Posts Tagged With: Long Island Wine

Back to Roanoke Vineyards

Our first visit to Roanoke Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island was during Taste Camp 2009 last May when we tasted with owner/vineyard manager Richard Pisacano. (on the first visit post there is a video of Richard giving a good history of Roanoke) We had a fantastic time and used our visit to Long Island in October to revisit them and taste through the rest of their portfolio. We met up with Adam Ehmer aka @oldgrimy and he tasted us through about 7 wines including a few unreleased wines, in decanters labeled with masking tape. The experience was also paired with a nice cheeseboard and baguette. I don’t remember what cheeses they were, but the complimented the wines nicely – and helped keep the palate from getting fatigued.

….on to the wines!

2008 Rose (cab sauv, cab franc, merlot, 25% Chardonnay): lot of strawberry and watermelon on the nose with similar palate including hints of fresh hay and raspberry. Full body and crisp.

2008 Chardonnay (84% in stainless, 16% oak aged blended in): very tropical in nature, very fruity almost “sweet”. Bit of citrus in the mid-palate with hay and mineral notes leading to a clean finish.

2007 Marco Tulio (50% Cab Sauv, 50% Cab Franc, splash of Merlot – 12 months in oak): bright fruit leading off with black currant and boysenberry both on the nose and palate. Great layers of tobacco, leather and hazelnut with interesting touch of lavender towards the finish. Full bodied with rich leathery tannins.

2006 Gabby’s Cabernet Franc (92% cab franc, 8% merlot – 20 months in 50% new French oak): dark ripe fruit flavors, blackberry, black currant and baking spices dominating the nose. Similar fruit on the palate, but more red fruit coming through predominately raspberry with notes of cooked greens. Full body.

2006 “Blend One” (80% Cab Sauv, didn’t write down the rest of the blend): black fruit and earthiness on the nose. Leather, blackberry, mocha and coffee bean on the palate with an crazy note of mint chutney at the finish. Lovely flavor profile but felt a bit light/thin in the mid – palate.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (88% Cab Sauv, 9% Cab Franc, 3% Merlot): the aromatics greet you with black cherry, and boysenberry with dark chocolate interlaced. Full bodied palate with blackberry, eucalyptus and cardamom. Still young – think it will drink better down the road – huge tannins.

2007 Cabernet Franc (94% cab franc, 6% merlot): old world style, with red cherry, red currant and hints of earthy barnyard notes on the nose. More red currant on the palate with bing cherry, red clay and spice box flavors continuing through the finish. Still a baby (wasn’t released at time of sample) with huge tannins and great acid backbone – age worthy Cabernet Franc.

After tasting, Adam poured us a glass of our choice (cab franc for me) and took us on a tour of the vineyard. Sampling a few grapes here and there we walked up and down the vines, dodging the always startling blast from the bird deterring air cannons. It was the last tasting of our 2nd day in Long Island and a great finish to the day to say the least. I hope to get some of the ’07 Cabernet Franc before it runs out now that it is released but I did bring home some of my other favorites including the Gabby’s Cab Franc and the Marco Tulio. Both are resting nicely down in the cellar – I’ll try to hold on to them as long as possible, it’ll will be fun to see these guys age.

My first tasting of a Roanoke wine was at the first Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) in October ’08 at an after hours tasting of New York wines provided by Lenn Thompson of The New York Cork Report. After meeting Adam he let me know that I was quoted on their release flyer for the ’06 Cabernet Franc, the wine that I had tasted at the WBC.

Here’s what I thought of it —

Having only had one or two unmemorable New York wines (before) I was excited to get the opportunity to taste a good sampling from the state. Being from Virginia where Cabernet Franc does extremely well I was most eager to see how New York compared. I have to say that I was impressed with the unhampered expression of the varietal. (The winemakers) aren’t trying to make a Cabernet Sauvignon from Cabernet Franc. The one that stuck out in my radar the most was 2006 Roanoke Vineyards Cabernet Franc from Long Island. Nice bright red fruit aromas on the nose laced with a touch of wet earth followed by raspberry-cherry and the tell tale raw green pepper flavors.

As you can tell, I’ve been a fan of their wines since my first tasting and couple that with a first class tasting room experience, I will definitely return the next time I am in Long Island.

Thanks to Adam for the great time – hope to visit again soon.

Cheers!

Categories: New York Wines, winery review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2007 Nautique “Esprit de Rouge”

Nautique is a second label of Peconic Bay winery on the North Fork of Long Island, a little more value oriented brand meant for every day consumption. Currently they make a “Esprit de Rouge” and an “Esprit de Blanc”, and we picked up both during our visit to Long Island back in October.

