In the midst of the NYCR’s brief hiatus, we still have some work to attend to — announcing wines that will be included in the January shipment of our wine club.
If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here.
Macari Vineyards 2013 Early Wine Chardonnay: I’ve already enjoyed at least half a case of this super-fresh first taste of the 2013 Long Island vintage. It bursts with citrus — think lemons and grapefruit — aromas along with notes of green apple and apple blossom on the nose. Juicy, citrusy and just plain fun on the palate, this crowd-pleaser is off-dry but crackling with crunchy green apple acidity. You could open this right out of the shipper box the day it arrives.
Onabay Cot-Fermented Cabernet Franc: For those of us who remember fondly the cabernet franc wines that Bruce Schneider’s made at his eponymous winery (which he sold a few years back), check out this cabernet franc-malbec blend (cot is the name for malbec in France’s Loire Valley). Red raspberries are joined by high-toned floral and light earthy/herbal notes. This made its way onto my Thanksgiving table, by the way.
“Getting to Know New York” Wines
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2012 Haven: I’ve noticed how much more important mouthfeel and texture are to me (versus individual flavors) as my palate evolves. This blend of sauvignon blanc with a little semillon is a textural stunner. A bit of French oak is noticeable on the nose, but it’s mostly in the background behind aromas of fresh and dried apricot, fig, golden raisin, nuts and a Fino-like salinity. Dried fruits — golden raisin, fig and apriot — dominate the mouth-filling, rich-but-balanced palate. The fruit intensity is balanced nicely by a vein of fresh acidity and subtle skin tannins. The finish is dry, clean and lightly saline-minerally.
Bedell Cellars 2010 Merlot: Though probably better-known for its high-end blends these days, there was a time when Bedell Cellars was synonymous with Long Island’s best merlot. This wine — labeled to celebrate the winery’s 30th anniversary — is a reminder of just how delicious and distinctive Long Island merlot can be.
“New York Wine Trail” Wines
The Grapes of Roth 2012 Virgin Berry Riesling: German-born winemaker Roman Roth makes this balanced, vivacious riesling from virgin berries — small, seedless berries that often get extremely ripe — grown at Split Rock Vineyard in Greenport. It shows layers of apricots and peaches, melon, gunflint and citrusy acidity. As delicious as it is unique.
Heart & Hands Wine Company 2011 “Elaine’s Vineyard” Pinot Noir: Heart & Hands has already earned its reputation as one of New York’s premier producer of pinot noir — winemaker Tom Higgins’ devotion to the grape is a big reason why. But it’s his single-vineyard wines (both pinot and riesling) that I find the most interesting. Elaine’s Vineyard is named for Finger Lakes pioneer Elaine Hazlitt and is on the eastern side of Seneca Lake. Typically only available to wine club members, we were able to get some for our club!
Channing Daughters 2012 Ribolla Gialla : Straddling the line between stunningly textured white wine and delicately styled orange wine, this beauty offers aromas of Golden Delicious apple, peach, lemon curd, varied blossoms, dried autumn leaves are distinct and yet nebulous, with a saline and nutty vein running right down the center. At once rich and lithe, the palate shows subtle skin tannin and a squirt of citrusy acidity that the fruit intensity and floral flavors well. A sea spray note emerges on the medium-long finish.
Peconic Bay Winery 2010 Lowerre Family Estate Red: Many of us have lamented the demise of Peconic Bay Winery, which is no longer producing wine. The vines live on though, and so does its legacy with this wine — its last release before closing. Made with 60% merlot, 30% malbec and 10% cabernet franc and aged for 18 months in older French barrels (mostly 2-4 year-old) two to four years old, this is the rare high-end blend that doesn’t showcase oak over fruit. Layered, complex and approachable now, this is certainly a wine you can cellar and expect improvement for at least 10 years. I’ve hidden a half case from myself — it’s too tempting to have around.