Browsing CategoryNew York

2011 Harvest: Cassis Season Has Begun in the Hudson Valley

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor This year’s first harvest report comes courtesy of Carlo DeVito, owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY. “Hudson-Chatham Winery, Brookview Station Winery and Tousey Winery have started their cassis crush. Black currants usually come in the middle of July. All over the valley, they’re making cassis. Somewhere between 12,000 to 15,000 bottles of cassis will be made in the Hudson Valley this year. The region is the largest maker of artisanal cassis in North America. Here’s an up close photo of the cassis being punched down.”

News Brief: The Winemaker Studio is Now Open

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor Anthony Nappa and Sarah Evans’ new venture The Winemaker Studio opened its doors to the public for the first time last Wednesday. Evans, the chef de cuisine at North Fork Table and Nappa, the former winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards, are pouring and selling wines he makes under his own label while also offering wines from three other winemakers’ labels: Suhru Wines from Russell Hearn of Pellegrini Vineyards and Premium Wine Group, Grapes of Roth from Roman Roth of Wolffer Estate Vineyard, and Leo Family from John Leo of Clovis Point. The Winemaker Studio is open…

On Cayuga Lake, a Copper Glow (and the Pizza Within) Attract New Customers

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By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor The small French commune of Tain-l’Hermitage is known for its pitched vineyards that yield some of the world’s finest syrah. It is not nearly so well known as the birthplace of copper ovens. “France’s soil is good for more than just winegrowing,” explain Seth and Mary Jane Kircher, the husband-and-wife owners of The Copper Oven, a specialty pizza joint connected to Cayuga Ridge winery. “Our oven was born in Tain-l’Hermitage and we worked with a family in Maine who helped us with its final construction.” The oven is a marvel to behold, and that’s…

Hermann J. Wiemer 2009 Magdalena Vineyard Riesling

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor As much affection as I feel for the wines of New York State, there are only a handful of wineries with “any wine” status — status that means I will happily drink any wine from their portfolio. Hermann J. Wiemer is a winery with such status in my life. From their $12 Frost Cuvee — a clean, fresh blend of riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc — to their $95 TBA-style riesling, the portfolio is a winner. Several of these wines will be reviewed on the NYCR over the next few weeks, starting…

Lieb Family Cellars 2008 Right Coast Red

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor As a general rule, I don’t like double entendre on wine labels. It gimmicky and usually only clever in a too-obvious or not-all-that-funny sort of way. With the city skyline on the label, we are led to believe that the primary meaning of Lieb Family Cellars 2008 Right Coast Red ($30) relates to being made on the East Coast — right when looking at a map — versus on the West Coast, which would be Left Coast. Given my drive to drink locally, I tend to prefer the other meaning — the meaning that seems…

Channing Daughters Winery 2009 Scuttlehole Chardonnay

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor Channing Daughters Winery‘s winemaker, Christopher Tracy, makes several chardonnay-based wines in a wide range of styles. For my money, his all-steel Scuttlehole Chardonnay is consistently the best and is the wine against which I judge other New York wines of its type. Channing Daughters 2009 Scuttlehole Chardonnay ($17) is proof that stainless steel chardonnay needn’t be one-dimensional and somewhat neutral. The fruit for this wine was all hand harvested and whole-cluster pressed — the norm at Channing Daughters, but not as common with most other steel-feremented chardonnays. Maybe that’s the key difference, particularly the whole-cluster…

Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2008 “Perle” Chardonnay

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor It is my personal opinion that there is way too much chardonnay planted on Long Island. I know all the reasons why its there — easy to grow, customer demand, etc. — but chardonnay is never going to be why people visit the region or demand Long Island wines on a restaurant list. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. I will also highlight Long Island chardonnay wines that are delicious, which they can be. Especially when the right clones are grown in the right place and the wine is made by the…

Macari Vineyards 2010 “Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor Almost since its inception in 1995, Macari Vineyards, located in the North Fork town of Mattituck, has been a  top producers of Long Island sauvignon blanc. The 100% stainless steel “Katherine’s Field” bottling in particular — named for owner Joseph Macari Sr.’s wife Katherine — is a consistent and refreshing wine. That wine’s release is always one I look forward to every spring or early summer — but this year I was even more curious about it. It’s the first Macari sauvignon made by Kelly Urbanik, who joined the winery almost a year ago after…

Influence Wines 2010 Riesling

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor You may not know who Erik Bilka is, but chances are he’s helped make at least some of your favorite Long Island wines. Bilka, who launched Influence Wines in 2009, has been working at Premium Wine Group — a custom crush facility responsible for several Long Island labels — since 2001. In fact, he was employee #3 when he joined founder Russell Hearn and John Leo. Prior to joining PWG, he worked the 2000 harvest with Alice Wise as a Cornell Cooperative Extension vineyard assistant. Working at PWG, Bilka has worked with many consulting winemakers…

The Grapes of Roth 2009 Riesling

By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor Another impressive 2009 riesling from New York? Yes. And this one is from Long Island. Because he mostly works with Bordeaux reds and chardonnay locally, people wondered what German-born winemaker Roman Roth (Wolffer Estate, Roanoke Vineyards) would do with local riesling. When Roth introduced his private label, The Grapes of Roth, several years ago, he started with a merlot, but introduced his first riesling not long after. And of the three rieslings he’s made under the GoR label, Grapes of Roth 2009 Riesling ($22) might be his best yet. Roth purchases the fruit for this…