Reviews & Accolades, October 20, 2016

“16 Intriguing Finger Lakes Rieslings” by James Molesworth

Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2015–90 points–“Shows a lovely mix of jasmine, yellow apple and melon rind flavors, carried by taut acidity through the slate-tinged finish.  Should unwind nicely in the cellar.  Drink now through 2020.”

Riesling Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2015–89 points–“Enticing, with pure pippin apple, Key lime and verbena notes, offset by a dry edge that gives this a porcelainlike feel through the finish.  Drink now through 2019.”

Riesling Doyle Fournier Vineyard 2015–89 points–“Crunchy acidity gives this a lively feel, while lime zest, kiwifruit and green apple notes spring through.  Stays high-pitched through the fresh finish.  Drink now through 2019.”, July 29, 2016

“Silver Thread Vineyards, Where Every Vintage is Different” by James Molesworth

“The Brocks now have a few vintages under their belts and a vertical of the estate vineyard [Riesling] bottling shows steady progress….The not-yet-released ’15 looks to be the best version yet for the estate Riesling, with racy lime, fennel and green apple notes giving way to a tangy, wet stone–accented finish. It’s got the most range of four vintages tasted here, and it’s tightly coiled up right now, boding well for cellaring.” logo    Antonio Galloni’s, July 2016

Vinous is a cutting-edge on-line wine publication with an international subscription base and a growing reputation for reputable wine reviews.  Writer Kelli White visited the Finger Lakes in the spring to taste widely and get a feel for the region.  Her fabulous article, Finger Lakes Rising, is an excellent assessment of what’s happening with premium wine in the Finger Lakes now.  White calls Silver Thread a winery with “a long track record” and touts the Rieslings as “quite good, made in a tense, mouth-watering style.”  Here are some of her scores:Gewurztraminer 2014-91 pts.  “A beautiful, chiseled Gewurztraminer.”

Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2015–90 pts.  “Expressive and open-knit.”

Semi-dry Riesling 2014–90 pts.  “A subtle, herb-kissed wine that offers more rocks than fruit.”

Dry Riesling 2014–90 pts. “Zippy and well made.”

Robert Parker logo    Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2016

Reviewer Mark Squires visited the Finger Lakes in the spring and published reviews of several of the region’s wines in the June 2016 issue of the Wine Advocate newsletter. He called Silver Thread an “interesting boutique winery” and gave the following outstanding scores:

Blackbird 2013-90 pts. “In its cool-climate style it does everything well.

Gewurztraminer 2014–90 pts.  “Fresh and lovely with fine aromatics…this is simply lip-smacking good.”

Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2014–90 pts.  “Fresh and glorious…it is always persistent and always pure.  This is very fine.”  This wine is sold out but we have the 2015 vintage available.

Wine Spectator, March 31, 2016

Keeping Cool, by James Molesworth.  Silver Thread owner Shannon Brock is quoted in the article describing the quality of the 2014 Finger Lakes vintage.  Silver Thread Dry Riesling is one of the Editor’s Top Picks:

“Other top dry Rieslings in this report include… the Silver Thread Riesling Finger Lakes Dry 2014 (89, $18), which is ripe, fresh and piercing…” -JM


Wine Enthusiast, March 2016

Gewurztraminer 2014–90 points–“Tropical mango and melon mingle elegantly into swathes of blossom and peach in this lush, juicy Gewürztraminer. It’s lusciously textured, a bit brawny even, boasting creamy swirls of fruit that linger long and heavy through the finish. Drink now through 2016..”–AI

Wine Enthusiast, November 2015

Semi-dry Riesling 2014–91 points–“This perfumed Riesling entices with lifted white floral notes against a backdrop of cool, foresty green notes. It’s forward and juicy, boasting honeyed yellow peach and apricot flavors. Yet it’s also elegantly structured, marked by zesty citrus notes and a cool, mineral finish that lingers endlessly. Drink now–2020.”–AI

