Posts Tagged“featured”

Terroir in Whiskey? Inside the Quest for Individuality at the Hudson Valley’s Hillrock Estate Distillery

Hillrock Estate Distillery owner Jeff Baker

It wasn’t yet midnight, but it was long past sunset in the peat marsh. Two men who looked like deep-sea divers were prepared to use their wetsuits for a new purpose: they would be diving for peat. The decayed vegetation is an attractive part of the process of making single-malt whiskey — it’s smoked, adding a classic aromatic texture the likes of which can be found in Lagavulin and Laphroaig — but there’s one problem. The New York State Department of Environmental Conversation protects the marshlands, so the peat can’t be extracted legally. That’s why the men were prepared to…

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Blast American Imperial/Double IPA

brooklyn-blast

I first tried “Brooklyn Blast” ale at the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room in Williamsburg some years ago. I immediately fell in love. At the time, the beer was only available on draft and was not something often found outside of Brooklyn. It stuck in my mind as one of those powerful beers that just feels good to drink. It also happened to be the night of the “Pig and Pickle” event, where pulled pork slathered with hot sauce was served alongside the sourest pickles I’ve ever had. The ale, touted as a “rambunctious IPA” by the producer, seemed to cut…

Top 10 Tastes from TasteCamp 2014: Hudson Valley

tastecamp-millbrook

With TasteCamp 2014 in my rearview mirror, I’ve spent some time considering event — what we tasted, who we talked to and what they said — and while I’m not typically the biggest fan of “Top 10″-style writing, I think my iinitial thoughts lend themselves to the format, so that’s what we’re going with. More generally, the event couldn’t have gone better. My c0-host for this year’s event, Carlo DeVito of Hudson-Chatham Winery  (make sure you try his Chelois and Baco lineup), worked his tail off to put together an event that truly immersed our group of 20 writers in the…

The Spirits of Volunteerism

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Early last month a story broke in California about a small winery that had been subject to hefty fines levied by state labor authorities for the use of willing volunteers, and then fined again during their process to try and mitigate the unintended wrong. This has prompted conversations across the industry and across the country as wineries and their advocates look to their own state laws to see what kind of risks they might be exposed to. Hans Walter-Peterson in the Finger Lakes has mentioned the situation in recent issues of the Finger Lakes Vineyard Update newsletter, and we are recently…

Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2011 Vin d’ete Cabernet Franc

bloomer-2011-cf

  This isn’t a wine that everyone is going to appreciate. As some would say, this is a cab franc lover’s cab franc. You need to appreciate the earthiness of the grape — the herbal edges too. Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2011 Vin d’ete Cabernet Franc ($18) isn’t driven by bold fruit flavors. The cool, wet 2011 vintage saw to that. Instead, winemaker Kim Engle took what the season gave him, and the result is a unique, impressive wine that the franc lover in me greatly enjoyed. Aromas of Provencal herbs — especially thyme and lavender — float from the glass,…

Dancing in September: How 2014 Went from Potential Disaster to Potential Cool-Climate Classic

gewurzt-silver-thread

To say that the 2014 vintage was in crisis mode before September is not an understatement. “I’d say it was like 2009, but it was probably in worse shape,” one winemaker who asked not to be identified told me. “Way, way behind in the numbers, and way, way behind in flavor development.” The running joke was that the 2014 wines might be harvested in early 2015. That’s thanks to a snowballing (pardon the too-soon pun) of a brutal and costly winter, a late spring, a cool summer and a cold August. Veraison occurred nearly a month after it did in…

Hosmer Winery 2012 Single Wheel Riesling

hosmer-2012-single-wheel-riesling

You wouldn’t know it to look at the front label, but this wine is produced by winemaker Aaron Roisen at Hosmer Winery. It’s an interesting branding decision, which is another discussion for another day, but this is really just how Hosmer has decided to do a single-vineyard riesling — which are all the rage in the Finger Lakes these days. Actually, it’s a single three-acre section of Hosmer’s Patrician Verona Vineyard, which is located on the western side of Cayuga Lake. I really like the nose, which shows bright, fresh aromas of lime, rainwater, under-ripe honeydew and a lightly savory…

TasteCamp 2014: Hudson Valley Kicks of Drink Local Wine Week 2014

taste-camp-hv

Tomorrow morning, I head up to the Hudson River Region of New York’s wine country to take care of some final preparations for this year’s TasetCamp event, presented by Drink Local Wine (DLW). This weekend, nearly two dozen writers will join me as we immerse ourselves in the Hudson Valley’s wine, spirits, cider and beer communities through a series of tastings, visits and discussions. I look forward to tasting some of my favorite local libations again, but also to making new discoveries. That’s the fun part. But TasteCamp is really just the beginning — the beginning of “Drink Local Wine Week…

Paumanok Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc

paumanok-2012-cabernet-franc

Paumanok Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc ($24) has a ripe, but varietally correct nose of blackberry and plum fruit with notes of dried autumn leaves, dried herbs and woodsy spice. With a bit of time in the glass, the faintest scent of grilled asparagus emerges as a tertiary aroma. Cottony tannins and crunchy, fresh black cherry and blackberry flavors are accented nicely by more woodsy spice, dried herbs and plum skin on the medium-bodied palate. I appreciate the restrained oak — that really lets the fruit shine on this ripe but far-from-heavy red that begs to be enjoyed at the table…

Heron Hill Winery 2012 Reserve Riesling

heron-hill-2012-reserve-riesling

    You don’t see “reserve” on Finger Lakes wine labels as much as you used to (a topic that Evan will explore in an upcoming feature story). Heron Hill Winery, located high above the western shores of Keuka Lake, still uses the term on an entire line of wines. These wines, as I guess you should expect given the label, are often among their best, though I’m partial some of the Ingle Vineyard wines too. Heron Hill Winery 2012 Reserve Riesling ($25) starts off with aromas of green apple, peach, lime and citrus blossom — pretty classic Finger Lakes —…