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News Brief: Roanoke Vineyards to Close Sound Avenue Tasting Room to the Public


Enjoy visiting the Roanoke Vineyards tasting room on Sound Avenue, but aren’t a member of their rabidly loyal wine club? You’d better enjoy it for the rest of 2015 — or join the club — because as of January 1, 2016, the winery’s original tasting room is closing to the public. Only wine club members will be able to go there. Roanoke is the first Long Island winery to make such a move — a move that flies in the face of the region’s new focus on agri-tourism and ‘good enough’ wine. From the press release: “With a tsunami in tourism…

Palmer Vineyards 2014 Rose Merlot


The rose reviews continue today with this 100% merlot bottling made by Miguel Martin at Palmer Vineyards. For an all-merlot rose, this one has some character. The red berries you’d expect are there — red cherries and cranberries — but also a bit of red apple and lightly floral overtones. The palate shows nice weight and texture, with bright berry flavor and citrusy acidity. Merlot rose rarely thrills, but this one is satisfying and delicious. Just don’t expect a ton of complexity. Producer: Palmer Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island Price: $20 (sample) (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

On the Shawangunk Wine Trail, a Visit to Whitecliff

Whitecliff Tasting Room 2

For all the wine I have enjoyed, which by any measure is quite a lot, I have visited surprisingly few vineyards. A few in Italy, one or two in California, some in Virginia and New Jersey. But, that has all changed since I took on the Hudson Valley Beat at the New York Cork Report. In fewer than three months I’ve visited four and there are many more on the calendar. For the first three I arrived with an appointment, a planned interview, A reporter’s tour. On this most recent visit, I decided to go undercover, as an everyday consumer off the street.…

Southold Farm + Cellars 2014 “Minor Threat” Cabernet Franc


Dry rose has never been more popular, but Southold Farm + Cellar co-owner and winemaker Regan Meador hasn’t made one in his label’s two vintages to date — but not because he has anything against the now-trendy style. “I’ve never made one before, for one,” he said when I asked him why he hasn’t made one yet, adding ” But, I wanted to explore a different side of cab franc. There’s a lot of good examples of rose cabernet franc, but I would rather see where else the variety could go.” Enter Southold Farm + Cellar “Minor Threat” Cabernet Franc…

Weekly New York Wine News — June 8, 2015


Photo via Fox Run Vineyards This week’s New York wine news features MLB “in your reserve” list, praise for the Finger Lakes and Long Island scenes, and cold-climate viticulture gaining ground. NEWS - 6/2/2015 Anthony Road Riesling is on the wine roster for the New York Yankees. Dan’s Papers - 6/3/2015 Q&A with Anthony Nappa about living food & wine on the east end of Long Island. - 6/3/2015 Seneca Lake gets some love from Ohio visitors after a wine and cheese weekend well spent. Saratogian - 6/8/2015 This AP article about cold climate grapes and Ledge Rock Vineyards in the Adirondacks,…

Kontokosta Winery 2014 Rose


Are you getting tired of reading my rose reviews? I hope not. I’m tasting and drinking a lot of new ones every week and you’re gonna read about the best ones here. To be sure, there is a lot of mediocrity in Long Island rose — with a strong dose of sameness. I tasted a tank sample of Kontokosta Winery 2014 Rose, and it’s anything but the same. With a large syrah component (50%), there is a savory herbal-white pepper edge to a core of slightly jammy wild strawberry fruit flavor. Mouth-watering and delicious, this was the first wine I went back to…

McCall Wines 2014 “Marjorie’s” Rose


For several vintages now, McCall Wines’ rose has been a favorite in the Thompson household. It was also made with pinot noir. With the 2013 vintage, McCall added a second rose, adding a merlot-based wine to the lineup. In 2014, the winery’s entire rose production was merlot (I with a small addition of sauvignon blanc). “The pinot noir was a saignee. We wanted greater concentration in our red pinot noir without over-handling the wine. 2014 was such a stellar vintage that we didn’t need to do saignee. We would rather make the full amount of good-vintage pinot noir,” said Brewster McCall.…

Weekly New York Wine News — June 1, 2015


Planting a new block of cabernet franc at Robibero Winery Our news editor, Todd Trzaskos is busy working on his book (more on that soon!) so Lenn is filling in this week. Check out my not-as-good-as-Todd work. NEWS NorthForker - 5/26/2015 Shinn Estate Vineyards has blended and bottled the house wines for One World Trade Center Evening Tribune - 5/26/2015 New York Wine and Grape Foundation President Jim Trezise, looks back on this 30 years at the helm - 5/29/2015 Arrowhead Springs increases vine plantings by 10,000 - 5/29/2015 New York Wine & Culinary Center rolls out its…

Anthony Nappa Wines 2014 Anomaly White Pinot Noir


I consider this wine a rose, though winemaker Anthony Nappa often refuses to call it one when we talk, preferring to call it a white pinot noir. Some years it’s whiter than others, but I consider it a rose regardless of color because of how it drinks — like a rose. Anthony Nappa Wines 2014 Anomaly ($20) is made with pinot noir grown both in the Finger Lakes and on Long Island because Nappa thinks that “a combination of New York’s two most prominent winegrowing regions complements each other and brings nice balance to this wine.” Unlike so many marketing messages in the wine world, I…

Weekly New York Wine News — May 25, 2015


Photo via Shinn Estate Vineyards New York wines still sweeping up awards, a new winery restaurant, new winery owners, and a new association on the East End of Long Island — plus new things on the horizon in the Finger Lakes. NEWS Albany Times Union - 5/18/2015 New York Wines take home close to 150 awards at the recent Tasters Guild International Wine Competition, including six Double Golds by unanimous vote of the judging panels. New York Times - 5/20/2015 Found among a list of new resto action in the metro and Long Island look for WÖLFFER KITCHEN on Main Street in Sag…