2007 Nautique “Esprit de Rouge”

Wine Information –

Region: North Fork, Long Island

Grapes: 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc

Oak Program: Info not available, although based on the taste I was assume neutral or 2nd/3rd use barrels for a short time

Price: $16

My Tasting Notes –

Nose: cherry, raspberry, cola

Taste: black cherry, vanilla, licorice

Mouthfeel: medium body, with velvety but structured tannins

Finish: medium in length and fruity

Nice everyday wine that is ready to drink young, and went great with our pizza. Nothing too complex about the wine, but I believe that is how it was “built” and what it was meant to be. Lots and lots of cherry, with hints of cola and licorice to balance out the fruitiness. This wine has a decent distribution on the East Coast so if you live in NY, NJ, and CT – you should be able to find it.

Cheers!

Categories: $10-$20, New York Wines, wine review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Taste Camp tasting notes – Day 3: part 1 (headin’ South)

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 wolffer_blancdeblancrefreshed 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

wolffer_grapesofroth2002 Grapes of Roth Merlot (Bottled under Roman Roth’s name)

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

wolffer_privateroom

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.

Cheers!

Categories: Taste Camp | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Taste Camp tasting notes – Day 2: Part 2

After leaving Roanoke Vineyards we headed to Paumanok Vineyards for a sampling of their wines. The tasting was more casual in style than the Roanoke tasting as we milled around in the tasting room as their wines were poured for us. As the spitting commenced, and the wines were poured, each one was discussed in brief by either owner Charles Massoud or his son and now wine maker Kareem.

P5020239

My Tasting Notes –

2007 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (8 months in 15% new oak)

nose: ripe tropical fruit, flinty and honey

taste: apple, Asian pear, lemon rind, almond and vanilla

mouthfeel: medium to full body, bright acidity

finish: medium in length and fruity

2007 Sauvignon Blanc

nose: tropical “sweet” fruit, citrus

taste: grapefruit, lemon, sweet pea

mouthfeel: medium body, crisp and tart

finish: short to medium in length and clean

2008 Chenin Blanc

nose: crème fraiche, apple, Asian Pear

taste: tons of citrus, tangerine, ugly fruit

mouthfeel: full body, nice acid across the back of the palate

finish: long and fruity

2005 Merlot

nose: tight nose with hints of red cherry

taste: cherry, boysenberry, brussel sprout, leather

mouthfeel: medium body, velvety tannins

finish: medium in length with mostly red fruit flavors lingering

2004 Assemblage

nose: black currant and blackberry

taste: boysenberry, blackberry, red currant

mouthfeel: very full bodied, fuzzy mouth coating tannins

finish: long and drying

2005 Tuttles Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

nose: black cherry, leather and espresso

taste: black pepper, olive, green bean, cassis

mouthfeel: full body with good acidity and big tannins

finish: long in length with a cocoa aftertaste

After tasting through the wines in the tasting room, we headed down to the barrel room to taste some of the reds from the amazing 2007 vintage.

paumanokbarrelroomBarrel Sample #1 2007 Assemblage

nose: “sweet”, ripe dark fruit, black currant and boysenberry

taste: baking spice, cardamom, vanilla and blueberry, oak

mouthfeel: full body, loads of tannins

finish: long and fruity

Barrel Sample #2 2007 Tuttles Lane Merlot

nose: dark cherry and blueberry

taste: blueberry, boysenberry, black cherry

mouthfeel: big, round and full

finish: long and tight

Barrel Sample #3 2007 Petit Verdot

nose: tight nose, hints of dark fruit and molasses

taste: almond, blackberry, leather

mouthfeel: full up front but a little thin in the middle, needs time to round itself out

finish: long, lean and leathery

The barrel tasting showed the depth of what the 2007 vintage will have to offer for Paumanok as these wines were big boys in the barrel. Barrel tasting is always a great experience especially when you can refer back to your notes down the road as you taste the wines again upon release. Although we tasted some great red wines, the high light and surprise of the day was the Chenin Blanc. This was a fabulous wine and the one that we purchased from our visit to the winery. If this is an example of how well the Chenin Blanc grape can perform in Long Island, more wine makers should be working with it.

Thanks to the Paumanok staff for a great tasting and second stop on our North Fork journey.

Cheers!

Categories: Taste Camp | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Taste Camp East 2009 – Long Island Impressions

tastecamplogoIn case you hadn’t noticed, Anything Wine was in Long Island this past weekend for the first of hopefully many “Taste Camp East”s (2010 is tentatively planned for the Finger Lakes and 2011 in Virginia). The first annual event was dedicated to Long Island wine country and was spearheaded by New York wine guy Lenn Thompson of LennDevours. In addition to reconnecting with all of my blogger buddies and meeting some new ones, I discovered a “new” wine region, which made some great and surprising first impressions on me.

