That was enough snow to last a couple of years! I think I need a glass of wine to relax.
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
This month’s main red wine selection is Jamesport Vineyards‘ 2013 East End Merlot. This is a good wine to open in front of the fireplace when the wind is blowing and the snow is flying. Jamesport Vineyards is one of the oldest wine operations on the East End. Ron Goerler Sr. bought the property back in 1981 and started making wine in 1986. It is now run by three generations of Goerler, a real family operation.
The 2013 East End Merlot is a blend of four grapes: 79% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Syrah. Winemaker Dean Babier combined these grapes to create a wine with intense aromas of blueberries, cherries and vanilla. The wine has soft, medium tannins and has bright fruity flavors. It is a versatile red that pairs well with most foods.
Our second red selection this month is Shinn Estate Vineyards‘ 2012 Estate Merlot. We spent several lovely hours on the deck at Shinn’s tasting room last July trying a number of their wines. We enjoyed them so much that we featured their “First Fruit” Sauvignon Blanc last month.
The 2012 Estate Merlot is made with 100% estate-grown Merlot grapes from six different parcels and three unique and separate co-ferments. After fermentation it was blended and aged for 16 months in oak barrels (20% new barrels, the rest used only once or twice). The new oak give the wine a bit of a tannic backbone to this smooth-drinking wine. It has a nose of toasted herbs and sweet spices and classic Merlot flavors of coffee, chocolate, black cherry and vanilla. The Shinns suggest drinking this one soon although it can also age up to 7 years.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main white selection for January is Osprey’s Dominion‘s 2014 Reserve Pinot Gris. Osprey’s Dominion, located in Peconic on Route 25, produces one of the most diverse line-up of wines on the North or South Forks. Winemaker Adam Suprenant also produces his own line of wines under the Coffee Pot Cellars label.
We think this is a white that is well-suited for winter consumption. The 100% Pinot Gris, 100% fermented in stainless steel, remained on its lees (the sediment that drops out during fermentation) for 6 months before bottling, giving the wine added complexity and silkiness. The bread dough, orange peel and pear on the nose is followed by some nice acidity in the mouth. This could be yummy with a roast chicken or very nice to sip on its own.
We close this month with our second white selection, The Lenz Winery‘s 2012 White Label Chardonnay. This is the first Lenz wine we’ve shipped in quite some time. Lenz Winery is located a little west of Osprey’s Dominion on Route 25 in Peconic. It was founded all the way back in 1978 giving it some of the oldest vines on the East End. The winemaker, Eric Fry, uses 100% estate-grown grapes and does very little intervention with the wines once the grapes are in from the vineyard.
The White Label Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay and fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% in oak barrels. It is a small-production wine — only 800 cases were produced in 2012. You’ll find this wine to be the opposite of our other January white selection: it’s crisp and dry with citrus, pear and apple flavors. The pleasing acidity is cut just a bit by the wine that fermented in oak. We think you’ll find this to be a classic chardonnay that you’ll want to drink year round.