Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Marqués Casa Concha: 4 Single vineyard wines from Chile!

Founded in 1976, Marqués de Casa Concha is a premium line from Chilean producer Viña Concha y Toro, owners of iconic Don Melchor, Amelia, and best seller Casillero del Diablo brands. This line up includes several varieties, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, a rosé based Cinsault, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and of course the flagship variety in Chile: Carménère Back in November, I was lucky enough to receive samples of four of these wines, that I had the pleasure to taste with the winemaker (Marcelo Papa) through a very informative zoom presentation. 
Marcelo Papa started his talk by confirming that he sources fruit from some of the best terroirs in Chile. One of these appellations is Limarí Valley, known, as one of the best regions for growing cool climate varieties. In the case of both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, the fruit comes from a 65 hectare single vineyard named “Quebrada Seca”, located just 21 miles from the coast, an area very much influenced by the cool Pacific ocean and the Humboldt currents. The Marqués de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2020, was completely harvested by hand, fully whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented and aged for 12 months in second hand French oak. The result is a very fresh and mineral white, emulating the best European Chardonnays, featuring crispy acidity, fresh pear, almond and flinty notes.  The Marqués de Casa Concha Pinot Noir 2019 was completely hand harvested, partially destemmed, and vinified with a brief cold maceration and whole bunch fermentation in open tanks. This wine was aged for 11 months in French oak, of which 22% was new.  The result is a very expressive and supple red that reveals charming layers of red fruits, especially red cherry and raspberry, with a touch of licorice and very soft and delicate tannins. According to Marcelo Papa, the clay and limestone soils of the Limarí appellation provide the tension, texture and vibrancy we find in his Pinot.

The Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 features fruit from the very heart of the Maipo region, closer to the Andes’ foothills, an area that is warmer and sunnier than the Limarí, but with Alpine influences. It also features gravel and sandy soils, better to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. 60% of the fruit of this blend comes from the Puente Alto sub-appellation, which usually yields a more muscular style of Cabernet, while the other 40% comes from the Pirque sub-appellation, yielding a more feminine and elegant style. The blend has also a tiny percentage (10%) of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot
, sourced from the Maipo too. This characterful red displays typical aromas of crème de cassis, black plums and dark cherry notes, with very sweet/ ripe tannins and fresh yet balanced acidity. So smooth and easy to drink, It was very hard for me to put it away. This wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, of which 28% was new.

And finally the Marqués de Casa Concha Carménère 2020, from the Peumo Valley, located in Rapel, just 200 km south from Santiago, the capital of Chile. Sunnier and warmer, Peumo valley is protected by hills and enjoys a mediterranean climate, influenced by the Rapel lake and the Cachapoal river. Here, Carménère enjoys one extra month of ripening (compared to the Cabernet vines in the Maipo region). This refined Carménère, like the other 3 wines, is also a single vineyard and features a small percentage (10%) of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in its blend. So round and creamy! it showed a nose saturated with blueberry and ripe plum notes, displaying delicious dark chocolate and herbal hints too. This wine was aged for 12 months in French oak, of which 27% was new.
Widely available in the US, all four wines have a suggested retail price of $20-$25 per bottle, they are a fine example of Chilean winemaking and ideal for your Easter holiday dinner! Cheers, Silvina.

 #thoughtsoflawina #drinkchile #drinkupamerica #Marquéscasaconcha.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Vertical Tastings

Attending wine tastings is possibly one of my favorite things in the whole world, and I always make sure to attend as many invitations to wine events as my schedule allows. However, not all wine tastings are created equal, as there are different kinds of wine tastings. There is the horizontal tasting, which basically consists of tasting wines from the same region from the same vintage, these tastings help you to compare what wineries made on a particular year; there is what is known as a Vertical Tasting, which consists of tasting different vintages of the same wine to be able to assess how the wines have aged through the years, and finally, there is your typical tasting where you taste new wine releases from different producers and regions, which can be thematic or not. Of all these three, Vertical Tastings are the cream of the crop, since  producers usually open up bottles that are no longer sold in the market or are available in very limited quantities, some only via wine auctions. 

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to two wonderful vertical tastings of wines from Rioja, a vertical tasting of Bodega Montecillo Gran Reservas and a vertical tasting of Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reservas. Before, letting you know my favorites, I think it’s important to say a few things about Vertical Tastings, as not only ageability is assessed during a Vertical Tasting, but most important are the effects that time has on the different wine elements, including tannins, that usually become smoother with time; on the fruit, which may fade or not; or on the aromas and how a wine that tasted fruitier upon release develops a delicious aged bouquet of leather, ink, meat, forest floor, spice, mushroom, garrigue herbs and many other descriptors used to express their complex, layered and truly incredible aromatics.

A Vertical Tasting will also help you assess global climate change and how it has affected a particular region. In my case, I was able to see how Rioja wines from 30 years ago, have less alcohol and more pronounced acidity than most recent vintages. A Vertical Tasting will allow you to see and compare side to side the differences between the vintages, the differences in winemaking, as winemakers continue to experiment year after year in an effort to surprise us, this may include changing blends or percentages of grape varieties in a blend, changing types of oak, as producers choose to experiment with French, American or a blend of both, therefore enhancing a wine’s flavor profile.
Once again, acidity and tannins are extremely important, as they will provide wines with the structure and support they need to age and improve through the years. As I tasted bottles from 1973, 1982, 1994, 2001 and 2016, I discovered that even the older vintages had a lot of lively fruit, freshness and elegance, allowing me to assume that some of these bottles will continue to improve with further aging.

