Posts Written OnSeptember 2012

Macari Vineyards 2011 ‘Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc


Macari Vineyards is always one of my go-to producers for Long Island sauvignon blanc, particularly the Katherine’s Field bottling, which is made without oak. It always tells the tale of the growing season and doesn’t try to mimic sauvignon from the Loire or New Zealand or California. Macari makes Long Island sauvignon blanc. 2011 was a cooler year and one marked with heavy hurricane-related rain late in the season. Macari Vineyards  “Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc ($23) shows the coolness of the vintage, with melon, grapefruit, lemon zest and thyme notes and a lighter-bodied style, with fresh, clean acidity and surprising length. A…

Duck Walk Vineyards 2010 “Aphrodite” Late Harvest Gewurztraminer


Duck Walk Vineyards 2010 “Aphrodite” Late Harvest Gewurztraminer ($25) bursts with intense lychee and peach aromas, backed by brown baking spices and surprisingly understated floral notes. Well balanced, it is sweet, but far from cloying, and screams gewurztraminer with its combination of peach, pineapple, lychee, candied ginger and rose petal flavors. The finish is clean and bright, even if it doesn’t linger very long. Producer: Duck Walk Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 11% Price: $25   (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

Red Cat Cellars Celebrates Opening of New Tasting Room

Photo courtesy of winemaker Tim Benedict

  Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars in Naples is celebrating the opening of its new tasting room, a large building on the grounds of what used to be Widmer Wine Cellars. Hazlitt bought the property in 2010 from Constellation Brands. Since then, Hazlitt reports investing more than $1 million to upgrade vineyards and equipment, as well as refurbish existing buildings and launch the new tasting room. Winemaker Tim Benedict said during a recent chat that he was “thrilled” with the progress at the site, and the wonderful 2012 weather has certainly only helped. The old Widmer vines were often gnarled and…

A Real Winery’s Tasting Room is Not a Bar… And Other Advice to Get the Most From a Visit to Wine Country


This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this topic. 99% of you know everything I’m about to write. And agree. And act this way. But I still feel compelled to write about it. Why? Maybe it’s because pumpkin-picking season is upon us on Long Island and wine country roads are clogged with local agritourists. Maybe it’s all of the bar-masquerading-as-a-tasting-room stuff I’ve been reading. Or maybe it’s that I’m becoming more and more like my father every day in that I simply expect people to act the right way in every situation — including visiting wine country. Most of the time,…

“My” Vineyard on the Adirondack Coast


The Cornell Cooperative Extension cold-hardy cultivar trial vineyard in Willsboro, NY, on the western shore of Lake Champlain, sits in a place of true natural beauty, and is home to a number of grape varieties that have been bred for disease resistance, and tolerance of extreme cold to points well below -25F.  Willsboro is also my own home stomping ground, which is where reporting on this place becomes admittedly a bit challenging.  Objectivity is obscured by my associations with the place, which are as long and deep as the lake itself. I was dipped in Willsboro Bay for the first time…

Why Don’t Finger Lakes Wineries Offer Riesling in Magnum?


The other day I picked up a magnum of Hermann J. Wiemer 2008 Dry Riesling in magnum. It had me thinking: Magnums are so sexy. How come almost no one in the Finger Lakes offers riesling in magnum? I was going to say that no one in the Finger Lakes bottles their wine in larger formats, but of course that’s wrong. You can find Red Cat in magnum. Fox Run’s Ruby Vixen, , Arctic Fox, Chardonnay perhaps. Some of Bully Hill’s offerings, I’m sure. But why not riesling? After all, the world’s finest riesling ages gracefully for many years, and…

Freedom Run Winery 2010 Estate Cabernet Franc


I think my Niagara-based colleagues here at the NYCR would agree that their home region has yet to hone in on a ‘signature variety.’  Many grapes have been consistent performers, including chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc. Does Niagara need a signature variety? I have mixed feelings on the matter, but will explore them in an upcoming post. For now, we can say that it can be helpful to be known primarily for one grape — think Oregon (pinot noir) or the Finger Lakes (riesling) closer to home. On the other hand, merlot as Long Island’s signature variety has been…

Tousey Winery 2011 Riesling


It’s pretty easy to find riesling wines in the Hudson Valley. Many of the producers put the out every year. And most of those buy juice from the Finger Lakes to do it. Riesling grown in the region itself is rare, but Tousey Winery 2011 Riesling ($23) is one such wine. Not nearly as aromatic as you might expect, the nose offers light aromas of peach and grapefruit, along green almond and a faint earthiness. Punch grapefruit flavors lead the way on the palate, bolstered by just-under-ripe peach and juicy, mouth-watering acidity. As the wine warms to room temperature, the…

Macari Vineyards 2011 Rose


Mostly a kitchen-sink saigniee, the Macari Vineyards 2011 Rose ($15) also has just over 10% steel-fermented chardonnay blended into it. Fruity aromas of watermelon, red cherry and peach dominate straightforward nose. Medium-light bodied, the fresh, lively palate brings similar, slightly candied, fruit flavors with a faint savory/herbal edge. A peppery note on the medium-short finish is unique. Producer: Macari Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 12.2% Price: $15*   (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)

Evan Dawson’s “Summer in a Glass” Wins International Wine Book of the Year


Yesterday afternoon, our very own Evan Dawson was in London to accept the award for “International Wine Book of the Year” at the Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards 2012. No one around here is surprised at the success Evan’s beautifully written book has enjoyed, but it’s amazing to see the book reach so many people around the globe — all about our little wine region in upstate New York. Congratulations, my friend. We’re proud of all that you’ve accomplished. We’re honored to have you as a driving force behind this website. So, when is the next book coming out?  …