structure (a variety of flavors in every sip).  That was it for the whites, all Chardonnay.  I overheard mention that Reisling might be in the future offerings.

On to the reds I was surprised to see Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc all on the tasting sheet and begging to be tried.  The 2003 Merlot was rich with pepper and spice.  Good, but not as good as the Cab Sav.  I enjoyed the aroma and flavor of the Cab Sav that was smooth enough to be sipped on its own and yet bold enough to hold court with a good meal.    The Cabernet Franc was very fruit forward (something Cab Franc is known for) and complex.  The change from start to finish of the wine was quite abrupt, but not in a bad way.  All very impressive dry reds for a winery that has just opened.

The Setting

The tasting room is relatively small but has great views of Seneca Lake.  Large windows behind the tasting bar make it a nice place to enjoy a tasting.  Our wine stewardess on this day was the wife of the winemaker and she was full of all the behind the scenes information related to their start-up.  The tasting bar and much of the trim work is an attractive use of Tiger Maple made by a Finger Lakes craftsman.  Large photos of the wine making process adorn the walls of the tasting room.  On the far end of the tasting room is a set of doors that go out onto a nice deck.  We were told that plans are in the works to do weddings on a section of land adjacent to the winery.  They have a great location for it.   Our tasting fee of $3 gave us generous pours of each of the 6 wines being offered.  They did not reimburse the tasting fee with the purchase of a bottle.

Overall I would recommend Kings Garden Vineyards for anyone who enjoys dry wine from small intimate wineries.  This new winery is well on its way to becoming a noteworthy addition to the fine wineries in Lodi.

Sips From Others

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