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Macari Vineyards 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc

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“Reserve” is a term without an official meaning in the American wine industry. It can be used by anyone on any wine. Some wineries only have a “Reserve” line — which means it’s more about marketing than anything else. They’d never admit it, but I’m convinced that some producers even put “Reserve” on a bottle just so they can charge more for it. For a while, here on Long Island, “Reserve” has meant bigger, riper and oakier. Sometimes wineries boast about long a “Reserve” wine is aged in oak barrels on the back label — as if that’s a sign…

New York #Tastemaker: Nancy Irelan | Red Tail Ridge Winery

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“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. One of the true highlights of my trip to the Finger Lakes last month was meeting Nancy Irelan, co-owner of and winemaker for Red Tail Ridge Winery on the western side of Seneca Lake. Nancy (and correctly so) suggested that if we planned…

Waters Crest Winery 2012 Merlot

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I keep reading a lot about 2013 Long Island reds lately. I’m sure you have too. Some are even calling it “Long Island’s Best Vintage.” Please take those proclamations with a grain of salt — at least for now. It was a great growing season, no doubt, but nearly every vintage is labeled “the greatest” at some point, either during harvest or once the wines start coming out. Keep in mind that no matter the vintage or its quality, wineries need to sell their wine. It’s to their benefit to laud a vintage as “the greatest ever.” Every year. Before…

New York Cork Club: April 2016 Selections

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Editor’s Note: Okay, so I’m a little late posting this. Most of you have already received your shipments, but here is a bit about my April 2016 selections. I’m really excited about this month’s picks – one Finger Lakes riesling and a sparkling cabernet franc from Long Island. Yes, you read that right – sparkling cabernet franc. Macari Vineyards 2014 “Horses” Sparkling Rose Cabernet Franc is a sparkling cabernet franc that they may so little of that it’s not even on the winery’s website. Luckily, we were able to get a few cases for the club and I think you’re…

From the Archives: Finger Lakes Growers Begin to Check for Damage to Vines Following Brutal Cold Snap

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Editor’s Note: On Thursdays — call them Throwback Thursday if you’d like — we’ll pull a story from the more than a decade of NYCR stories and republish it. This week’s jolt of frigid temperatures across New York — particularly in upstate New York — has those of us who care about and follow the wine and cider industries here worried about what damage was done. So, I thought posting this piece from January 2014 seeme appropriate.  On Saturday, Steve Shaw of Shaw Vineyard spent about an hour carefully cutting buds from canes he pulled from his vineyard. It had been several days…

New York #Tastemaker: Kelly Urbanik Koch | Macari Vineyards

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Photo credit: David Benthal for NorthForker “Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. As August Deimel mentioned last week, there is precious little diversity in New York’s wine cellars. Head winemakers across the state tend to be white and they tend to men. I won’t pretend to know…

Weekly New York Wine News — April 4, 2016

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Co-owner and winemaker Paul Brock pruning vines in the estate vineyard at Silver Thread Vineyard. NEWS Edible East End – 3/22/2016 Long Island vintners line up their 2013 reds for market, and believe that the vintage will be  a long-lived one. Albany Times Union – 3/28/2016 Capoccia Vineyards & Winery of Niskayuna, opens a wine lounge in downtown Schenectady to showcase its products as well as ciders from around New York state. North Forker – 3/29/2016 NYCR Executive Editor Lenn Thompson pens a piece for the Long Island Wine Press in which he takes another look at Long Island Chardonnay.…

Uncork the Forks: 6 reasons for North Forkers to visit the Finger Lakes

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I’m working on several stories after my recent trip to the Finger Lakes — but in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest column for the Suffolk Times, which can be found online on northforker.com Over the past several years, my family has fallen head-over-heels in love with the Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country that offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fishing, boating, wine tasting, great food and farmer’s markets, a relaxed pace and plenty of relaxation. In some ways, it’s a lot like the North Fork — except it’s…

Lieb Cellars 2014 Bridge Lane Chardonnay

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It’s easy to forget sometimes, but not every wine we drink needs to be esoteric or complicated. Wine needn’t always be something you spend time dissecting or pondering. Some might argue that wine is never that. At the end of the day, wine need only be delicious and satisfying. Lieb Cellars 2014 Bridge Lane Chardonnay ($16) is both of those things. Made entirely in stainless steel, it’s not complex or layered, but it offers bright, fresh lemon-lime fruitiness, juicy acidity and a subtle saline edge on the finish. This is the kind of wine that you want to have around as the…

New York #Tastemaker: August Deimel | Keuka Spring Vineyards

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“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. Where should I  start with August Deimel, winemaker at Keuka Spring Vineyards? He’s a fellow Pittsburgh native and we’ve had more than a few exchanges about our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers over the years — but we should keep this to…