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harb001 - 2013 Malbec Front Label-OPTION 2

I’ve been tasting a lot of Long Island rose over the past few weeks — both because it’s the season and because I was researching a story that will be published in the Long Island Wine Press next month. Like any category, Long Island rose is always a mixed bag. There are wines that you know will always be good, regardless of vintage. There are wines you always want to be good, but underwhelm. And then there are the wines that surprise you — either in a good or bad way. Harbes Vineyard 2014 Dry Rose ($18) was a pleasant surprise…

leonard-oakes-2012-reserve-syrah

“I’m not convinced about its place up here — but we had to give it a shot.” That’s one of the first things winemaker Jonathan Oakes told me when I asked about his soon-to-be-released syrah. Syrah is far from widely planted in the region, but most of what I’ve tasted has been delicious. And, after tasting Oakes’, I’m more convinced than ever at the grapes potential in and near the Niagara Escarpment AVA. Aged in heavily toasted American oak — even if the majority was two and three years old — Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2012 Reserve Series Syrah ($23) shows a…

wolffer-2014-summer-in-a-bottle-rose

Much like the season that inspired its name, Wolffer Estate Vineyard‘s “Summer in a Bottle” Rose has been hot since its debut last spring. The initial 1,500 or so cases were gone seemingly before summer had hit its stride. Winemaker Roman Roth made nearly four times as much in 2014 (5,700 cases) so it should be around at least a bit longer into the season, which is a very good thing. Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2014 “Summer in a Bottle” Rose ($24) shows aromas of strawberries and mixed melons — orange and green. It’s not as brightly aromatic as its sister rose, but it’s not muted either.…

wolffer-2014-rose

There are so many styles of rose these days — both here on Long Island and in the wine world at large. New and different renditions pop up every year but when many people think about Long Island rose, they think about Wolffer Estate Vineyard, where winemaker Roman Roth crafts what is know to many as “the wine of the Hamptons season.” Tasting Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2014 Rose ($18) recently, I was reminded why it’s such a classic wine and nearly ubiquitous on the South Fork every summer. Made with 56% merlot, 18% chardonnay, 16% cabernet franc, 5% pinot noir, 4% riesling…

macari-2013-no1-sauvignon-blanc

There is a lot of very good sauvignon blanc made on Long Island now, which is great given the seafood-focused local cuisine. “What grows together, goes together” and all that — and even though I don’t eat much of the bounty from local waters, I do drink a fair amount of local sauvignon in the warmer months. I don’t think of it as the white grape of the future here anymore. It’s the white grape of the present now. But that doesn’t mean new and interesting things aren’t being done with it. 60% of the fruit that went into Macari Vineyards…

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It’s not always easy to know who made any individual wine at Boundary Breaks. They work with a few Finger Lakes winemakers and there isn’t any indication on the bottle or on their website which wines were made where, but Boundary Breaks Vineyard 2013 No. 239 Dry Riesling ($20) was made by Peter Bell at Fox Run Vineyards. Flinty and citrus blossom notes bring a bit of complexity to a nose that is driven by sweet lemons and just-ripe peaches. Citrusy and quite fruity and forward, the palate is juicy, with a bit of perceived sweetness even though it’s labeled…

dr-frank-2014-gruner-veltliner

I’ve been lucky when it comes to Gruner Veltliner, one of the great grapes of Austria. Through friends who have worked for various importers over the years, I’ve been introduced to some incredible renditions — expressive wines of intensity, balance and flat-out deliciousness. With that as context, I’ve been a bit let down by most New York Gruner. I used to chalk it up to young vines, poor picking decisions and winemakers getting their footing with it in the cellar. I still think that’s true in some cases, but I’ve also been guilty of not allowing the grapes to express what…

southampton-RIS

Comparing a vintage beer at different stages of its maturity isn’t something I get to do all the time, let alone a beer I have taken notes on. Recently, I’ve been cleaning up my wine and beer storage that I’ve wanted to check in on and, well, drinking them. I happen to pop this 2013 Imperial Russian Stout almost two years to the day that I last reviewed it here, on the New York Cork Report in 2013. Much about the beer has changed, yet much has stayed the same. The color and appearance of the stout hadn’t changed at…

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Made without even a splinter of oak, Raphael 2014 Sauvignon Blanc ($20), is a brisk, somewhat lean rendition of North Fork sauvignon blanc. Dominant aromas and flavors of citrus blossom, stony talc and straw are supported by light lemon, lemon verbena and gooseberry qualities. Juicy, citrusy acid keeps the palate crunchy and accentuates the minerally, stony notes. Bottled only a month ago, I plan to re-taste this wine in a month or so and will update this note if needed. Producer: Raphael AVA: North Fork of Long Island Varieties: 97% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Semillon pH: 3.18 TA: 8.4 g/L Barrel Program: None;…

keuka-spring-vineyards-2013-humphreys-riesling

Keuka Spring Vineyards 2013 “Humphrey’s Vineyard” Riesling ($22) offers a nice balance between fruity and floral character. The nose opens with Mandarin oranges and Meyer lemons with notes of peach, honey and fennel frond. Juicy and dry, the palate welcomes Golden Delicious apple flavors to the party along with more-pronounced, zesty citrus notes. Finishing with notes of apple skin and citrus blossom, this is a pretty classic Finger Lakes dry riesling, minus the minerally slate notes you might find from other vineyard sources. Producer: Keuka Spring Vineyards AVA: Finger Lakes Designation: Humphrey’s Vineyard Variety: Riesling Alcohol: 12% Production: 360 cases Price: $22 (sample)…