It’s the Holidays and winter has arrived. Time to snuggle up next to the fireplace and enjoy this month’s selections!
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
This month’s main red wine selection is Pumphouse Winery‘s 2011 Red Blend. Pumphouse wines are made by Russell Hearn, a well-known fixture on the East End. Hearn was the winemaker for Pellegrini and is currently making wines for Lieb Family Cellars as well making wines with his wife under their Suhru label.
Pumphouse does not grown their own grapes. They buy grapes from around the country and make a number of wines, both red and white. The Red Blend is one of two wines they make from Long Island grapes. The 2011 Red Blend is primarily Merlot (84%) with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon (9%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The tannins are very soft, making it an easy-drinking wine. You’ll find aromas of plums, bing cherries and blueberries on the nose and dark berry flavors in the mouth. This is a great every day wine that goes anything you’ll make on a cold winter’s day.
Our second red wine selection this month is Pellegrini Vineyards‘ 2007 Merlot. You can find this exceptionally beautiful winery on Route 25 just west of the village of Cutchogue. The wine is made from estate-grown grapes and was made while Russell Hearn was still the winemaker for Pellegrini. 2007 was a spectacular year for Long Island wines and this wine is a good representation of the vintage.
This wine is very similar to the Pumphouse Red Blend. It has the same varieties of grapes with a slightly different blend; it is made with 90% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It also has berries and plum on the nose but is a little earthier in the mouth with some olives, herbs and cocoa in addition to the expected cherries and dark fruits. The wine spent 18 months aging in oak barrels. Those lucky enough to have received both red wines in their shipment should open the wines together and compare the two wines made by the same winemaker with the same grapes. They will be a delight on the palate.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main white wine selection for this month is Race Wine‘s 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling. Race is winemaker Greg Gove’s personal project. He has made wine for a number of wineries on the East End including Peconic Bay Winery (now closed), Pindar and Laurel Lake. You can taste his wines at the Winemaker Studio in Peconic, a great place to try some small-production wines.
Greg’s 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling is 100% Riesling fermented in stainless steel and never seeing any oak barrels. It’s a refreshing wine with tropical fruit notes and some pear layered on top. It spent a little extra time on its lees giving it a little rounder mouth feel. Only 150 cases of the wine were produce so we feel extra-lucky to have been able to snag this wine for our members.
Our final wine for December is Shinn Estate Vineyard‘s 2014 “First Fruit” Sauvignon Blanc. You won’t find Shinn on either of the two main east-west roads on the North Fork. They are located on Oregon Road on the far-north side of Mattituck. Some of the top winemakers on Long Island have worked along side owner (along with his wife, Barbara) David Shinn over the years. Patrick Caserta is currently helping Shinn and was on board when this Sauvignon Blanc was made.
This Sauvignon Blanc is made from the first fruit harvested by Shinn each year. It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and, as expected, fermented in 100% stainless steel. It’s flavors of pear, minerals and herbs make it a classic, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. It will be perfect with fresh East End seafood.