Fall is here (though you couldn’t tell from the weather). Time for some “transitional” wines to get us in the mood for cooler weather.
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
Our main red wine selection for this month is from a winery that is new to the club: Laurel Lake Vineyards‘ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Located half way between Jamesport and Mattituck in Laurel, this winery is owned by a group from Chile that includes its winemaker, Juan Sepúlveda, who honed his craft in his native country.
The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is a substantial wine that bursts on the palate with flavors of ripe berries. It is a well-balanced wine with an intense aroma and a powerful velvet finish. Note the deep red ruby color and soft, rich tannins. This is not a blend — it is 100% cab.
Our second red selection this month is Raphael‘s 2013 Cabernet Franc. We can’t seem to stay away from this winery. We think that the East End of Long Island is one of the best places in the world for growing cabernet franc grapes. And Raphael’s winemaker, Anthony Nappa, has taken these great grapes to make a wonderful wine.
The Cabernet Franc, a bright fruity red wine, expresses a soft hue with a rich full body. It shows notes of raspberries, licorice and black olive, hinting of ripe tomato leaf and summer garden herbs. Made in both stainless steel (75%) and French oak (25%), with an acidic backbone, this wine compliments a variety of cuisine. It is a blend of 77% Cabernet Franc and 23% Merlot.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main white wine selection this month is Pellegrini Vineyards‘ 2014 Gewurztraminer. Pellegrini has one of the most beautiful facilities on the North Fork just down the road from McCall Vineyards. This was only the second year that winemaker Lynn Krausmann was crafting Pellegrini’s wines but we think you will agree that she did an outstanding job with this grape that is well-known to go well with spicier food.
This “spicy” Traminer is a fine example of a musque clone. Sharing the same aromatic components as lychee, this 100% Gewürztraminer saw no oak in its fermentation and delivers a combination of clove, passion fruit, and caramel on the palate with rich mouth feel and a smooth, lingering finish. Serve it as an aperitif or with cuisine that matches its spicy intensity such as Indian, Asian and barbeque.
Winemaker Dean Babier made this wine from 100% sauvignon blanc grapes. A small portion was fermented in oak but most of it was done in stainless steel. The nose is intensely aromatic with pineapple, mango and key lime. The flavor is light and refreshing with melon, pear and tropical fruit. This bottling gives more proof that Sauvignon Blanc is very well suited to Long Island. Try drinking it with pan-fried scallops, whole baked salmon, chicken, veal or as an aperitif. Cheers!