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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wines from Long Island, New York

I'll be the first person to admit that I've developed a rather eclectic wine palate over the past several years. I'm lucky to work in a place where trying new things are encouraged, and as a team, our wine department has come a long way as far as offering unique selections from small wineries. My personal interests in certain wines shift from time to time, and I'm always looking for something new to recommend to our customers. I've got to say that I've recommended some pretty obscure bottles, and for me that's the fun. The more obscure, the better.

So, can someone please tell me why everyone looks at me like I have 2 heads every time I mention wines from Long Island? "Long Island wines? Really?!!" Yes. Really. And boy are they good!
Many of our customer are familiar with wines from the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York, and some of them are excellent. Long Island is a completely different climate, so we suggest, for now, forgetting everything you think you might expect from these selections, and just go with it.

Allow me to introduce you to 2 new wines (new to us, anyway) from Wölffer Estate. These just landed at our Fire Road location on Wednesday, and have already sparked some interest. I don't necessarily recommend always judging a wine by it's label, but they did do a pretty nice job. I would also like to mention that Wölffer Estate is 100% sustainable with their entire production, which should make you feel good, not just when you drink them, but also the next day.

Wölffer Estate Chardonnay 2014



100% Chardonnay.

REGION:
Appellation: Long Island. Produced and bottled in Sagaponack, New York.
Under the meticulous care of Winemaker/Partner Roman Roth and Vineyard Manager Rich Pisacano, our vineyard encompasses 55 acres of sustainably farmed vines. Our unique combination of Bridgehampton loam soil and ocean breezes from the Atlantic, only 2.6 miles away, provide Bordeaux-like conditions, perfect to achieve the balance of ripeness and acidity of Wölffer's signature style: European elegance paired with the distinct typicity of Long Island terroir. When grapes are sourced outside our vineyard, they must meet rigorous Wölffer quality standards.


WINEMAKER’S NOTES:
Bright gold in color, this Chardonnay has fantastic aromas of ripe peach and apricot topped with a cream. The mouth-feel is zaftig with beautiful play between the pure, ripe fruit, sun-drenched and concentrated berry flavors and elegant acidity. The finish is long with creamy lees, plush alcohol and lingering stone-fruit flavors. A very versatile, food-friendly wine with great aging potential.

Winery direct price, $19. About $15/bottle from Joe Canal's!

Wölffer Estate Cabernet Franc 2014



75% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon

Appellation:
Long Island, New York. Produced and bottled in Sagaponack, New York.
Under the meticulous care of Winemaker/Partner Roman Roth and Vineyard Manager Rich Pisacano, our vineyard encompasses 55 acres of sustainably farmed vines. Our unique combination of Bridgehampton loam soil and ocean breezes from the Atlantic, only 2.6 miles away, provide Bordeaux-like conditions, perfect to achieve the balance of ripeness and acidity of Wölffer's signature style: European elegance paired with the distinct typicity of Long Island terroir. When grapes are sourced outside our vineyard, they must meet rigorous Wölffer quality standards.


Winemaker's Notes:
Dark red almost black in color. Wonderful aromas of cassis, prunes, red cherry, and toasted sandalwood fill the glass. The mouth-feel is full, but not heavy, with lots of fruit, more cherry, blueberry, and ripe plums. Well balanced by ripe tannins, a beautiful acidity and classic crushed stone minerality. The finish is elegant and long with lovely toasted oak notes and dark chocolate. We are very proud of this Estate Cabernet Franc.

Winery direct price, $24. About $20/bottle from Joe Canal's!

We haven't yet tasted their entire lineup, but were first introduced to their wines at the end of last summer. We've already gotten quite a few requests for their Summer in a Bottle Rosé. Don't worry. It will be here soon.

Another Long Island winery worth mentioning for sure is Shinn Estate. This producer really cares about the environment, their carbon footprint, and are using biodynamic farming practices to ensure that their wines are made in a way that respects nature. We're totally cool with that!

Shinn Estate Vineyards 2014 Estate Merlot



Let me give you a heads up before you try this one. This is no California Merlot. The climate in Long Island is more similar to parts of Bordeaux than anyplace else. Trust me. That's a good thing.

Our Signature Merlot shows aromas of sweet spices, toasted herbs and minerals while expressing classic flavors of black cherry, chocolate, coffee and vanilla. We recommend drinking our Merlot upon release though it will age well and continue to evolve for 5-7 years.

Winery direct price, $26. About $16 from Joe Canal's!

Shinn Estate Vineyards Robert Schreiber Vineyard Riesling 2014



Look for more of a drier, more elegant style, than an overtly sweet Finger Lakes style. Fans of whites from Alsace, France are going to just love this one! Elegant, with plenty of ripe white peach and nectarine, with a lingering, almost tingly mineral finish. Recommend taking this one out to pair with something spicy. This wine will nail it!

This wine is already sold out at the winery. We have just over a case of this left. About $16 at Joe Canal's!

We also just tasted Shinn Estate's red blend. I thought it was terrific. Anyone interested, just say the word, and I'll have it on the shelf in no time.

If you enjoyed reading this, think about how much better it would have been if you were drinking any of these 4 great picks. I hope you'll stop in and check these out.

Cheers! -Bob

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