My L.I. Babies Are Home!
If y’all read my previous post about my issues with getting my wine shipped from Long Island, New York, you can guess that I’m thrilled to finally have them in the house just waiting to be uncorked!
Long Island was wonderful…kind of like Napa but in a low-key New England vibe. There are 2 roads with wineries one after another just like Napa but less traffic and tour busses.
This trip was a wine/see the family thing. My Husband has family in Long Island & Massachusetts. In my excitement about seeing both; I friggin forgot to take pictures…I’m not a professional blogger (that’s why I post about twice a month & my ” job that pays the bills” sucks the life & brain out of me) so sorry! The only pics I have are the wines I bought.
Anyway, the first winery was Osprey’s Dominion (www.ospreysdominion.com). It got winery of the year, so I wanted to check out if it was worth the hype. I think everybody on the Island read the same thing I did because it was noisy and crowded. The tasting room was huge and had a rustic “hunting” lodge feel but I could not see the whole room and the only spot open was toward the entrance. I’m short and I was not going to elbow my way through the crowd.
The winery had a sign:”try our Award Winning Cabernet Franc.” In fact I think the whole Island was pushing Cab. Franc because I would see signs for it everywhere. My friend Chris Lawler,wine maker at Times Ten (www.timestencellars.com) does some of the best Cab Franc so I knew I had a good comparison.
Wine #1) 2007 Reserve Chardonnay. The smell was: green apple, lemon, toast. It was not oaked for very long so the taste was light vanilla, green apple, pineapple and a little creamy. Very nice drinkable wine.
#2) 2009 Gewurztrminer. It had a light floral, dry citrus quality. I’m used to more floral and spicy fruit. It was o.k.
#3) 2007 Cabernet Franc. The smell was earth, chocolate, dark fruit. The taste was disappointing. I missed the rich dark fruit and herbs. It was too light and acidic. This wine should have a more velvet quality because Cab. Franc is not as tannic as Cabernet Sauvignon.
#4) Reserve Merlot. The smell was plum, violet, currant, bell pepper. The taste was black fruit, clove and earth with a full mouth feel of velvet. Nice!
I tried 2 others but they are not worth mentioning and I really question the “winery of the year” award.
Next stop was Bedell Cellars (www.bedellcellars.com). It is a small winery that had a sophisticated Cape Cod look with amazing original art. and the upstairs had views overlooking the vineyard.The staff was young but really nice and knowledgeable and asked me all kinds of questions about Texas wines. I even threw away my itinerary and asked them where else I should go….Luckily we picked some of the same ones, so my research was not too far off ;-)
wine #1) 2008 First Crush,a Chardonnay/Viognier blend. The smell: fresh citrus. The taste: light, peach, pear, apple and honey. Enjoyable.
#2) 2008 Chardonnay. The smell: mineral, citrus, earth. It had been lightly oaked so the taste was light toast and fruit but I wanted more apple and pear. It was o.k.
#3) 2009 First Crush, a Merlot/Cab. Franc blend. The smell: strawberry, black cherry. The taste: raspberry, bright cherry, cloves with a balanced acidity. Delightful, easy drinker.
#4) 2009 Cabernet Franc. The smell: plum, violets. The taste was full of fruits and herbs. There was a little acidity that balanced all of the fruit quality. Very Good!
Overall, I would highly recommend this winery.
Macari was next (www.macariwines.com). They have 2 tasting rooms, one in Mattituck and a smaller one in Cutchogue.We went to the smaller one. This was one of the wineries that both the Bedell staff and I agreed on. It did not disappoint.
The tasting room was black, white and green with copper counter tops. Wish my kitchen looked like that!
I told them that Bedell sent us and I was a sommelier from Texas and worked with 2 wineries in Dallas. They were very nice to me, but I did not get special treatment which I appreciated because they were great with everybody and had a lot of repeat customers.
Wine #1) 2009 Sauvignon Blanc. The smell: grapefruit, lime, honey. The taste: grass, lime, mineral. Very Delightful.
#2) 2007 Chardonnay Reserve. The smell: toast, citrus, green apple, pineapple. The taste: creamy vanilla, toast, pear, apple. It had been oaked for about a year but the balance was wonderful. As you can guess, I’m not a fan of big, oaky chardonnays. I loved it!
#3) 2009 Riesling. The smell: citrus and tropical fruit. The taste: peach, mango, lemon and a bright acidity that made it effervescent… it’s a good thing!
#4 & #5) 2005 Merlot. One was the Estate and the other was Reserve. The Estate was a nice quality Merlot, but the Reserve was a little more “exotic” with tones of leather, nutmeg, cocoa. I liked both but chose the Reserve.
#6) Sette, a Merlot/Cab. Franc blend. The smell: green twig, clove, anise. The taste: plum, bright cherry, chocolate and not too acidic. Very Nice.
I did try the Cab. Franc…sorry Macari…Chris has the better one. But I will be coming back!
I wish I had taken photos at the next winery. It was Sherwood House Vineyards (www.sherwoodhousevineyards.com).You drive into the middle of one the vineyards and there is a tasting “shack” and picnic tables and fire pits all around. It is a fun gathering place and you meet some great people there. The only challenge was trying to get the smell of the wine because the wind was blowing.
Wine #1) 2009 Chardonnay. The smell: citrus, pear, green apple. The taste: tangerine, ginger, green apple with a light acidity that made it effervescent. Really delightful and lovely.
#2) 2003 Chardonnay. The smell: toast and apple and I could tell by the gold color of the wine that this was going to be oaky and buttery. It was! If you like that kind of Chardonnay then I would recommend it.
#3) 2009 White Merlot. It reminded me of the Merlot version of a White Zinfandel. Just to let y’all know; there is only one Zinfandel grape and it is red. But the winemaker has to “dilute” the grapes so much to make it into “White” Zinfandel. I have REALLY simplified the process but I just wanted y’all to get the idea. Please don’t shoot me, my winemaker friends. I have no idea about White Merlot. I going to have to do some digging.
#4) 2003 Merlot. It was like a rustic Cabernet Sauvignon. Not much fruit more leather and smoke. Not good.
#5) 2004 Cabernet Franc. It had leather, earth, black cherry qualities but was forgettable.
I would go back but it would be to hang out, chat with folks and drink the 2009 Chardonnay.
The last winery was Shinn Estate (www.shinnestatevineyards.com). It was a converted barn (I think). There was a small garden where you could sit and drink. The tasting room was small and rustic. However, the person helping me was not as charming as the surroundings. In fact she left me and someone else filled in but really couldn’t answer my questions.
The 4 wines I tasted were: a 2009 Chardonnay, a red blend of (Merlot, Petit Verdot,Cab Franc, & Malbec), a 2007 Merlot and a 2007 red blend called “Wild Boar Doe” that was (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, Malbec). All of the wines were forgettable except “Wild Boar Doe”. The smell: earth, forest floor, dark spices. The taste: forest floor, black cherry, plum, gravel. Very Good.
But I won’t go back to Shinn.
During our trip we stopped at one winery on Cape Cod called Truro….Bless their Hearts…they are trying but I would not go back. Everything tasted green and acidic. I tried a Vignoles which I’ve never done before. It was a cross between a Sauvignon Blanc and a very dry Riesling. It made me pucker a bit and had a mustard quality.
Well, I’m glad we went and I want to go again…but I hope the wineries will be able to ship my wines to me!