Wine Advocate 90
The 2020 Dry Ros Kelby James Russell is a Cabernet Franc made at Red Newt and sourced from Nutt Road Vineyard on Seneca Lake (all of that is only on the back label). Dry, it comes in with just one gram of residual sugar and 5.7 of total acidity, plus 13 alcohol. Tasted with about six weeks in bottle, this was exuberant and expressive of the grape, the nose projecting some herbs and a touch of green that follows through onto the palate. It projects waves of flavor in its youth as well. Probably rounder, richer and deeper than the 2019 (granting that both are not here together this issue, and that's based on memory and my notes), this is a full-bodied pink for the Finger Lakes. On the other hand, it is probably not as energetic as the 2019, the mid-palate balancing the energy differently. It is still dry and fresh but also well suited to being a substantial pairing for foods. The next day, it demonstrated both its concentration and its ability to show some tension. Overall, this looks like another exceptional pink from Kelby Russell.
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Kelby James Russell Wines first began as a casual brainstorm at Red Newt Cellars, where owner and winemaker David Whiting suggested that a separate wine project might be an important creative outlet for Kelby. With a diverse selection of vineyards and wine styles, the label promises to bring something new to the wine world; 'off-beat' wines both in reference to their musical inspiration as well as their individual spirit.