Sunday, April 15, 2007

Long Island winery trip report

Several weekends ago, I visited some friends and finally got to tour the wineries of Long Island's North fork. After we figured out how to get out of NYC, it was great. I must say, Long Island is very beautiful and not what I pictured (I was thinking more crowded and over built). We had a great lunch at Legends in Mattituck and then we commenced wine tasting.

Overall, I noticed a pepperiness at the finish of most of the wines I tasted. Most of the wineries we visited specialized in reds and overall I was very impressed. Here are my tasting notes:

Peconic Bay, 2005 Steel Chardonnay, Nice fruit, long finish with slight pepperiness; 2004 La Barrique Chardonnay, Smooth French Oak, hint of butter, long peppery finish; 2005 Riesling, A little unbalanced and tart for me, and with that bit of pepperiness at finish; 2004 Cabernet Franc, astringent, not much fruit, perhaps underripe; 2001 Merlot, complex, upfront fruit, ripe tannins, excellent!!!
- Bedell, Very nice reds, 2006 Rose, nice and light, soft cherry;
Main Road red, Nice medium tannins, very nice table blend; 2003 Merlot, muted fruit, sloppy tannins; 2004 Taste Red, lush tannins with nice cherry and cola overtones; 2002 Reserve Merlot, very complex with very nice long plummy finish.
- Pindar, fun winery, nice staff, value winery; 2004 Chardonnay reserve, bright fruit, intense apple, very good; 2005 Semillion, complex, soft and smooth intro into a spicy finish; 2005 Sauv Blanc, lime and mineral, sort of like a dry riesling; 2006 Johannisberg Riesling, everything I like in a sweeter Riesling, pineapple, peaches, honey, I had to ask if they were using FL fruit, but they said it was LI, excellent; 2005 Riesling Ice wine; awesome!!!
- The Tasting Room- not a winery but they pour a variety of LI wines, Comtesse Therese 2004 Chardonnay, grapefruit & crisp acidity, I really liked the uniqueness that the Russian oak gave it; Comtesse Therese Rose, not enough fruit for me; Comtesse Therese 2003 Merlot, sort of Cab Franc like, but good; Schneider Le Breton 2004 Cab Franc, nice cherry and pepper with that unique mid palate eucalyptus, very good
- Roanoke Vineyards, Fellow wine blogger Lenn at LennDevours blog recommended this one and it was my favorite, owner Rich Pisacano (who is also Vineyard manager at Wolffer Estate)talked with us for a long time . I was about red wined out by this time so I chose the white flight, 2006 Roanoke Chardonnay, crisp bright and fruity, excellent; 2002 Wolffer Estate Chardonnay, very complex, with a nice nuttiness at the finish; 2005 Wolffer Rose, nice peach and citrus; 2006 Wolffer Late harvest Chardonnay, a bit unbalanced and too sweet for me, possibly could have used more vignoles to cut the sweetness.
If you are ever out Long Island way, I highly recommend visiting the wineries. My tips are: Take a good map & be patient getting though the NYC traffic (and have plenty of cash ready for tolls), be ready for more reds than whites, and keep in mind that the prices are higher than the Finger Lakes. We had a great time. But fear not, My beloved Finger Lakes wineries are still #1 for me.


john said...

Hey Rob, it was a lot of fun visiting the East End wineries with you. I was impressed by your love and knowledge of the grape. Here are a couple of solid, if pricey, red wines that I tasted on the trip but you didn't: Pindar Mythology 2000 ($30) was absolutely "correct", like a well-made Bordeaux; and Roanoke Vineyards Blend One 2003 ($30) was every bit the equal of their whites, an excellent wine that we enjoyed at home. I wish I had been as dedicated as you and taken tasting notes. Bedell Cellars is one of my favorites wineries out there so I'll just agree with your notes on their wines. Thanks for keeping track of all that information.

Kathleen said...

I enjoyed visiting LI Wineries earlier this month as well. I visited Pellegrini and Pindar, found Pellegrini tasting to be very informative and educational as well as pleasurable. I put the winery review and some photos of the vines on my blog -
When is bud break in the Fingerlakes? I am used to bud break earlier in the year, I grew up near Napa. I think I was told that bud break isn't until May on Long Island.

PS, I enjoyed Pindar as well, but they are cash only, so come prepared! All the other wineries I've had tastings at took my credit card!