As a wine estate, Silver Thread is now 27 years old. The previous owner, Richard Figiel, bought the property on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in 1977 and replanted with vinifera beginning in 1982.
Figiel was an organic enthusiast and for a while held organic certification, which is quite challenging in this climate.
Current owners Paul and Shannon Brock bought Silver Thread Vineyard in 2011. Paul got a graduate degree in winemaking from Cornell in 2007, and Shannon has been a wine educator since 2005. They have expanded the vineyard to 8 acres. In addition, they buy some grapes from two Riesling vineyards.
Neither Paul or Shannon have come from money, and Paul teaches as well as making wine. ‘We’re working hard to raise 2 kids and make a living off the vineyard,’ says Paul. They have a sustainable approach to winegrowing but aren’t organic. ‘We’re not interested in spraying that amount of copper and sulfur,’ says Paul. ‘We are trying to get back there [organics] without using copper.’ He’s been trialling new materials, including various extracts and live organisms. They stopped using herbicides in 2014, and started planting started planting Fescues which don’t grow up into the canopy. ‘But we are sustainable and generate 100% of solar power,’ he says. He describes his viticulture as ‘biointensive’. In the winery he uses cultured yeast strains and pays attention to nutrition, and uses DIAM cork.
Silver Thread Chardonnay STV Estate Vineyard 2015 Finger Lakes, New York
All neutral oak, 100% barrel fermented and aged on the lees. Pithy, detailed pear, apple and citrus fruit with a nice texture. Understated with nice depth to the fruit. Has a slight savoury quality. 91/100
Silver Thread Dry Riesling 2016 Finger Lakes, New York
Has about 12 components in it. Lively and bright with nice purity: there’s a lovely lemony core to this wine with a hint of sweetness. Nicely weighted with a fine herbal hint and some subtle peachy, melony richness. Long lemony finish. Nice weight. 91/100
Silver Thread Gewurztraminer STV Estate 2017 Finger Lakes, New York
Highly aromatic rose petal and lychee nose. Nice texture on the palate with a soft grapey core and some stony, spicy notes. 90/100
Silver Thread Riesling STV Estate 2016 Finger Lakes, New York
Very mineral and taut with nice dense citrussy fruit. Lively with good concentration and some hints of apricot and spice. There’s a lovely lemony intensity here. 92/100
Silver Thread Semi-Dry Riesling 2013 Finger Lakes, New York
There’s a pithy, herbal twist to the pear and citrus fruit. Some notes of wax, too, with attractive texture and weight. Some sweetness. 89/100
Silver Thread Semi-Dry Riesling 2016 Finger Lakes, New York
25 g/l rs, 8 g/l acid. Very attractive with nice density. Lively lemon, melon and pear fruit with a nice grainy structure. Great concentration with a floral limey edge to the fruit. There’s some sweetness, but it’s well supported by the acidity. 92/100
Silver Thread Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir STV Estate Vineyard 2017 Finger Lakes, New York
Dry, taut and quite mineral with lovely sappy red cherry and cranberry fruit. Nice delicate style that’s quite dry. Stylish stuff. 90/100
Silver Thread Pinot Noir STV Estate Vineyard 2015 Finger Lakes, New York
Open top fermenters, punched down three times a day. Never used stems. Juicy and lively with a sappy, savoury edge to the red cherry and plum fruit. Nice grip here with a lovely juicy, grainy character. Lovely balance in a light, elegant savory style. 92/100
Silver Thread Pinot Noir STV Estate Vineyard 2016 Finger Lakes, New York
Very sappy, bright and light with easy, fragrant cranberry and red cherry fruit. Light, focused and balanced with a slight sappy edge to the fruit. Fragrant and delicate with nice grip and acidity. 91/100
Silver Thread Blackbird STV Estate 2015 Finger Lakes, New York
76% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon. Supple and expressive with some blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, with some cherry freshness. Supple and grainy on the palate with nice focus. Has some generosity, but also some good structure. 91/100
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