Posts Tagged“Review”

forge-2013-pinot-noir

Assumptions and generalizations. In recent weeks they have crept into more than a couple wine-related discussions I’ve had. As with regular, every-day life, they are silly, even dangerous, things that can make us appear ignorant or worse. In wine, they are crutches that even the most intrepid writer/critic/thinker will fall back on in a pinch. Of course many of them are based in fact — at least tangentially. Take the idea that red wines from the 2013 Finger Lakes vintage can’t or won’t be good. I haven’t heard anyone laud the season for any grape. The growing season was a wet one early on and by September, when the weather changed in growers’ favor, many red varieties were far behind the ripening curve. Add to that high disease pressure and it’s true — many red wines didn’t quite ‘make it’ though riesling did just find based on my tastings. But, I…

medolla-2004-merlot

It’s rare that one can go buy a fully mature Long Island wine right off the shelf, but Medolla Vineyards offers that opportunity with the current release Medolla Vineyards 2004 Merlot ($19). Yes. 2004. Current. Release. The Medolla wines are made at Lenz Winery under the watchful eye of Lenz winemaker Eric Fry. The 2002 was one of the most underrated merlots on the North Fork when it was released and the 2007 was a killer value a few years ago when it hit shelves. The 2004 — no doubt given extra time in bottle to even out some of the rustic edges — offers a great lesson in mature North Fork merlot. Most of the black cherry fruit aromas have faded, with scents of loamy earth, dried thyme, graphite and spice box taking their place. The palate is similarly mature in terms of flavor. It almost lacks fruit completely, with all…

standing-stone-2013-saperavi

Though originally planted at Standing Stone Vineyards with blending in mind, Saperavi — a cold-hardy grape originally from Georgia (not the state) — has earned co-owner/wine Marti Macinski accolades. And she’s only been bottling it on its own since the 2005 vintage. In a region where dark, inky reds are anything but the norm, it’s easy to see the appeal. Beyond the color — which ultimately has little (no) bearing on a wine’s quality or even intensity — there is even more to like. Standing Stone Vineyards 2013 Saperavi ($30) oozes with plum and blueberry fruit aromas that are accented by a slightly spicy, slightly savory blueberry compote, and a touch of vanilla. The mouth-filling palate is plush with more black-blue fruit, subtle toasty cinnamon spice, more vanilla and slightly savory/umami note on the finish, which shows slightly gritty tannins and fresh acidity. I don’t know what the future holds for this grape in…

silver-thread-2013-dry-riesling

In the three-plus years since Paul and Shannon Brock bought and took over Silver Thread Vineyard, they’ve quickly pushed the label’s reputation forward. Paul makes wines in a clean, focused style that is well suited to the region and to the vineyards the couple buys fruit from. Silver Thread Vineyard 2013 Dry Riesling ($18) is made using fruit from a variety of sources — 32% was estate grown fruit on Seneca Lakes, while 33% came from Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard (Keuka Lake), 30% from Doyle East Seneca Vineyard (Seneca Lake) and 5% Randolph O’Neill Vineyard (Cayuga Lake). Crisp and clean, the nose is dominated by aromas of Bosc pear pulp, lemon-lime, faint citrus blossom and blanched almond. Gritty pear, juicy lemon-lime citrus flavors  lead a lean-but-not-austere palate that accented by golden raisins and dried papaya. It’s juicy and mouth-watering, with good verve , and a distinct slate note toward the end of a long, dry finish. Producer: Silver…

klv-2014-leon-millot-nouveau

Given the popularity of Beaujolais Nouveau every fall, it’s long surprised me how few New York wineries (or American wineries for that matter) have embraced the concept. I mean, most Beaujolais Nouveau is terrible. I’m sure New York wineries can do better. Enter Keuka Lake Vineyards 2014 Leon Millot Nouveau ($18). Keuka Lake Vineyards has a bit of a cult following for it’s non-nouveau Leon Millot — an inky dark, chewy red unlike many from the Finger Lakes. On the other hand, this nouveau is soft and fruity, which red cherry note and just a little little cassis. There is a faintly floral quality that offers some higher tones and a little complexity. From the winery’s website, this wine was made: The grapes were lightly sulfured to protect them and then de-stemmed and fermented in two ways. Half was fermented in bins and the other half in a large stainless steel tank…