Dry Riesling 2014–89 points–“Ripe, juicy yellow peaches and cherries lend concentrated fruit flavor to this otherwise brisk, delicately framed Riesling. Dry in style, it’s accented by a zesty spray of lime and subtle spice notes that reverberate on the finish. Drink now to enjoy it’s racy, fresh feel.”–AI


Wine Spectator, October 31, 2015

Dry Riesling 2014–89 points–“Ripe in style, with yellow apple and melon notes, this is piercing and fresh, showing a bright honeysuckle edge on the finish. Still a bit tight, this should unwind with modest cellaring. Drink now through 2016.” –JM




New York Wine & Food Classic Competition, August 2015

A Double-Gold medal (consensus gold) was awarded to Silver Thread Good Earth White 2014 and a Gold medal to Riesling Doyle Fournier Vineyard 2014 at this all-New York wine competition, held in Watkins Glen, NY.  See full results here.


FLX AVA Riesling Challenge Competition, July 2015

Gold medals were awarded to Silver Thread Semi-dry Riesling 2013 and Riesling Doyle Fournier Vineyard 2014 at this unique, winemaker-judged competition for Finger Lakes Rieslings.  See full results here., July 2015

Silver Thread Dry Rose of Pinot Noir 2014 was named one of “Five American Roses to Drink on the 4th of July.”


Wine Enthusiast, May 2015

Pinot Noir 2013–88 pts.

Chardonnay 2013–86 pts.


Riesling Global, March 8, 2015

Author Stuart Pigott visited several Finger Lakes wineries March 5-7 and described his impressions in a series of articles on his web site.  He calls Silver Thread owners Paul and Shannon Brock a “dream team” that has “successfully reinvented” the winery since taking over in 2011.  Pigott also praises the 2013 Silver Thread Rieslings as “racy and mineral terroir wines of considerable subtlety.”  Read the entire article here.

Wine Spectator, February 28, 2015

Riesling Prevails in New York’s Finger Lakes, by James Molesworth.  Silver Thread owners Paul and Shannon Brock are pictured in the article and Paul is quoted.  Read the full article here: WSarticle022815

“Also among the outstanding 2013s is a trio of wines from Silver Thread: its Riesling Cayuga Lake Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2013 (90, $25), Riesling Finger Lakes Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2013 (90, $25) and Riesling Seneca Lake Doyle East Seneca Vineyard 2013 (90, $25). All three show a dry, bony style, a hallmark of many vintages marked by cooler temperatures.” -JM


Wine Enthusiast, December 2014

Selected Silver Thread Riesling Doyle East Seneca Vineyard as an ideal wine for a holiday feast focused on sustainable, local and seasonal fare.  Read more here: WEnthDec14 article


Wine Enthusiast, November 2014

Riesling Doyle East Seneca Vineyard 2013–89 pts.

Riesling Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2013–88 pts.

Riesling Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2013–86 pts.

Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2013–86 pts.


Huffington Post, Oct. 6, 2014

Silver Thread Named one of Seven “Must-Visit” Artisanal Wineries of the Finger Lakes.  Read more here.


Wine Spectator, Sept. 30 2014

Riesling Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2013–90 pts.–Juicy at the core, with green almond, pear and kiwifruit notes. This is racy along the edges, revealing a hint of talc and a nervy finish where a pippin apple hint echoes. Drink now through 2016. 48 cases made. –JM

Riesling Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2013–90 pts.–This has a plump core of jasmine, yellow apple and pear fruit, gilded with a fennel note through the finish. Shows solid depth and length. Drink now through 2016. 48 cases made. –JM

Riesling Doyle East Seneca Vineyard 2013–90 pts.–This has a juicy core of melon and yellow apple fruit, with racy-edged fennel and citrus oil notes. An echo of quinine adds length and cut. Drink now through 2016. 48 cases made. –JM

Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2013–89 pts.–A bright, floral style, with heather and honeysuckle notes out front, backed by yellow apple and melon rind hints. Offers a fresh, elegant finish. Drink now through 2015. 100 cases made. –JM

