Posts Written OnMarch 2014

bellwether-tasteny

Don’t miss the return of #TasteNY — our Twitter-based virtual New York wine tasting event — on Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. We’ll be tasting three wines from Bellwether Wine Cellars, a young label focusing on single-vineyard riesling and pinot noir in the Finger Lakes. You can get the details and find out how to order the wines on our previous post. We’ hope you’ll join us. And, if you’re on Long Island and want to join me when I taste them, let me know. Evan will be hosting a group up in Rochester as well, so if you’re in that area, you…

billsboro-2012-pinot-gris

Billsboro Winery‘s 2012 Pinot Gris ($16) is an under-stated wine that shows delicate aromas of mandarin orange and pink grapefruit backed by lightly floral notes and and interesting blanched-almond quality that emerges as the wine warms. Light-bodied and with just a bit of residual sugar (1%) that shows on the mid-palate, it’s fresh and lightly fruity with apricot, grapefruit and citrus blossom flavors.  The finish shows a bit of pithy citrus that combines with vivacious acidity to help it finish dry and refreshing. Producer: Billsboro Winery AVA: Finger Lakes RS: 1% ABV: 11.5% TA: 9.4 g/L pH: 2.86 Production: 274 cases Price: $16* (3 out of…

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Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor: Jules Taylor Wines 2011 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc I don’t get wine as a gift very often, but when a teammate at my day job was in town from the Bay Area, he brought me a couple wines that he and his wife enjoy. His wife is the general manager of an importer, so that means more than it might otherwise. When I saw “Barrel Fermented” on the label, it gave me pause. My disdain for oaky whites is well documented. But only older barrels were used here and I have to tell you — I really…

paumanok-2012-petit-verdot

Though still a somewhat rare oddity, varietal petit verdot has become a bit more common here on Long Island — and many of them are delicious in their intensity. Unfortunately, many of them are also quite expensive, up to $100 per bottle, making them less accessible for many customers. Enter Paumanok Vineyards 2012 Petit Verdot ($28) — not cheap, but the rare under-$30 local example. It also might be my go-to burger wine this summer. Want to experience young petit verdot? It’s all here with aromas of blueberry, black licorice, molasses, banana peel, white pepper and violets. All of the…

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com..

The fact I was bundled in down from head to toe while I cruised the block sto Astor Center reminded me (as if I could forget) that it’s still winter. For the third year in a row, NY DRINKS NY presented its Grand Tasting featuring nearly 32 wineries from across New York State. Manhattan in mid-March sits on the precipice of spring meaning new wine releases and desperate hopes for balmy weather, even though the mercury says, “Bitches, we’re still in winter.” Well, I don’t care. My taste buds are firmly planted in backyard grilling, delicate sunshine, snap peas and…

Photo courtesy of northcountrypublicradio.org

Viticulture and winemaking are not static fields of knowledge. They are continually expanding in scope, breadth and depth. It can take a lot of effort for professionals, hobbyists and curious consumers to educate themselves in the many facets of these studies, and stay abreast of new developments. A webinar series sponsored by the Northern Grapes Project is making it a lot easier for folks to stay in the game without having to leave the farm or winery to do it. I’ve attended a number of these webinars over the last couple of years and have found them very valuable in…

ny-tastes-ny1

If you have a cold, it’s basically impossible to taste wine, or anything else for that matter. I got a message from Lenn that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the NY Drinks NY event at the Astor Center in New York City on March 17 because he’d developed a nasty cough and sore throat. He’d planned to attend the afternoon sessions — seminars on single-vineyard rieslings, cabernet franc across the state (no surprise that he wanted to go to that one, if you know him), and Long Island sustainability — and then we were going to meet…

damiani-2010-meritage

Damiani Wine Cellars is the rare Finger Lakes winery that can be counted on for good Bordeaux-variety wines almost regardless of vintage. In warmer, drier years however, the results can move well beyond good. 2010 was one such year. Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Meritage ($27) is a nervy, wiry blend of 44% cab sauv, 37% merlot, 19% cab franc that shows aromas of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit along with grilled herbs, a dusty earthiness and just a kiss of new oak. Chewy but not chunky, the palate is medium-fuller bodied and delivers a bit more raw toasty oak, but…

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Grape growing is big business in Chautauqua County and has been fore more than 100 years. The region gained prominence for grape growing when the concord grape was brought there in the 1870s. Called “America’s Grape Country,” the region is the oldest and largest concord grape-growing region in the world. The success of that grape has long been the dominant theme in the area, eclipsing the limited success vinifera grapes have enjoyed. There are more than a dozen wineries in Chautauqua County today, nearly all producing some vinifera wines. All of these wineries have had varying levels of success, but one…

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  Todd Trzaskos, Contributing Editor: Macari Vineyards Early Chardonnay 2013 It being the New York Cork Report’s 10th anniversary I felt compelled to open something from the Empire Wine Cellars Club selections. This is the second time we’ve encountered this wine via the club, and I’m starting to think I need to buy direct. The flavors of this wine bring back youthful memories of summer bike rides to the local soda shop where we’d turn spare change into a treasure trove of penny candies. It’s intensely possessed by the spirit of sweet tarts…the green apple and lemon ones especially.  Many might take…