Megan and I had no idea what to expect as we made our way up the North Fork of Long Island to our hotel in Greenport. We were delightfully surprised by the cuteness of the landscape as we were suddenly surrounded by vineyards and farms. The flat, vine-dotted landscape reminded me of the Niagara Peninsula wine region which I visited a few years back.

Over the next few days I’ll be putting up some posts with individual tasting notes and some videos and pictures from the weekend’s tastings, but this post is intended to summarize my overall impressions of the region.

overheadatwolffer

Camaraderie – Several times as we drove from winery to winery, Megan and I reflected on the obvious camaraderie that we felt and saw between the vintners in the region. Perhaps because of the small size of the region, the relative youth of the wine industry there, and the unique challenges that wineries face in the region, the vintners really seemed to learn from each other and to leverage others’ knowledge and experiences, successes and failures. I think this is a must in a burgeoning wine region and is something I have seen in my explorations here in Virginia as well.

Price – I am sure I will not be the only Taste Camper to mention price after this weekend’s festivities, so I will be brief. As here in Virginia, price is always a point of discussion when it comes to the QPR of LI wines, and this is something I have discussed with Lenn several times. Although I was impressed by the quality of the many of the wines I tasted, it was hard for me to warrant the many $40+ price tags that these wines garnished. That being said, I did buy several bottles, two of which were $50 and $100, and we did taste several fabulous wines that were under the $20 price point.

Long Island vs. Virginia – I am a big proponent of Virginia wines and have some favorites from the region that I think deserve accolades against some of the top wineries in the country. With that being said, I think the overall quality of what we tasted in LI was slightly higher, on average, than what I taste in Virginia. Obviously that average is slightly skewed because Lenn, I’m sure, had us taste the best of what the region had to offer. An interesting observation was that when I didn’t like a wine that I tasted this weekend, it had similar aromatic and taste faults to those that I sometimes find in Virginia wines. Specifically slightly oxidized notes, chemical/metallic aftertaste and the over use of oak, the last of which isn’t held by Virginia alone.

Passion – WOW! The LI winemakers’ extreme passion and enthusiasm for viticulture and enology was truly palpable. It was really exhilarating, and added an invaluable component to my tasting experience.

Thanks again to all the Long Island Wineries that made us feel at home, poured hundreds of wines for us, and opened my eyes to what this region has to offer. Check back soon to see all of my tasting notes and more pictures and videos from the weekend.

Cheers!

Categories: New York Wines, Taste Camp, wine industry issues | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Taste Camp East Kick Off

tastecamplogoLast night was the first evening of Taste Camp and it was what seemed to be a great success. The dining room at Rapheal was a beautiful setting for the great dinner and wine service sponsored by both Rapheal Winery and the Long Island Merlot Alliance.

Prior to dinner we had the opportunity to taste a slew of Merlot verticals from the various wineries that were in attendance. I think my favorite of the evening was the Wolffer Estate vertical that was highlighted (IMHO) by the 2000 vintage. Lots of blackberry and black currant on the nose, followed up by cedar, hay, raspberry and leather notes on the palate.

I will be putting up more videos of each of the winemakers that spoke at last nights dinner as I get them cleaned up and edited.

Cheers!

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Off to Taste Camp East 2009

tastecamplogoTonight after work Megan and I are heading out for Taste Camp East 2009 in Long Island New York. We’ll be driving half way late this evening so we don’t have to deal with the DC/Maryland traffic at 6:00 am tomorrow.

The concept of Taste Camp from Lenn Thompson:

The concept for TasteCamp is a simple one: getting enthusiastic bloggers together in a region that is new to them to taste as much wine as possible and speak to as many winemakers as possible over the course of a weekend. Most smaller, lesser-known wine regions in the world would love to get their wines in front of bloggers, but with TasteCamp, the bloggers will go to them.

So, in partnership with the Wine Bloggers Conference folks, TasteCamp was created by yours truly and a small band of fellow bloggers, including Melissa, Erika, John and Becky.

With me at the helm, it should come as no surprise that we’re doing the first one right here on Long Island, with plans to hold the event in the Finger Lakes and Virginia over the next couple of years.

I am uber excited to see my wine blogger friends that I connected with and met for the first time at the Wine Bloggers Conference last year in Santa Rosa, CA. Additionally I am really excited to taste and explore the wines from a region that doesn’t get much if any exposure in the Richmond wine market. The conference starts Friday night at Raphael Winery and will continue through midday on Sunday the 3rd. In between we will be visiting a slew of Long Island wineries as well as some tasting with the Long Island Wine Council and the Long Island Merlot Alliance.

I’ll be trying to blog and tweet as much as possible from the event so check back often for updates from Taste Camp East 2009.

Cheers!

Categories: Taste Camp, wine bloggers conference | Tags: , , | 6 Comments