Dry Riesling 2013–88 pts.–Offers a tangy feel, with fennel, green fig and green almond notes, all outlined with a hint of pear skin that hangs on the racy finish. Drink now through 2015. 770 cases made. –JM

Semi-dry Riesling 2013–88 pts.–Fresh, with pear, yellow apple and lime notes woven together and carrying through a rounded finish that picks up a light brioche accent. Drink now. 265 cases made. –JM


Wine Enthusiast, September 2014

Dry Riesling 2013–88 pts.–Ripe, rich peach, pineapple and mango aromas lend a plump, opulent feel to this dry-style Riesling.  The palate balances mineral intensity with streaks of peach and honeydew flavor and bristling lime acidity.  Finishes long with a kiss of white blossoms.  –AI

Chardonnay 2012–86 pts.–A wisp of smoke lends nuance to aromas of apple and white peach on this dry, refreshingly citric Chardonnay. The palate builds in bulk and body with concentrated flavors of savory apples layered in smoke and earth. Drink now.–AI

Pinot Noir 2012–85 pts.–Intensely ripe on the nose with scents of juicy black cherries and plums, this is an easy, softly structured Pinot Noir with moderate flavor concentration. A spray of floral notes persists through the finish adding flair.–AI

Blackbird 2012–85 pts.–Earth, smoke and herb tones accent aromas of red berries and cherries on this tart, delicately-framed Bordeaux-style blend. A high proportion of Cabernet Franc lends an herbal, brambly tone to crisp cranberry and sour cherry flavors. Finishes moderately long.–AI

Wine & Spirits, August 2014

Semi-dry Riesling 2013–88 pts–“Plush and bright at once with a scent of pineapple and petrol, this balances crisp flavors of lemon and green apple with a texture that calls for bacalao fritters.”

Wine Enthusiast, July 2014

Dry Rose 2013–88 pts–“Ripe, luscious raspberries lend a brambly tone to this dry, invigorating Pinot Noir rose.  The palate is concentrated with summer berry flavors pierced with a stream of tart lemonade acidity.”-AI

Semi-dry Riesling 2012–88 pts–“Delicate lavender and herb notes perfume this pretty off-dry wine. It’s delicate in profile, but flavors of tart yellow stone fruit and blossom gain intensity on the palate with a streak of lemon-lime acidity. It concludes with a refreshing mineral tone.”-AI

Gewurztraminer 2013–86 pts–“Ripe, juicy white peach and lychee aromas entice on this off-dry wine. The palate is concentrated with fruit and floral flavors, but laced with a slightly confectionary sweetness. Quite bold in structure, it finishes with a lingering warmth.”  — A.I.

Wine Spectator–on-line reviews, 2014

Gewurztraminer 2013–87 pts.–“Lychee and rose water notes give this a pleasant floral and bitter combination, with a lingering hint of pink grapefruit on the rounded, open finish. Drink now. 200 cases made.” –JM

Dry Rose 2013–86 pts.–“A dry style, with a tangy edge to the watermelon rind and strawberry notes. Fresh finish. Drink now. 120 cases made.” –JM

Pinot Noir 2012–86 pts.–“Light but persistent, with dried cherry, blood orange and bergamot notes, backed by a firm wood spice hint on the finish. Drink now. 220 cases made.” –JM

Blackbird 2012–85 pts.–“Offers black cherry and savory notes, with a fresh, unadorned finish. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now. 340 cases made.” –JM


Wine Spectator, April 30, 2014

Chardonnay 2012–88 pts.–“This has good cut, with apple skin, peach and melon notes staying defined through the floral-tinged finish. Drink now. 150 cases made.” –JM




Wine Spectator, February 28, 2014

Finger Lakes: Riesling Succeeds in 2012, by James Molesworth

Quoted in the article:

“The [2012] wines have noticeable ripeness and weight,” says Shannon Brock, co-owner of Silver Thread Vineyard on Seneca Lake. “The Rieslings can carry a very dry profile without seeming at all bracing or tart. When first released they were exceptionally fresh and fruity, and now at this time they are developing an enticing minerality that helps to illustrate vineyard differences.”

