A few Long Island wines to sip while handing out Halloween candy.
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
This month’s main Long Island red wine selection is Wolffer Estate Vineyards‘ 2013 Sagaponack Red. Wolffer Estate Vineyards is one of the few wineries on the South Fork of long island. The 55-acre vineyard was started in 1988. The estate features a beautiful equine facility and is well worth a visit.
The 2013 Sagaponack Red is a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Finished in oak barriques the wine has beautiful cassis aromas with notes of sandalwood and earth. It is medium-bodied but has a nice concentration. This is an easy-drinking wine we’re sure you will enjoy.
Our second red selection this month is Onabay Vineyards‘ 2013 “Cot Fermented” Cabernet Franc. Onabay is located in Southold on the south side of the North Fork. The 19-acre vineyard sits near the water (“on a bay”) and has vines that have been growing there for over 20 years.
The 2013 Cabernet Franc is primarily cab franc with a small amount of malbec (cot) added. The two grape varieties were co-fermented (as opposed to fermented separately and then blended together for aging). You will find aromas of blackberries and raspberries on the nose and bright fruit flavors in the mouth. We think that cabernet franc is one of the best varietals grown on Long Island. If you aren’t familiar with this grape you should really give this wine a try.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main white selection for January is Palmer Vineyard‘s 2014 41/72 Chardonnay. Palmer is one of The Hamptons Wine Club go-to wineries (see here and here) and can be found on the north shore of the North Fork. (41/72 refers to the latitude and longitude of the North Fork.) Winemaker Miguel Martin has made wine around the world and works with a wide variety of grapes as well as being a darned nice guy.
This wine is 100% chardonnay. It is fermented in stainless steel, never seeing any oak barrels. This results in a wine that is crisp and refreshing. You will find citrus, melon and floral aromas on the nose. This is another easy-drinking wine that can easily be paired with a number of foods including poultry, shellfish and white-fleshed fish.
We close this month with our second white selection, Lieb Cellars‘ 2011 Pinot Blanc. Lieb has an 85-acre vineyard was founded back in 1992. Russell Hearn has been the winemaker since the beginning. Hearn makes wine for a number of wineries on Long Island including his own brand, Suhru, a collaboration with his wife, Susan. We’ve probably spend a little too much time on the deck at Lieb’s tasting room enjoying their wines.
2011 was an excellent year for Long Island wines. This pinot blanc is a great change-of-pace from chardonnay exhibiting apples and pears on the nose and a nice mineral-y finish in the mouth. Long Island has some of the best wines made from pinot blanc in the United States and this is a good representation of the grape. It’s definitely worth a try.