Posts Written OnAugust 2014

Montauk Brewing Company Driftwood Ale (ESB)

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As the seasonal creep, well…..creeps in, I’m maintaining that there are still several weeks of summer left to enjoy. No pumpkin beers have found their way into my refrigerator, and the beach is absolutely awesome when the kids are back at school. So I’m still drinking a lot of canned beer. This past week I picked up a six-pack from Montauk Brewing Company as I deemed it apropos to drink down at the ocean. The ale is a true amber color with some copper around the edges and a white little head. The aromas of the ale are very mellow…

2014 Growing Season Check-In: McCall Wines

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As we head into September and then the grape harvest season across New York, the NYCR team will be checking in with some of the state’s top wineries and vineyards to see how the growing season has been and where things stand today. I caught up with Brewster McCall of McCall Wines, who recently walked his family’s vineyard,  Corchaug Estate, in Cutchogue and spoke with his father, Russ McCall, about the season. Like much of New York, the spring at  McCall’s Corchaug Estate was cool, rainy and started late — a couple weeks later than average. Spring rain isn’t a problem, according to Brewster…

Hector Wine Company 2012 Dry Riesling

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Hector Wine Company is a Finger Lakes winery on the rise. Still a relatively new producer, the wines seem to improve with each vintage and this Hector Wine Company 2012 Dry Riesling ($18) stood out in a recent tasting. Fresh and citrusy, the nose is dominated by lemon and lime peel with notes of lemon cookie, ripe apple and lemon verbena (especially as the wine warms). More citrus and apple greet the palate — which is dry but not harsh or austere. There is a breadth to the palate that is deftly balanced by well-integrated acidity.  It finishes with a lingering…

5 Questions with… Bryan Van Deusen, Hudson-Chatham Winery

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Some might say Bryan Van Deusen of Hudson-Chatham Winery was born and bred for his current role. Not in the way that perhaps a family winery passes through the generations and how their children are often groomed to one day take the helm, but rather in the way that while many of us were on family vacations to the beach or amusement parks the Van Deusen clan would head to wine country. His parents love of wine (are you reading Lenn and Evan?) clearly influenced his youth and as you’ll see from this week’s edition of our “5 Questions with…” feature has also…

Pindar Vineyards Founder, Long Island Wine Pioneer Dies

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The Long Island wine community lost another of its pillars earlier this week when Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos died of pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Dan as he was known to most, Founded Pindar Vineyards in 1980 and was a great populizer of Long Island wine, gaining wide distribution for his wines and seeing his tasting room packed with tourists. I didn’t know him well, but I know that he was well respected by his colleagues within the New York wine community. The Long Island Wine Council posted this tribute yesterday: “The Long Island wine community is mourning the passing of a regional…

The Joy of Going Vertical: Older Wines are Worth Pursuing

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The premise of a vertical tasting is simple – samples of the same wine are drawn from different vintages and are tasted in a side-by-side fashion to compare and contrast differences in the wine that can be attributed to variation in climatic and other growing conditions across various years of production. Of course, additional factors such as changes in winemaking styles, difference in fruit sourcing, and changes in blend composition can also play a major role in the flavor profile of a wine and need to be considered when choosing the wine and vintages for a vertical tasting. Assuming these…

Macari Vineyards Named 2014 “Winery of the Year”

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Regardless of what anyone thinks about wine competitions — how they are run, how the results are used to sell wine, etc. — when a deserving group of people are recognized for their work, it’s worth noting. Macari Vineyards being named “Winery of the Year” at the 2014 New York Wine & Food Classic yesterday is newsworthy because the Macari family, and the family-run culture they’ve cultivated at their winery, is worthy of even more attention than it already gets. “Family-run” gets thrown around a lot in the wine world. I guess it’s meant to to indicate a level of artisanal, hands on-ness.…

Chateau Lafayette Reneau Wins 2014 Governor’s Cup

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The most prestigious award in New York wine went to Chateau Lafayette Reneau, a wine producer that can boast some of the finest vineyard land in the Finger Lakes. CLR won the coveted Governor’s Cup for their 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling. The wine edged out several other best-in-category winners, including two wines developing a strong pedigree: Macari’s Cabernet Franc (this one the 2010 vintage) and Anthony Road Dry Rose (the 2013). It will be interesting to see if this award affects CLR in any significant fashion. In many ways, CLR feels like it has been frozen in time, from the antiquated…

Treleaven Wines 2012 Dry Riesling

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Treleaven Wines 2012 Dry Riesling ($16) didn’t jump out at a recent tasting, but it’s a well-made, dry riesling that is both refreshing and deftly avoids the “lemon water” quality that some Finger Lakes dry rieslings suffer from. Aromas range from white flowers to Granny Smith apple to sweet herbs and lime. Pretty classic Finger Lakes for this style. On the palate, it’s more of the same — green apple and lime — with a bit of dried pineapple and pear. Refreshing and somewhat tart, there is ample acid here — enough that it pinches the finish a bit. ABV: 10.9% RS: .5% pH: 2.87…