Posts Written OnAugust 2007

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Changes Hands

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By Finger Lakes Correspondent Jason Feulner One of the most heralded wineries in the Finger Lakes is entering its second phase of existence. Hermann J. Wiemer announced earlier this month that he has entered a business arrangement with winemaker Frederick T. Merwarth and that Merwarth will run Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards and its winemaking, vineyard, and nursery operations. Wiemer will continue to contribute in an advisory role. Hermann Wiemer was not the first to grow vinifera in the Finger Lakes, but he was among the first. He is best known for bringing Old World winemaking sensibilities to the Finger Lakes.…

Heard in a Tasting Room: Castello di Borghese

From reader, fellow blogger and co-founder of Grand Cru Classes, Jared Skolnick: My favorite, mostly due to effective delivery, was at Borghese.  Three young ladies were doing a tasting flight and they were novices having fun and asking questions – precisely the kind of audience you want. The guy on staff was engaged with them and doing a great job of keeping it light while still educating and marketing at the same time.    They finished the flight and one asked, timidly, "I’d really like to try the Chardonnay again.  Is it against the rules to go back to white…

Anthony Nappa Joins Shinn Estate Vineyards

As reported here on LENNDEVOURS a little over a month ago, Juan Micieli-Martinez is leaving Shinn Estate Vineyards to join Martha Clara Vineyards. And now, I can tell you who will replace him at Shinn. His name is Anthony Nappa and he brings a diverse winemaking background to the North Fork. Most recently, Nappa worked at Monterey Wine in California, but prior to that he worked in Italy, Massachusetts and New Zealand. I’ve only tasted wines from two of his previous stops, Westport Rivers in MA and Goldwater Estate in NZ, but it should be interesting to see how he…

WTN: Bedell Cellars 2005 Reserve Merlot (North Fork of Long Islandd)

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Long Island’s 2005 vintage was one for the record books–on a couple fronts. There was the rain. Some vineyard locations received 17 inches of rain an eight-day period–an eight-day period that happened to coincide with with the grape harvest. Most of the white grapes has come in already, but most reds had not. And there were the near-drought conditions before the rain (less than two inches over three months). Those conditions led to smaller-than-usual fruit and some of the most intense fruit ripness in Long Island’s short wine-producing history. Those 17 inches of rain wreaked havoc and several vineyards sustained…

Restaurant Review: Cittanuova (East Hampton)

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I’ve never been to Milan (or anywhere in Italy for that matter) but sitting at a small table in Cittanuova in East Hampton, Nena and I got a small taste of one of Italy’s most chic and modern cities — along with some terrific, affordable fare. First, let me just mention that Cittanuova is an extremely versatile restaurant. Versatility isn’t a trait that many restaurateurs shoot for, but it’s on full display here. Looking for a bar with energy? Cittanuova has that. Want to eat outside? Cittanuova has two outdoor dining areas. Want to stop somewhere for coffee? Cittanuova is…

WTN: Raphael 2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay (North Fork of Long Island)

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One of the greatest things about Long Island wines is their food-friendliness. Many are fruit-forward, but they almost never plunge into the overtly fruity, high-alcohol pool of many other New World wines. Alcohol levels usually hover around the 12-13% level as well, meaning you can have two or three glasses of wine with dinner and not need a nap. Cool nights and ocean breezes help growing grapes retain their natural acidity as well–another great benefit for those who like wine with food. A move away from heavy new oak–or at least more judicious use of said oak–also results in wines…

Overheard at the Pindar Tasting Room in Port Jefferson

So I was at Pindar’s satellite tasting room in Port Jefferson (it’s a great idea by the way and I wish more wineries adopted this model and opened tasting rooms like it) to pick up some of their 2005 Cabernet Franc, which was just named the "Best Red" at the 2007 New York Food & Wine Classic, yesterday afternoon. I was the only person in there for a while, until an older couple came in asking about "Champagne." When the women behind the bar said that Pindar’s Champagne (not really Champagne obviously) was $27.99, the couple was clearly taken aback…

WTN: Raphael 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (North Fork of Long Island)

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As you know, lots of Long Island winemakers still focus on the parallels between their own region and Bordeaux. Merlot and the cabernets–sauvignon and franc–are clearly the dominant red grapes here and they do well (except maybe sauvignon, which only thrives in the best years in the best locations). But, market conditions being what they are, most white wine made in these parts is made with chardonnay, the white grape of Burgundy. Those wines can be simple and gulpable or rich, complex and truly Burgundian, but they are nothing like white Bordeaux, which are made with sauvignon blanc and semillon.…

I’m Still Thinking About the New York Food & Wine Classic

You may have noticed that I’ve been getting a little heat in the comment section of my recent post on the 2007 New York Food & Wine Classic. You might think that I don’t like those sorts of comments, but the exact opposite is true. They are one of the many things that are great about the blog medium. If that piece had been published in a newspaper or magazine, people could have emailed me or sent a letter to the editor, but there wouldn’t be an actual discussion going. And, the great thing about discussions like this one are…