Posts Written OnMarch 2012

Bedell Cellars 2010 Syrah

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Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich did some things differently during his first crush at Bedell Cellars in 2010. He brought his ambient yeast fermentations, of course, but he also made a couple blends by co-fermenting the grapes together — making his blending decisions from the outset. Bedell Cellars 2010 Syrah ($50) is one of those wines, made with 90% syrah and 10% viognier in the model of the Northern Rhone. That squirt of viognier is most apparently on a pretty, effusive nose that shows melon and honeysuckle aromas layered over fresh red berries, plums and a combination of earthy cumin and coriander. The…

Villa Bellangelo: A California Family Brings New Ownership, New Winemaker, Lofty Goals and a Sense of History

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A small cluster of vines dating to 1866 is, one would assume, the proudly held evidence of some European estate’s history. Given the relatively short history of winemaking in the Finger Lakes, such a cluster of vines might seem out of place on Seneca Lake. That is exactly why Chris Missick loves this little piece of local folklore. Because the vines are real, and so are his family’s dreams of building something new and exciting around them. Chris Missick looks like he was cut out of a piece of granite, and the photo of him holding a rifle while sitting…

Across the Border: The Quest For the Holy Grail — Ontario Pinot Noir

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Perhaps it’s fitting that the first all-pinot-noir flight at this year’s Expert’s Tasting at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) was named after Monty Python’s classic film. If transcendent pinot noir is indeed the life-giving juice that flows from a cup then there are many out there spending their lives and fortunes looking for it, even though most everyone else already thinks it lies in Burgundy. Luckily my own quest to attend this year’s tasting was fulfilled, and I sat down with winemakers, wine writers, sommeliers and industry supporters to take a journey through several flights of…

Gerry Hayden Named “Best Chef, Northeast” Finalist in James Beard Awards

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For the second year in row, Chef Gerry Hayden of The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island is a finalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards as “Best Chef, Northeast.” He’s one of five finalists for the award, up against Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston, Tim Cushman of O Ya in Boston, Matthew and Kate Jennings of La Laiterie in Providence, and Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, Conn. Almost upon opening, NFT has been where Nena and I dine on our splurge nights.We’ve never had anything but…

Red Newt Cellars 2008 Glaciers Ridge Vineyards Merlot

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Living on Long Island, I drink a fair amount of merlot. It’s every where you look in wine country — literally and figuratively. I don’t need to look north to the Finger Lakes for merlot. And honestly, I don’t. Merlot is well down the list of what I’m looking for in the Finger Lakes. In fact, it’s probably not on the list at all. That brings us to Red Newt Cellars 2008 Glaciers Ridge Vineyards Merlot ($45), a wine that I decided to write up for Wine Blogging Wednesday #75, hosted by Joe Roberts of 1WineDude. The theme? “Singles Night” — focusing…

NYCR Artisan Dinner with Anthony Nappa Wines April 5 at Orto

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After taking a bit of a winter break, we’re happy to announce the next in our series of New York Cork Report Artisan Dinners — this one with Anthony Nappa Wines at Orto, Chef Eric Lomando’s new restaurant in Miller Place. Nappa, who many of you know as the former winemaker for Shinn Estate, has been making wine under his own label for a few vintages now. He brings a diverse winemaking background — having made wine in New Zealand, Southern Italy, California and Massachusetts — and has a bit of a cult following for his white pinot noir, named Anomaly. Join us…

Saranac White IPA

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You never know what’s going to shine in a blind tasting. That’s why it’s so important. Big-name beers from lauded breweries may actually be lackluster in a lineup, without the pomp and circumstance their fame would normally require, while lesser-known or less respected breweries may surprise and force the drinker to reconsider relegating it to “party beer” status. The latter is exactly what happened the first time I tried Saranac’s new white IPA. I was blind-tasting Belgian styles with a group of experienced tasters, and after several samples that turned out to be from Ommegang, Dupont, and Lindeman’s we were…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: March 2012 Selections

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The March shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will ship this week, so it’s time to tell you about the picks. Admittedly, I had a little help with the wines this time around… thanks to our annual Wines of the Year tasting back in January. Many of this shipment’s wines won “Wine of the Year” for their region and style. One even won our overall New York State Wine of the Year. If you’re not familar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling: Ripe, forward and apple-y, this well-balanced riesling is…

Long Island Vineyards Could See Early Bud Break in 2012

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The earliest anyone can remember seeing bud break in Long Island vineyards was mid-April in 2010 — a vintage that ended up being one of the longest and warmest on record. Bud break in 2010 was about two weeks earlier than average. But, after a mild winter and with temperatures currently in the upper-50s and 60s this week — Long Island vineyards coudl see bud break even earlier in 2012. “The potential for an early budbreak this year appears higher than normal. If the weather continues to trend the way it has over the winter season it is increasingly likely that an early…

Favorites from New York Drinks New York at Astor Center

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In New York City, local is sought after like a taxicab in the rain. Overused words like “artisanal” and “heritage” bring self-proclaimed locavores to eateries around the city (and even to BROOKLYN) thinking they’re dining on delicacies that are both in season and produced close to home. Despite the marketing many have adopted to capitalize on this movement feeling cliché by this point, eating local is a great thing. So why doesn’t this fervor extend to alcoholic beverages? Those who aren’t familiar with New York State wines are surprised to learn that we are third in wine production nation wide…