Villa Bellangelo - Italianate Winery

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Villa Bellangelo is an Italian style winery on the West side of Seneca Lake.  Long-time Finger Lakes winery visitors will recognize the building and location as the old Barrel People Winery (you can still see the barrel people off in the woods).  The winery produces a wide range of wines from very sweet, to bone dry.  It offers a little something for everyone.

Villa Bellangelo Winery entranceThe Wine

Of the 14 or so wines on their tasting menu we tasted roughly half.  Of their whites, I found their Pinot Grigio interesting because it had a moderate nose of sweet grapes, yet it was bone dry on the tongue without a hint of fruit.  Enjoyably clean and crisp.  Their Gewurztraminer was also a bit of a surprise, being very sedate in the nose (for a Gewurz) yet having all the typical flavors of the varietal .  People who are put off by the strong fragrance of this variety, might find they enjoy this one.    Their semi-dry Riesling (2.0 RS) was less interesting.  It was too low in acid to give it the structure that Rieslings are famous for. 

On to the Reds, I was very pleased with what they named Francesca Rossa.  It is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 22 months in French and American Oak and emerged with a buttery flavor accented with very noticeable spicy flavors of clove, cinnamon.  Priced at $13 a bottle I found it very worthwhile.  The Cabernet Sauvignon was full bodied and enjoyable, but probably over priced at $24.  The Sangiovese was even more robust, and standing in $37 boots that were way too big for it.  (Sorry, but any wine that is $37 a bottle ought to either make you fall down with admiration, or should be at least a decade or two old.)

Others in our tasting party were happy with Villa Bellangelo's sweeter offerings.  I'll have to give those a try next time.  ;-)

The Setting

The tasting room looks like it is supposed to double as a cafe at some point.  The flight attendants were helpful and seemed to know the wine quite well.  They were also good at giving the family details behind the wines that are named after the children of the owner.  All things considered, it was an enjoyable tasting.  Villa Bellangelo does cut down to being open only on the weekends once they shift to "Winter Hours".  Be sure to check their website to see if those hours are in effect if you are planning a midweek visit.

Reviews from other wine tasters:

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