It has been my goal for some time to retire the “Tasting Table” posts. I prefer to give every wine an individual post — even a short one — but unique circumstances have brought the Table back again.
Though NYCR headquarters didn’t suffer any flooding or tree-falling-on-house damage, we were without power for 11 days in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. That meant only sporadic Internet access (primarily on my iPhone) and while there was plenty of wine drinking (what else can one do in the dark, by candlelight… wait, don’t answer that) there wasn’t much opportunity for writing. Add to that the filling and unfilling of small gas containers and the inevitable spills on my hands and clothes, and there wasn’t any wine tasting going on either. Every wine would have had at least a slight petrol note.
So I’m going to use the next couple of Fridays to publish Tasting Tables to catch up on a backlog of reviews that need writing (some standalone reviews are still coming) and then start my weekly tastings this weekend now that our house (and I) are free of the stench of gasoline. As always, these are more-or-less transcribed directly from my tasting notebook.
Billsboro Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc ($25): Dark chocolate, roasted tomato, red cherry and blackberry on the nose with a bit of dusty earth. Medium body but plump fruit with medium-grip tannins. Tobacco edge. Chocolate on finish with cherry and pomegranate red fruit.
Brotherhood Winery 2010 Pinot Noir ($15): Cranberry-pomegranate fruit on the nose with subtle earthy spice and sweet tea. Palate brings strawberry jam and fresh cranberries. Medium bodied and fresh, but soft overall with a bit of vanilla and an earthy edge. Black tea emerges on day two of tasting. Over-delivers at$15.
Brotherhood Winery 2010 Dry Riesling ($10): 100% riesling? Hybrid-y notes on the nose along with pear and honey. Juicy pear on the palate. Dry but not austerely so. Okay acidity, but lacks focus. Simple and finishes with foxy notes.
Brotherhood Winery 2011 Riesling ($10): Smells of fruit cocktail with light floral notes. Though off-dry the fruity palate finishes nearly dry. Green apple flavors dominate. Juicy and well-priced. Solid balance/freshness.
Heron Hill Winery 2010 Muscat ($14): Big perfume-y floral nose with hints of gingery spice. Palate is less one-note. Still floral, but also fruity (mango and pear) with more of that gewurzt-y ginger spice. Some sweetness on mid-palate but fresh acidity dries out the finish. Medium length.
Leonard Oakes Winery 2010 Reserve Series Vignoles ($15): Peaches and extra-ripe pineapple on the nose with notes of citrus blossom, clovery honey and spice. Big acidity — juicy — with lemon-lime flavors and less-obvious pineapple. Snappy green apple acidity. Fresh, clean. Mouth watering. Better with food.
Peconic Bay Winery 2010 Lot #3 ($24): Blend of 40% merlot, 30% cab franc and 30% cab sauv. Black cherry and blueberry nose with leaf tobacco and grilled herb accents. Medium-to-full body with medium-grip tannins. Ripe fruit but not a bomb. Hints of tobacco, herbs, violets and earth. Nice complexity at this price point.
Peconic Bay Winery 2010 Lowerre Family Estate Chardonnay ($36): Roasted and fresh orchard fruit, citrus and smoky/nutty edge on the nose. Mouth-filling body that balances ripe orchard fruit with spicy/nutty oak and mid-palate creaminess. Slight bit of heat ($13.6% abv) on finish.
Peconic Bay Winery 2011 Steel Fermented Chardonnay ($24): Lemongrass, green apple, lemon verbena and lemon-lime on the nose. Zesty and crunchy with acidity. Flavors match nose with subtle saline finish. Not complex, but tasty.
Pindar Vineyards 2010 Gamay Noir ($13): Nose shows lots of red berry fruit — cherry, cranberry and pomegranate. Crunch acid over top red berries and red hots candy (flavor, not heat). Lacks concentration though. Short finish.
Pindar Vineyards 2010 Peacock Chardonnay ($13): Simple nose of pears and yellow apples. Straightforward palate of apple and apple skin, with only faint floral qualities. Crackling acidity makes this a wine best enjoyed with food.
Standing Stone Vineyards 2011 Dry Vidal ($11): Light aromas of grapefruit and tangerine. Hint of under-ripe pineapple. Light body too, with good freshness. Not much concentration. Light on flavor — understated green apple and citrus. Clean finish.
Warwick Valley 2010 Riesling ($14): Nose of green apple, almond and citrus — with a light browned pear note. Sweeter and fruity with a squirt of lemon-lime acidity. Subtle spice. Good acidity but still finishes sweet.
Whitecliff Vineyard 2011 Riesling ($16): Grapefruit and tropical aromas (papaya/pineapple) with a hint of peach on the nose. Good freshness frames flavors of grapefruit, green fig and peach. Very good balance. Not long, but finishes nearly dry despite noticeable residual sugar (2%) on the mid-palate.