WTN: Raphael 2004 Malbec (North Fork of Long Island)

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Don’t cry for me Argentina Long Island? Yes, there is malbec growing on Long Island — and probably more than you realize. Once a major component in the wines of Bordeaux, this large, fairly easy-to-ripen black grape is now best known in Argentina, where it is most often bottled alone, and as a bit player (along with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot) in in Meritage and other blended red wines in U.S., Australia and South Africa. So it only makes sense many of Long Island’s meritage-style reds feature small amounts of malbec — typicaly from 1 –…

No More Blind Tasting of One Long Island Winery

I got an interesting email yesterday from my contact for one prominent Long Island winery. The winery’s owner has decided that it will no longer be sending samples to me, or any member of the press, for review. From now on, he’d wants all wine tastings/reviews to be conducted at the winery, with him present. This winery isn’t the only one that doesn’t do samples…but the others are small, low-production wineries that sell out of their wines to their wine clubs regardless of any press coverage. This new member of the "no samples" club isn’t one of these artisanal producers…

Long Island Wine Country: News & Notes (9/20/06)

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* If you’ve driven by their tasting room on Main Road in Southold, you’ve probably noticed that Bedell Cellars is sporting a new logo. I always liked the old logo, but the new one is simple, clean and somewhat modern — and seems more in line with the design of their tasting room. * On October 1, Bedell will also release the latest member of its Artist’s Series family of wines — 2005 Gallery. The wine is a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. The label was designed by artist Ross Bleckner and only 200 cases were made. Many…

WTN: Standing Stone Vineyards Smokehouse Dry Vidal (Finger Lakes)

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Vidal (or vidal blanc) is a hybrid grape that doesn’t get the respect it deserves — at least when it’s done well. No, it’s not as rich and complex at a well-made, balance chardonnay and it doesn’t have the bright elegance of riesling. But, as far as white hybrids go, it’s among my favorites. Vidal is perhaps best known for it’s role in some delicious late harvest and ice style wines from Canadian and upstate New York producers. But, with high acidity and medium body, dry renditions can be tremendously refreshing and food friendly. Standing Stone Vineyards NV Smokehouse Dry…

Les Howard: Building on Success at Jamesport Vineyards

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Winemaker Les Howard’s 18-plus months at Jamesport Vineyards have been some of the craziest of his winemaking career. There was the stressful-but-successful 2005 harvest season that may prove to be one of Long Island’s finest. There’s how he’s developing his own style as head winemaker while maintaing the quality Jamesport is known for. And recently, he’s been able to enjoy impressive scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. "Things cannot be much better here at Jamesport," he wrote recently in an email. Howard, a Long Island native, "never thought of being a winemaker" when he first started at Pindar Vineyards over…

Setting Up Shop At Shinn Estate Vineyards

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In just a few years, Shinn Estate Vineyards has built a reputation for their "green" vineyard practices and quality wines that show off the quality of their fruit. Before the upcoming 2006 vintage, the wines were made at other wineries — most recently at Wolffer Estate under the watchful eye of winemaker Roman Roth. With harvest 2006, however, Shinn Estate Vineyards’ wines will be estate made and bottled — in a renovated barn right next to their rustic tasting room. They have also hired their first head winemaker, Juan (John) Eduardo Micieli-Martinez, formerly of Pellegrini Vineyards and Premium Wine Group.…

WBW #25: Champagne Deutz Brut Classic ($32)

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Champagne is something I openly admit I know very little about, so I was glad that Sam wanted to host a WBW around the stuff. Sadly, as you can tell by the fact that I’m posting my tasting a day late, I didn’t prepare very much and didn’t learn a whole lot either. But, I did enjoy the wine I ended up with. In the past, well before my palate started to develop, I’d tasted Dom Perignon and all those high-end (expensive at least) Champagnes and I wasn’t impressed compared to a $20 bottle of bubbly from California. I didn’t…

What I’ve Got in Common with Heath Miller

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For those of you that don’t know, Heath Miller is the starting tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. So what is it that I have in common with this professional athlete? He was born in in Richlands, VA and went to the University of Virginia. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and went to Allegheny College. After college, he was taken in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft. I went to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. He’s a professional athlete who won the Super Bowl last year. I’m a writer/editor/Web marketing guy who wine blogs on the…

Miguel Martin Takes Over Winemaking Duties at Palmer Vineyards

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Miguel Martin, who has worked for several wineries the world over has joined Palmer Vineyards as winemaker. The native of Madrid, Spain native has nearly 20 years of winemaking experience, including winemaking positions at Gonzalez Byass, Robert Mondavi, Yalumba and Catera. "Miguel Martin is an important addition to the Long Island winemaking scene," said Robert J. Palmer, owner of Palmer Vineyards. "He brings not only 10 years of experience working with the highly regarded Robert Mondavi Co., but also has winemaking experience from all over the world. This really qualifies him to understand the uniqueness of Long Island." Martin joins…