We were beginning to think it would never be time for a hardy red!
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
This month’s main Long Island red wine selection is Pellegrini Vineyards‘ 2014 East End BBQ Red. Bob and Joyce Pellegrini hgrow 85 acres of grapes along the south side of the North Fork. The winery is located just west of the village of Cutchogue in a beautiful facility they built back in 1991. Their winemaker, Zander Hargrave, comes from one of the first winemaking families on Long Island.
The 2014 East End BBQ Red is made from 100% petit verdot, a grape that is more often blended with other grapes than used on its own. This is a wine that can hold its own against hardy beef dishes … it would be great with chili or beef stew. It’s vibrant violet in the glass. You’ll taste red cherries and pomegranates. We think you’ll be looking for other petit verdots after you taste this one. It’s a good one to buy by the case.
Our second red selection this month is Raphael‘s 2012 La Fontana Merlot. Continue east on Routh 25 from Pellegrini and you’ll come to Raphael, another beautiful tasting room about half way between Cutchogue and Southold. The winemaker, Anthony Nappa, is well known as one of the top winemakers on Long Island and makes wine for several wineries including his own label.
The 2012 La Fontana Merlot is made from a traditional Bordeaux blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot. The grapes were hand harvested, hand sorted and wild fermeted. It was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. It is a full-bodied wine, perfect for those cozy winter meals.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main Long Island white wine selection for January is Osprey’s Dominion‘s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Osprey’s Dominion can be found by continuing even farther east on Route 25. Like Pellegrini, the winery grows grapes in 3 different vineyard sites on the North Fork, though the majority of grapes come from the 50 acre vineyard located at the lasting room. Their wines have won a number of gold medals in competitions over the years and we’ve featured their wines a number of times (see here and here).
This wine is 100% sauvignon blanc. It is 100% fermented in stainless steel and was not aged in oak barrels. You will find aromas of herbs and grapefruit on the nose. 2015 was a warm summer and resulted in ripe grapes. Lovers of sauvignon blanc will find the classic “grassy” notes along with grapefruit and melon flavors. This will be a pleasing white for Holiday parties.
Our final selection this month is Paumanok Vineyards‘ 2014 Festival White. You’ll find the Paumanok tasting room all the way back in Aquebogue, just west of Jamesport. The winery has owned by the Massoud family since they started in back in 1983. It is now run by the founders’ children.
2014 Festival White earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine. It is made from 100% chardonnay grapes and was also fermented in 100% stainless steel tanks, never seeing oak barrels. This results in a wine that is light, crisp and dry. You will find aromas of apples, lemons and pineapples. It is a classic unoaked chardonnay from one of the outstanding wineries on Long Island.