Posts Tagged“north fork”

WTN: Raphael 2002 First Label Merlot (North Fork of Long Island)

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Editor’s Note: Yes, I do still write for my blog. When Richard Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Peconic’s Raphael, started his winemaking career, it was in the Finger Lakes region of central New York. As you all know, the Finger Lakes region is best suited —  and best known —  for its aromatic white wines, particularly riesling. Much of the time, the classic red varieties of Bordeaux struggle to ripen in central New York. Some wineries make wines like merlot and cabernet sauvignon anyway, but many of the better ones are made using fruit (or bulk wine) grown here on Long Island.…

WTN: Lieb Family Cellars 2004 Bridge Lane Bubbly (North Fork of Long Island)

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Lieb Family Cellars’ Blanc de Blancs, made entirely using the pinot blanc grape, has long been a favorite (look for a review and rating later this week). But at $35, it’s not the sort of bubbly we can keep on hand for casual consumption. Luckily, they’ve recently introduced a sparkler under as part of their second-label Bridge Lane product  line — a 2004 Bridge Lane Bubbly ($27). Bright and impressively flavorful from the first refreshing sip, this affordable bubbly is made with 60%  pinot noir and 40% chardonnay by French-born Gilles Martin (formerly of Martha Clara Vineyards and currently winemaker…

WTN: Lieb Family Cellars 2004 Cabernet Franc Reserve

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Every time I taste a wine like this one, I wonder if Long Island wineries aren’t crazy to push merlot as the be-all-end-all red in the region. Crazy might be overstating it a bit, but I wonder if cabernet franc would get more publicity in these parts if it were a better known variety amongst the wine-drinking population. You all know of my undying devotion to the grape probably best known as the key red France’s Loire Valley. But I’m not alone. Not by a long shot. General Manager Gary Madden, the sometimes-reluctant face of Lieb Family Cellars, loves the…

Post Pumpkin-Picking Therapy

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On Sunday, Nena and I took Jackson pumpkin picking for the first time. Yes, I know. The same guy who complains about the road-clogging, pumpkin-picking families every year joined the fray with his own kid. So sue me. You do crazy things for your kids. Even if they can’t walk yet and can’t actually pick anything. But we definitely did it our own way, first meeting up with some good friends at Roanoke Vineyards for a glass of wine beforehand. Our kids (both under a year old) played as we enjoyed the early afternoon and some wine. Next, we headed…

Wines Worth Dodging the Pumpkin Pickers For

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I heard a joke last weekend that goes something like this: "Don’t wear orange on the North Fork this time of year. You might be taken home by someone." It’s probably not the funniest joke you’ve heard lately, but it aptly describes the sometimes-chaotic behavior of the pumpkin-picking masses. All those families, dead set on finding the perfect pumpkin, the best hay ride and the curviest corn maze, have been clogging the major North Fork arteries for weeks and will continue to do so through the fall. Whether you call it the harvest parade, a parking lot or bumper-to-bumper, the…

WTN: Ackerly Pond Vineyards 2004 Merlot (North Fork of Long Island)

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Over the past decade-plus, there has been an interesting phenomenon in Long Island wine, though it’s probably mere coincidence. It seems that even-numbered years tend to be cooler than the riper odd-number years, which include the well-regarded 1995, 2001 and 2005 years. Of course this isn’t a hard and fast rule. And it certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t terrific wines in the cooler years. In fact, some of the most underrated wines–both red and white–that I’ve tasted lately have come out of the 2004 vintage, a slightly cooler, but still typical local year. Founded just less than a decade…

WTNs: Vineyard 48 Current Red Releases (North Fork of Long Island)

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Vineyard 48 (formerly Bidwell Vineyards) might be a winery on the rise. In general, I’ve found their white wines to be their best, particularly the sauvignon blanc and riesling, which are actually better than some local bottlings priced much higher. But, the reds have been somewhat more inconsistent. A nice cabernet franc here. A soft, but integrated meritage there. And some others with somewhat coarse tannins. 2005, a soon-to-be-class vintage, provided an opportunity for complete grape ripeness and winemaker Matthew Berenz, formerly of Pindar, took full advantage. He’s made the neophyte winery’s best reds yet. The Vineyard 48 2005 Vignetta…

Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard Joins the North Fork Wine Scene

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Remember when Harold Watts of Ternhaven Cellars sold his vineyard in Cutchogue? I said at the time that I had heard the new owners were going to keep the property under vine. Well they have and it’s called Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard. This isn’t just another vineyard or winery on the North Fork though, far from it. Much like the apparently failed Premier Cru Society at Belle Brittany Vineyard, owners Anthony and Lisa Sannino are offering wine lovers the chance to become winemakers. It’s a pretty cool thing that I hope they do well with. For $3500 per year membership,…

Tasting Rooms Gone Wild? I’m Not So Sure.

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You may have seen these stories in the New York Times and Syracuse Post-Standard, about tasting room behavior in Long Island and other New York tasting rooms. I don’t have any first-hand experience in Finger Lakes tasting rooms, so I can’t comment much on the latter article, but the one in the Times I definitely can. In fact, I was interviewed for it, even if none of my quotes made it in. As I read the story for a second time, I’m disappointed on several fronts. First, I’m disappointed that people act like that in tasting rooms. But, in some…

WTN: Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards 2002 Merlot (North Fork)

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Sometimes I get completely and utterly sick of tasting merlot. It’s the most-planted grape on Long Island and every winery makes at least one varietal bottling–and often more than that. Hell, Wolffer Estate makes four ‘levels’ of merlot. And, despite growing conditions that are excellently suited to the grape, there is a lot of bad merlot being produced. It’s sad really, because when grown in the right way and treated the right way in the winery, merlot leads to this regions most consistently delicious wines…even if the best ones will cost you at least $30 and up to $125. Osprey’s…