On day 3 of Taste Camp East, our group of bloggers had thinned slightly after the palate bashing during the first day and a half. But I was refreshed and excited to be heading over to the South Fork of Long Island to the Hampton’s appellation, yes THE Haaampton’s. We were making two stops on the South Fork, the first of which was Wolffer Estate Vineyard whose Estate Selection Merlots we had tasted during the first evening of Taste Camp.
After meeting Roman Roth, the wine maker for Wolffer, he offered us a glass of there 2005 Estate Sparkling Blanc de Blanc to sip on as we waited for the rest of the Taste Campers to arrive. It was a nice and refreshing sip that awakened my palate quickly.
Once we were all accounted for, we were escorted to a private room for our wine tasting with Roman.
Lets get into my tasting notes:
2005 Estate Selection Chardonnay
nose: tight, with oak and fresh cut apple
taste: Asian pear, almond, toast, butter, hint of citrus
mouthfeel: full body, round with “spicy” acidity at the back of the palate
finish: nice and long with toasty overtones
2000 Premier Cru Merlot (1.8 ton/acre, extended maceration, 21 months in new French Oak)
nose: chocolate, raspberry, black cherry
taste: green pepper, cherry, cabbage, raspberry and bacon
mouthfeel: soft and smooth but not flabby, full bodied
finish: long and fruity
nose: licorice, red currant, nice “bright” fruit
taste: bacon fat, black currant, cassis, green pepper
mouthfeel: full body, velvety tannins, very smooth on the mid palate with spicy white pepper at the back of the palate
finish: long, high lighted by lingering meaty notes
2004 Premier Cru Merlot
nose: meaty, fresh wet earth, red currant, cured meat, cherry
taste: smoke, black currant, bacon fat, leather, rhubarb
mouthfeel: leathery and dusty, full big and spicy!
Finish: long and HUGE
2005 Premier Cru Merlot (Christian’s Cuvee)
nose: blackberry, boysenberry
taste: raspberry, black currant, cassis, roasted meat
mouthfeel: big and spicy with leathery tannins
finish: long and dusty
2005 Amarone (Cabernet Sauvignon)
nose: coffee, oak, fig
taste: chocolate, toffee, blackberry
mouthfeel: leathery tannins, full bodied
finish: long with black fruit and plum flavors
2007 Late Harvest Chardonnay (icewine style with 12% Viognier, 10 % Gewürztraminer, 3% Trebbiano)
nose: honeysuckle, apricot
taste: orange rind, tangerine, hazelnut, apricot
mouthfeel: intense with huge viscosity and enough acid to make it not overwhelming
finish: long rich and honey
Roman and the folks at Wolffer gave us the royal treatment, the same we had seen from our visits on the North Fork. Roman brought out the big guns for us, with these reds being in the $50 – $125 range but their Estate Selection Merlots are more in the $30 range and their La Ferme Martin line are all around the $15 price point. They were delicious though, my favorite being the 2004 Premier Cru and the 2000 Grapes of Roth. Both of which I bought and was lucky enough that Roman had a bottle of his 2000 with him as he usually doesn’t sell it from the Wolffer tasting room.. These Merlot’s showed the power and meatiness of California Syrah with the suppleness and elegance of Washington state Merlot, well at least that’s what my palate thought, and I dug it!!
Thanks again to the folks at Wolffer and to Roman Roth, it was a treat and a pleasure.