A few wine notes from our trip to the North Fork of Long Island. We only visited a few of the wineries (Bedell, Lenz, Duck Walk, Shinn and Martha Clara) but still managed to try quite a few nice things!
Ripe Gewürztraminer at Lenz vineyards.
Osprey’s Dominion Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Tart and sour red berries, reminiscent of sour Flemish red beer! (Normally that type of beer reminds me of this kind of wine… funny to find the association in reverse!) After opening up remained thin and acidic, but gained a really nice smooth chocolatey overtone.
Macari “Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Light and very airy. Fruit flavors not strong, but very refreshing acidity. (Had with fettucine with fresh local clams and chorizo and garlic bread.)
Corey Creek Rosé 2007 (Merlot/Cab. Franc/Cab. Sauvignon)
Nice acidity and very light, but wants a stronger fruit extraction to fill out the mouth. This was a first — we don’t usually complain about not enough fruityness in rosé!
Bedell First Crush White 2007 (Chardonnay 80%/Viognier20%)
Big fresh fruit, happily unoaked, with a little hint of floral orange blossom from the viognier and a good zip of acidity throughout. Great with fresh summer fruits and veggies. (Was perfect with local corn, heirloom tomatoes, chevre and strawberry rhubarb tarts.)
Bedell First Crush Red 2007 (Merlot/Cab. Franc)
A warm, friendly blend, lightly peppery with a nice balance of acidity and cozy fruit. One of our favorite reds.
Bedell Merlot 2006
Simple Merlot, light, oaky, peppery with a nice streak of red currant berries.
Bedell Taste Red 2006 (Merlot/Syrah)
Toasty tannins and richly extracted fruit. Smooth and rich and really tasty!
Bedell Taste White 2007 (Chardonnay/Gewürztraminer/Viognier/Sauv. Blanc)
Very smooth! Lovely floral, fruity aromas… a really nice blend of all those disparate grapes. Would be great with light but fatty foods, like antipasti or tapas. Would be magical with serrano ham, lardo, coppa, thinly-sliced pancetta or pork belly. Or fatty fish, like toro tuna.
Bedell Gallery 2006 (Chardonnay/Viognier)
Lightly oaked, flavors of clover, honey, field flowers and meyer lemon. Would be fantastic with chicken, especially roasty chicken with some sort of a light honey glaze.
Lenz Old Vines Merlot 2001
Very earthy, with interesting tannic structure. Can definitely see how they would bring it into blind competitions against the Bordeaux heavyweights. Should mellow out nicely after a few more years of bottle age.
Lenz Estate Merlot 2001
Rich, lots of black cherries and strong structure. Lacks the deep earthyness of the old vines Merlot, but makes up for it with more approachable fruit.
Duck Walk Pinot Grigio 2007
Lots of pineapple flavor, flowery, a little bitter. May have had too much skin contact?
Duck Walk Southampton White NV (Pinot Gris/Chardonnay)
Very fresh and acidic, smooth, like fresh water with a bit of a kick. Not much flavor, but very beachy… just like the Hamptons.
Duck Walk Petit Meunier 2005
Usually used as a blending grape in Champagne, was fun to have the chance to try it on its own in fully extracted form. Elegant and soft, with some serious smoky overtones. Would be marvelous paired with smoky meats (esp smoky duck!) and cheeses.
Duck Walk Aphrodite 2007 (LH Gewürztraminer)
Powerfully, overwhelmingly perfumey. Tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios to T.
Duck Walk Blueberry Port 2006
All those lovely Maine blueberries could have been put to use making delicious jam, pie, pancakes, waffles…. but no, they were sacrificed to make this lousy cough syrup. I mean port. Whatever. Alas for the blueberries!
Shinn Estate “Coalescence” White 2007 (Sauv. Blanc/Gewürztraminer/ Sémillon/Riesling/Chardonnay)
Very, very light. Citrusy and zippy and tastes very simple for such a complex blend!
Shinn Estate “First Fruit” 2007 (Sauv. Blanc/Sémillon)
Nice, fresh & fruity, with a hint of spicy fig.
Shinn Estate Rosé 2007
Zippy, acidic and minerally with a nice body of berry fruits. Very good Provençal style. This is the kind of rosé we like!
Shinn Estate Red NV (Merlot/Cab. Sauv.)
Rich and fruity, juicy and refreshing, with great tannic backbone. Non-vintage blends can be winners!
Shinn Estate Nine Barrel Reserve Merlot 2005
Tart! Very tasty and expressive flavors, berries with hints of violet. Wants decanting. Would be awesome with pork roast.
Martha Clara Pinot Grigio 2007
Warm citrusy flavors. Wants to be served icy ICY cold. Tasting notes suggested serving with Panzanella (Italian bread & tomato salad) and I agree.
Martha Clara “50” White 2007 (Sauv. Blanc/Viognier/Sémillon/ Chardonnay/Riesling/Pinot Gris/Gewürztraminer)
Meh. Too much blending muddies the flavors!
Martha Clara Viognier 2007
Perfumey and floral, rather lovely but needs more acidity to really pop.
Martha Clara Cabernet Franc 2003
Very tasty! Dried cherries and blackberries, with a strong chocolate overtone.
Martha Clara “50” 2005 (Merlot/Syrah/Cab. Sauv./Cab. Franc/Petit Verdot/Malbec)
Pleasant “session” wine, although nothing stood out to us very much. Too much in the blend again?
Martha Clara Estate Reserve Syrah 2004
Black peppery and vibrant. Pleasant surprise, as Long Island is not usually such a strong climate for Syrah!
Martha Clara “6025” 2004 (Merlot/Syrah/Cab. Sauv./Cab. Franc/Petit Verdot/Malbec)
Aha, the higher-end blend works much better. Zippy nose and very tasty berry and cigar box flavors in the mouth.
Martha Clara Ciel (Chardonnay/Viognier)
Mm! White grapes that have died and gone to heaven. Too intense and syrupy to drink straight up, but would be fantastic poured over good vanilla ice cream.
Borghese Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Strong exotic fruit, mango and passionfruit, balanced by enough acidity to keep it from being overwhelming.