The July shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members this week — meaning that it’s time to announce my selections.
If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2012 Rose: There is a lot of delicious rose being made on Long Island, but when it comes to a burger- or barbecued-chicken ready rose, I often reach for Shinn Estates. Ripe berries and watermelon are fresh and concentrated — and able to stand up to foods that would dominate lighter rose.
Brooklyn Oenology 2010 Social Club Red: I love finding Long Island reds under $20 that offer sense of place and absolutely deliciousness — and this blend of merlot (82%) and cabernet sauvignon (18%) is a stand out not only for the value it provides, but the juicy, drink-it-every-day style it delivers. Again, uncork it with a burger or even a mid-week steak.
“Getting to Know New York” Wines
Macari Vineyards 2012 “Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc: Winemaker Kelly Urbanik captured the 2012 season with this well-balanced sauvignon that offers citrusy, juicy acidity, that frames lime and grapefruit flavors backed by green apple and a gently glycerin mouthfeel. Finishing lively and focused with a squeeze of grapefruit, it’s easy to imagine opening this with a platter of just-shucked oysters or a lobster roll.
Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir: 2011 is proving to have been a surprisingly good year for Finger Lakes pinot noir — at least in the hands of the right growers and winemakers. Here, red cherry, raw button mushroom and dried orange peel aromas are joined by a dusting of baking spice on a pretty, edging on sultry, nose. The palate is fresh with crunchy red fruits, subtle spice and an earthy edge. I enjoyed it with and herby pork loin, but it should be versatile with an array of foods.
“New York Wine Trail” Wines
Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2011 Clone 198 Reserve Riesling: Nuanced and highly aromatic, the nose offers layers of honey, herbs, candied orange peel, citrus blossoms, ripe peach and golden raspberries. Sweet but balanced, the palate shows peach, apricot chutney, citrus zest and just a hint of wet stone minerality. Spicy sausages and — cliche or not — Asian cuisine are good foils.
Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2010 “Caya” Cabernet Franc: I drink a lot of cabernet franc and winemaker Roman Roth makes some of my favorites. And Caya is always among the very best. Enjoy this fuller-bodied franc with hearty dishes this fall — or hold it even longer in your cellar.
Hermann J. Wiemer 2009 Brut Rose: This wine is a ‘good get’ for us — we were able to get just enough to cover our existing Excelsior members. One of the best sparkling wines I’ve tasted not only from New York but the entire country, I’m excited that we were able to include it. Drink it with most anything, or pop it open on a random Tuesday night to make it an evening to remember.
The Grapes of Roth 2007 Merlot: One of the criteria I expect every Excelsior-level red wine to meet is ability to improve with 5-10 (or more) years in your cellar. This wine meets that and beyond. It may not even be ready to drink now — unless you can decant it for a few hours. This is always one of Long Island’s premier reds and the 2007 is no exception.
Remember, you can customize your club to include just red or whites wines too if you’d like. Join today.