Wine Spectator, December 31, 2013

Top 100 Oustanding Values List 2013– Silver Thread Dry Riesling 2012

Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2013

Finger Lakes: Where Riesling Rules, by Lettie Teague

“Husband-and-wife Paul and Shannon Brock,… in their mid 30s, are part of the new wave of young winemakers staking a claim in the Finger Lakes.”

Wine Spectator, August 31, 2013

Riesling Seneca Lake Doyle East Seneca Vineyard 2012–Score: 91  “A piercing style, with talc, pear skin and blanched almond notes, giving way to green plum and chamomile accents on the pure, filigreed finish. Drink now through 2015. 24 cases made.” –JM

Riesling Cayuga Lake Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2012–Score: 90  “Taut, starting with fennel seed and melon rind notes, followed by white peach, citrus oil and talc flavors. Features a stony, pure finish. Should open up with modest cellaring. Drink now through 2015. 24 cases made.” –JM

Riesling Finger Lakes Dry 2012–Score: 90  “A light, pure and persistent white, with jicama, honeysuckle and talc notes racing along, backed by lingering floral and lemon pulp hints. Drink now through 2015. 600 cases made.” –JM

Riesling Seneca Lake STV Estate Vineyard 2012–Score: 89  “Shows a broad anise- and apple-filled core, harnessed by salted butter, chamomile and lanolin hints on the finish. Reveals a buried acidity, but seems likely to develop quickly nonetheless. Drink now through 2014. 48 cases made.” –JM

Riesling Finger Lakes Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2012–Score: 89  “A fresh and open white, with inviting and well-meshed flavors of yellow apple, Meyer lemon and white peach, backed by a hint of chamomile on the finish. Drink now through 2015. 24 cases made.” –JM

Riesling Finger Lakes Semi-dry 2012–Score: 87  “An off-dry style, with Jonagold apple and melon notes showing just enough zip. The finish offers a flicker of citrus. Drink now. 285 cases made.” –JM

Wine Enthusiast, May 2013

Silver Thread Blackbird 2011–85 points–“Leafy, brambly notes are prominent against a backdrop of lean red-cherry flavors on this tart, Cabernet Franc-dominant blend. It’s a vibrantly acidic but delicately structured wine with soft, rippling tannins on the finish.” – A.I.

Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes, March 2013

Silver Thread Semi-dry Riesling 2012–Award of Excellence, Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge

Wine Spectator, February 28, 2013

Finger Lakes Forges Ahead, by James Molesworth

Silver Thread owners Paul and Shannon Brock are pictured in the article.  Silver Thread Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2011 and Dry Riesling 2011 are mentioned for outstanding quality and excellent value, respectively.

“As the region’s steadily growing ranks of winemakers gains experience, homing in on the best grapes and vineyard sites, the Finger Lakes is quickly becoming an excellent source for quality and value.  It’s time for serious wine consumers to take notice.”–JM

Life in the Finger Lakes, Winter 2012

Fruit of the Vine: A Common Thread

“Knowing that the 2011 harvest was a hurried affair for the Brocks, I was impressed by the quality of wine produced by Paul in less than ideal circumstances.  The 2011 Dry Riesling is especially good, posessing a mineral underpinning that lingers on the finish and frames the fruit nicely.”  –Jason Feulner

Wine, December 2012

Blackbird 2011–85 points, “very good.” Elegant, with a nicely rounded feel to the cherry and red currant fruit, laced with light toasty vanilla and tea notes. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now. 120 cases made. –JM

Chardonnay 2011– 85 points, “very good.” Good yellow apple and peach fruit notes mingle in this white, backed by a judicious kiss of butter on the finish. Drink now. 170 cases made. –JM

Pinot Noir 2011–85 points, “very good.” Light but focused, with nice bitter cherry, blood orange and currant notes. A cherry-pit edge shows on the finish. Drink now. 150 cases made. –JM, October 26, 2012

25 Remarkable White Wines

Riesling Seneca Lake STV Estate Vineyard 2011– Score: 91  “This is pure, with a strong chamomile and quinine spine cutting through the mix of kaffir lime, green apple and green almond notes. Shows excellent tension and drive, with an echo of anise seed on the finish. Drink now through 2013. 23 cases made.” —J.M.

