Richie1_1I don’t always agree with Howard Goldberg’s opinions when it comes to Long Island wine — but that’s true of any wine writer and his/her readers. Regardless, I read him every Sunday in the New York Times.

But yesterday, Howard got it 100% right. He highlights Roanoke Vineyards in Roanoke Landing, NY and owner Rich Pisacano’s three current releases. I’ve written before about his 2000 Merlot several times (1|2|3) and I suggested it in an email to Eric Asimov (also of the NY Times) after he had less-than-great things to say about the reds in his mis-guided tasting.

I’ve only tasted the Cabernet Sauvignon mentioned as a barrel sample…but I’m not surprised by Howard’s praise. Richie’s rose was still very tight (almost dead really) when I first tasted it in May…but I tasted it at the tasting room two weeks ago and it had already unfurled nicely. That visit was also when Richie told me Howard had tasted the wines and enjoyed them. His excitement was obvious…and well earned.

Beyond the wines themselves, Richie and his wife Soraya are two of the most friendly people you’ll ever meet in our local wine country. Each and every time we visit, we’re welcomed like a part of their family…and he almost always has something interesting for me to try.

They sell Wolffer Estate wines, which is great for those of us on Long Island’s northern coast (saves us the hour trip to Wolffer) and also wines from Atwater Estate Vineyards in the Finger Lakes. Richie used to work with Atwater’s winemaker at Wolffer and that friendship led to the arrangement.

And, Roanoke Vineyards is doing something I’d like to see more of with "Wine till Nine" every Saturday night. So, on your way home from the North Fork wineries, stop by for one last glass out on their beautiful new patio.