The November shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will ship in a couple weeks, but — as always — I’m excited to share the selections with you.

If you’re not familiar with the club, you can learn more here.

“Hello New York” Wines

Lamoreaux Landing 2011 Gruner Veltliner: It’s exciting to include this relatively new grape to New York, and Lamoreaux Landing’s first commercial release of it. Dry and refreshing, it shows aloe, white pepper, lemon-lime citrus, and green herbs — with just a hint of salinity.

Roanoke Vineyards 2010 BOND: Some complain about the lack of quality “table wines” from Long Island (wines under $20). The Pisacano family, along with winemaker Roman Roth take on that challenge here with ripe, juicy results.

“Getting to Know New York” Wines

Forge Cellars 2011 Riesling: This is probably unlike any riesling you’ve ever tasted — aged in old oak barrels, which gives the wine a richness and roundness on the mid-palate. Can you taste the oak? I’ve had this wine a handful of times and sometimes I’ve noticed a hint of vanilla. Others not at all.

Freedom Run Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc: Quite simply — this is one of the best cabernet francs I’ve tasted this year, from any region in the world. Ripe (but not over-ripe) fruit meets savory notes of bay leaf, smoke, spice and tobacco leaf in this juicy, Loire-styled wine.

“New York Wine Trail” Wines

Bloomer Creek Vineyard 2010 Auten Vineyard First Harvest VS: If you’ve been a member for a while, you’ve tasted Kim Engle’s wines before. They tend to be idiosyncratic, complex and certainly one-of-a-kind. This riesling is no different. Kim only made 21 cases, but we got some for the club.

Macari Vineyards 2005 Reserve Merlot: This wine is Exhibit A in the case for wineries holding back wines a bit before releasing them. Currently available (not a library wine) the few extra years in bottle before release have brought out layers of complexity and a certain suppleness to the edges.

“Excelsior” Wines

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard 2009 Dry Riesling: This wine is flat-out delicious, but what makes it exciting this time around is that we’re sending you a magnum — 1.5L. Wines age more slowly in magnum, so you could hold this in your cellar for a while, but magnums are also perfect for celebrations — like maybe your Thanksgiving table.

Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Reserve Syrah: A few years ago I remember telling someone that I didn’t think syrah had much of a future in New York. That was a dubious statement then and looks absolutely stupid now. In warmer years with longer growing seasons — like 2010 — there are some beautiful syrahs being made. This is one of the best.

If you haven’t signed up for the club yet, fear not. You can still get in on this first shipment. Email Katherine Jaeger, Manager of Wine Clubs, at and she will take good care of you. And remember, you can customize your club to include just red or whites wines too if you’d like.