wolffer-2010-noblesse

Wolffer Estate is one of the better-known and recognized brands in Long Island wine. Their standard dry rose is nearly ubiquitous in the warmer months (not to mention their barrel-aged rose and the new “Summer in a Bottle” bottling). Winemaker Roman Roth is also making some of the best merlot-based blends and cabernet franc on the island. What doesn’t get nearly enough attention is the sparkling wine program at Wolffer — including Wolffer Estate 2010 Noblesse Oblige Extra Brut Rose Sparkling ($40). Made from pinot noir and chardonnay, it offers aromas of fresh apple and apple skin with hints of red berries. Though not aggressively effervescent, the palate is dry, fresh and balanced — with apple, red berry and floral notes, well-incorporated acidity and a long, floral-saline finish. This is the kind of sparkling wine that is fruity enough to appeal to a wide array of people but still focused and elegant…

keegan-ales-mothers-milk

Keegan Ales began brewing in an abandoned brewery in Kingston, NY around 2003. Since then, their beer lineup (especially the Mother’s Milk) has been a major staple in the Hudson Valley and New York beer scene. They now contract brew some of their beer in Stratford, CT. I like pouring this milk stout from the bottle with some vigor, which creates a nice frothy head and gets all the Oedipus complex out. The stout is mostly black, with a rich brown layer of foam. The nose is more grassy and dusty at first but leads to some sweeter aromas like chocolate and roasted coffee bean as it sits. The flavor profile is kind of what you’d expect from a stout but with a sweeter finish. Toasted marshmallow and black coffee flavors stand out most. The best part about this beer is the thick “milky” texture and abundance of malt. This quality…

knapp-2013-dry-riesling

With aromas of lemon drop, peach flesh and pit and a subtle floral quality, Knapp 2013 Dry Riesling ($16) is fruity and forward without being too candied. Thought sweeter than many would expect from a wine labeled “Dry” there is a nice balance between the residual sugar — which brings a bit of mid-palate fullness — and citrusy, juicy acidity that lingers with a distinct lime finish. Peach flavors are ripe and plush with citrus at the edges and a bit of apple skin. This was the surprise of a recent tasting. Producer: Knapp Wines AVA: Finger Lakes ABV: 12% Production: 302 cases Price: $16 (sample) (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)  

anthony-nappa-2013-chardonnay

Anthony Nappa Wines 2013 “Sciardonne” Chardonnay ($20) straddles the line between typical no-oak chardonnay and barrel fermented styles. Though it doesn’t see a splinter of oak, it’s still full-bodied and concentrated with fruity aromas of mandarin orange and peach backed by notes of pineapple, dried flowers and a bit of butter. Full-bodied and mouth-filling, the palate shows excellent balance with enough acid to keep it from tasting heavy or tiring and a nice little saline note on the end of a medium-long finish. Producer: Anthony Nappa Wines AVA: North Fork of Long Island Harvest Date(s): October 5, 2013 Vineyard Source: McCullough Vineyards (Jamesport, NY) ABV: 13.9% RS: <.1 g/L TA: 7.8 g/L pH: 3.64 Oak Program: None Production: 270 cases Price: $20 (sample) (3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)  

red-newt-2012-semidry-riesling

Tasting on the drier side of semi-dry Red Newt Cellars 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling ($15) begins with a burst of citrus on the nose — lemon and lime — with added aromas of flint, citrus blossom, jasmine tea and wet gravel. Ample, but well-integrated, acidity brings verve to a palate that shows a nice bit of concentration on the mid-palate to go along with flavors that closely match the nose. There is a touch of sweetness here, but crunchy, lime-juicy acidity balances it deftly. The finish lingers with notes of lime peel and slate. Producer: Red Newt Cellars AVA: Finger Lakes  ABV: 10.3% Production: 240 cases Price: $15 (purchased at the winery)  (4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)