NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting 2019

These are brief notes from the amazing NY Drinks NY Grand-Tasting last week. It was such a pleasure to see so many friendly faces and to meet new people. I cannot wait to start my travels to Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes once the weather warms up again.

Paumanok Chenin Blanc 2018: As always – this is an absolute fun to drink, year in and year out. This year’s version is bright, juicy with ripe tropical notes and a well-balanced palate. It is sure to please – especially on a hot summer afternoon. 

Paumanok Assemblage 2014: This wine has evolved since I have last tried it – a year and a half ago. It shows great classical notes of a Bordeaux blend, ripe black fruit, cassis, plum and blueberry. There is excellent structure here, with savory herb, ripe tannin, bright acidic structure and a long tart finish. 

Macari Pinot Meunier 2015: An unusual wine, earthy with notes of forest floor and red berries. The mid is light, raspberry, tart cherry, but with a brighter back palate, good grip and an earthy, spicy finish. 

Macari Cabernet Franc 2015: Quite impressive, ripe and with sweet cherry fruit. Good power in the mid palate, juicy but with serious structure. Will be picking a few up to drink over the next few years and watch how they develop.  

Hermann J. Wiemer Riesling Dry 2017: This is easily one of my favorite “estate” Rieslings in the Finger Lakes. It is light, dry but with a good tropical note on the nose, the mid palate has both white peach and ripe melon. Good medium length finish is full of zest and ginger. Delicious! 

Hermann J. Wiemer Riesling HJW Bio Vineyard 2017: This is a serious wine, with ripe fruit and bright acidity. The herbal undertone is enhanced by the power of the mineral and stone on the palate.  

Keuka Spring Vineyard Classic Gewurztraminer 2016: Gewurz is a tough grape, you have to love it to make it at all, and love it a LOT to make it well. This is an excellent version indeed, rich, spicy, and full of rich lychee and rosewater on the nose. The mid palate has the characteristic oily note, with ripe melon and tropical fruit. Good texture as well. Can’t wait to visit in the summer. 

Keuka Spring Vineyard Humphreys Riesling SV 2016: Interesting expression of the grape. This Riesling is just slightly off-dry,  white peach, light citrus in the mid, ginger and lemon zest toward the finish. 

Whitecliff Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc 2017: Made from all Hudson Valley fruit with 30% new Hungarian oak, this wine had an impressive structure and polish. A solid, red and blue-fruited core, savory herbs, good structure. Tobacco notes become more powerful toward the back with tart cherry notes and a hint of spice. I would love to sit with a glass of this wine.

Fjord Cabernet Franc 2015: Blackberry and savory herb note on the nose, palate is ripe but mainly with red fruit, cherry, lighter blackberry notes. Tobacco leaf toward the back, finish with a hint of spice. Needs some time to develop. 

Boundary Breaks Riesling Reserve #198 2017: I really enjoyed this beautiful wine, made in a style similar to a Mosel Kabinett, with a bright but autumnal sweetness. Rich orchard fruit, peach and apple notes, riper toward the back, with a deep “sweaty” Riesling note. Great balance – but it needs a few years to really shine. 

Dr. Konstantin Frank Brut Rosé 2013: Impressive, masculine sparkler, with strawberry notes on the nose and brash, citrus and red berry palate. Long, refreshing finish, with a zesty, ginger note. 

Dr. Konstantin Frank Saperavi 2016: I love this wine; it is chock full of tart cherry fruit, rustic but with a depth and sweet fruit in the mid palate. Long finish, tart and refreshing. Absolutely delicious. 

Red Newt Cellars Riesling “The Knoll” Lahoma Vineyards 2015: This wine reminds me of an Alsace Riesling, ripe tropical citrus, grapefruit notes, dry but textured and powerful on the palate. Quite intriguing! 

Benmarl Estate Baco Noir 2015: Ripe nose of raspberry and bitter chocolate. The wine is light, but with great balance and acidity, long mineral note toward the finish. Riper cherry and strawberry fruit on the back palate. 

Arrowhead Red 2015: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – quite ripe with plum, blackberry and dark cherry fruit. The palate is chewy, with a ripe core of fruit and a rustic finish. 

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