Riesling Cayuga Lake Randolph O’Neill Vineyard 2011– Score: 90  “Fresh and very floral, with honeysuckle and orange blossom notes leading the way for lively white ginger, blanched almond and melon rind flavors. Shows excellent range. For fans of the bonier style. Drink now through 2013. 23 cases made.”—J.M.

Riesling Seneca Lake Doyle East Seneca Vineyard 2011– Score: 90 “Delicious, with tangy cut to the yellow apple skin, melon rind and chamomile notes, backed by hints of lanolin, blanched almond and citrus oil on the finish. Drink now through 2013. 23 cases made.” —J.M.

Riesling Finger Lakes Dry 2011– Score: 89  “Bright and high-toned, offering floral, talc and white peach aromas and flavors, with a brisk but still enticing finish. Drink now. 275 cases made.” —J.M.

“New owners Paul and Shannon Brock, who bought Silver Thread halfway through the 2011 season, have turned out a trio of excellent single-vineyard offerings for their debut, led by their STV Estate Vineyard. While production levels are small, they also blended their three vineyards together to make a larger amount of a single dry Riesling bottling, which is also very good.”–James Molesworth

Wine Enthusiast, November 2012 

Dry Riesling 2011– 88 points  “Restrained, rather savory aromas of dill, fennel, apple and saline are some of the many nuances of this dry yet surprisingly supple Riesling. The palate boasts notes of bright apple, lime juice and lime skin, highlighted by a rich, minerally sheen.” -AI, October 9, 2012

Finger Lakes Day 2: Silver Lining

“…the turnaround here has been quick and dramatic, with the lineup of 2011 Rieslings providing some outstanding quality.”–James Molesworth, on his visit to the winery, September 2012

Dry Rose 2011– 86 points  “This has nice focus, with watermelon rind, tea and bitter cherry notes picking up a bergamot edge through the refreshing finish. For fans of the lean style. Cabernet Franc. Drink now. 65 cases made.” –JM

Gewurztraminer 2011– 84 points  “Soft and forward, with gentle bergamot and peach notes and a rounded, easy finish. Drink now. 87 cases made.” –JM

New York Times, Diner’s Journal, August 17, 2012

“I could easily have included…the earthy 2011 dry riesling from Silver Thread” on a list of a dozen great values in American wines.–Eric Asimov


New York Wine & Food Classic Competition, August 14, 2012

  • Good Earth White– “Best Vinifera/Hybrid Blend” and gold medal
  • Blackbird 2011– gold medal
  • Dry Riesling 2011, Pinot Noir 2011, Riesling “STV Estate Vineyard” 2011–silver medals
  • Riesling “Doyle Caywood Vineyard” 2011, Riesling “Randolph O’Neill Vineyard” 2011, Semi-dry Riesling 2011– bronze medals

New York Cork Report, August 7, 2012

Dry Riesling 2011–rated “Recommended.”  “Paul Brock is making fresh, clean wines that are delicious on their own but that perhaps shine brighter with food–all at good price points.”–Lenn Thompson

New York Cork Report, May 22, 2012

Good Earth White–rated “Very Good.”  “…A well-priced, versatile wine”– Lenn Thompson

Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2012

“I was particularly keen on their dry Riesling, which was clean and bright with attractive notes of mineral and pear.”–Lettie Teague

Finger Lakes Times, April 29, 2012

“Be sure to sample these wines, which are Paul Brock’s first vintage.”–Harvey Reissig

Chasing Green, April 2012

Silver Thread Vineyard–10 American Wine Companies that Think (and Act) Green

Gayot, February 2012

Semi-dry Riesling 2010–Top 10 Organic Wines in the U.S.

Wine Enthusiast, February 2012
Pinot Noir 2009–88 points

“There’s a whiff of cherry blossom perfume on this beautifully concentrated, elegantly structured Pinot from Silver Thread. On the palate, fleshy red fruit flavors are accented by vivacious acidity and a twinge of plum skin bitterness. Finishes bold with a coating of furry tannins.” — A.I. (2/1/2012) — 88

American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition, November 2011
  • Blackbird 2010–Silver Medal
  • Dry Riesling 2010–Silver Medal
  • Semi-dry Riesling 2010–Bronze Medal

Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide, 7th Edition, 2008  3-Star Rating: One of the six best wineries in the Finger Lakes. “Even the Chardonnay here is polished,juicy, and satisfying, and Riesling, Pinot Noir, and the Cabernet-Franc-based Blackbird are elegant and fascinating.”

The World Atlas of Wine, 6th Edition, 2007
“Silver Thread is one of two top Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, a region which has shown itself exceptionally well suited to the variety.” (Label featured)

Wine & Spirits, April 2007
“Silver Thread’s marrowy, positively carnal, rich and expansive 2002 is proof that there is life for American pinot noir beyond mere fruits and berries… the Blackbird – a blend of two-thirds cabemet franc with one-third cabernet sauvignon – offers nutty, almost roasted richness, deep cassis fruit and silken texture. It proves the potential of franc in the Finger Lakes.”

The New York Times Style Magazine, September 2006
“You can sample complex Burgundy-style pinot noir at the tidy Silver Thread Vineyard owned by the former wine writer Richard Figiel.”

Gourmet, July 2005
“The Finger Lakes region is home to more that 75 wineries. Among those we wouldn’t miss [four named]… the intimate Silver Thread Vineyard, where Richard Figiel uses biodynamic farming to make his much-lauded wines.”

Wine Enthusiast, March 2002
“Silver Thread 1999 Reserve Chardonnay (Finger Lakes): A breakthrough Chardonnay from upstate New York. Aromas of toasted nuts and buttered spiced pears are classic, with flavors of cinnamon, pears and cashews that feel custardy in the mouth. Finishes long, with tangy acids and nutty overtones. Editors’ Choice. — 90″

Travel & Leisure, January 2002
“Find the gravel road to Silver Thread Vineyard, where organics enthusiast Richard Figiel makes a mineral-rich Riesling and Burgundy-like Pinot.”

Ithaca Journal, July 2001
“Indeed, if one were to characterize Silver Thread’s pinot noir performances throughout the decade of the ’90s, consistently good to excellent would be a fair assessment.”

The New York Times on the Web, April 2001
“Silver Thread produces a mere 1,500 cases of wine, including the Finger Lakes’ best Riesling and an age worthy Pinot Noir.”

The Wine Spectator, Sept. 1995
“Silver Thread’s vineyard may be small but it could eventually have an enormous impact on quality throughout the region… Visitors should listen closely to this congenial viticulture guru, whose wines reflect the quality of his vineyards.”

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Tasting Room Hours

April 1-May 15: Fri., Sat. & Sun. 12-5pm

May 16-June 20: Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun. & Mon. 11am-5pm

June 21-August 31: open daily, 11am-5pm

September-October: Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun. & Mon. 11am-5pm

November: Fri., Sat. & Sun. 12-5pm

December & March: Saturdays 12-5pm

January-February: Tasting and Sales by Appointment Only

Limos and all groups of 8 or more must have an appointment due to our small tasting room (call or e-mail at least 48 hrs. in advance). Sorry, no buses or RVs allowed on our gravel road.  Dogs are not allowed inside the tasting room. Thanks for your understanding!