My wine recommendations:

From Bodegas Montecillo, I tasted a selection of fine Gran Reservas that included these vintages: 1970,1973, 1982, 1985,1994, 2001 and 2005 (which was the special 150th anniversary edition). Of all of these, I truly loved the 1973, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha and 15% Mazuelo, that features ripe red cherry and cranberry notes meshed with leather and mineral hints. The 1994 was made from a 100% Tempranillo, which reminded me of the many wines I tasted in the early 2000s, still very fruit forward, it has a ripe and powerful blackberry nose, complemented by delicious balsamic and herbal notes, yet my favorite of the line up was the 2001 vintage, by far the best Rioja vintage in years, also made from 100% Tempranillo and showcasing ripe black fruits: blueberry and blackberry, tobacco and licorice notes. A very intense and concentrated 22 year old wine!

From Rioja Alta, I tasted a fine selection of their top Reserva Viña Ardanza, including the following vintages: 1989, 1994, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2016, which is their latest release. My favorites again were the 1994, a blend of 75% Tempranillo with 25% Garnacha, showing black cherry, dark plums with cedar and bark notes, the 2001, which is a blend of 80% Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, was powerful and layered, featuring delicious ripe blackberry, vanilla cream and allspice notes and the 2016, their latest release, a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, featuring a perfumed floral nose (rose) with raspberry preserves and clotted cream notes. Rioja Alta is a producer well known for making classic and super elegant wines, and elegance and balance shone through the whole line up. 

Current releases of these two wines have a suggested retail price between $40-50. Older vintages, if you find them, can cost up to $200, for sure a treat we can give ourselves occasionally. Until next one! Cheers, Silvina.

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 #thoughtsoflawina #verticaltasting #Rioja #Montecillogranreserva #Riojaalta #Vinaardanza 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Perfect Match for Your Valentine: Chocolates and Port!

I have something to confess, every year when Valentine’s day arrives, I go to the nearest drugstore and buy myself a big heart full of chocolates! Of course guilt makes me share them with my friends at the office, but I can’t help it! There’s nothing better to open the box and to try the different flavors. What is even better is to have them with a glass of sweet Port, for me the perfect match for my bonbons and one of my favorite drinks to have on cold February nights.

But what is Port? Port is a fortified sweet/ dessert wine, fortified means that it is a wine to which  brandy/ alcohol was added, increasing its final alcohol percentage, to anywhere between 18º to 23º. 

Ports are very similar to sherries, they are, after all, both fortified wines, but the big difference is that in Port, the alcohol/brandy is added before the fermentation ends and to stop it, leaving some residual sugar in the wine. In the case of Sherry, the base wines are usually fermented to complete dryness, and the addition of brandy/alcohol, color and sugar happens later, well after their fermentation is complete. 

Port was created in 1678, in the Douro region in Portugal, and once again, the British played a very important role. History tells us that two British wine brokers were looking for wines to sell in the UK and after trying the wines from Vinho Verde (in the north of Portugal), they decided that they were too acidic for their taste and continued farther south to the Douro region. There, they met a monk at a monastery in Lamego, who poured them a wine they truly loved! and so the story of Port began. The success of Port was such that pretty soon many British merchants settled down in the Douro and started making the wine themselves. This is the reason why, when you go to your favorite local wine store, you find ports with Portuguese names: such as Fonseca, Quinta do Noval, Ramos Pinto, etc and next to them, many with English last names such as Croft, Sandeman, Warre, Graham, Churchill’s, etc. 

Most ports are a blend from Portuguese indigenous varieties such as Sousao, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao, Tinta Roriz also known as Tempranillo, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. The last two are very important since they provide perfume, tannins and concentration to the wine.

Most vineyards are located on both sides of the Douro river. This river originates in Spain and from there, it crosses to the west to Portugal, ending its journey on the Atlantic by the city of Porto.  The Douro appellation is divided into 3 important subzones: the Lower Corgo, located closer to the Atlantic, where it’s cooler, the Upper Corgo (in the middle) and the Douro Superior, located to the west and near the border with Spain. 

Map courtesy of WineTourism.com

Thanks to the work of the Marquis of Pombal, all the Douro vineyards were classified in 1757, in a scale that goes from A to F, implementing a similar system like the ones in Grand Cru Burgundy or Champagne.  As imagined all fruit that comes from the A vineyards, is supposed to be the best and is only used to make the best quality ports. 

Some of the many factors required to be in the “A” group are: the altitude of the vineyard, the type of soils, their orientation towards the sun, the climate, the vine age, the varieties, the density of planting and the yields. Everything of course is very much regulated by Portuguese wine law.

The climate in the Douro changes depending where you are. In the Douro Superior, located to the west, it is very hot, with temperatures well above 100º F during the growing season. Temperatures become cooler on the vineyards of lower Corgo which are closer to the Atlantic. Vineyards are usually planted on steep terraces (see pic below) around the river, that are rich in schist and granite, both soils are very friable, allowing the vine roots to go deep in search of nutrients. Tradition indicates that after the wines are vinified in the Upper Corgo and Douro Superior, they are transported later to a cooler location in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, where the blending and aging of the different styles takes place. 

                           Beautiful Vineyard terraces overlooking the Douro River.

There are many styles of ports but most can be divided in two categories according to their aging: 

1) Those with most of their aging, happening in oak casks, which can be drunk as soon as they are released. These ports usually have a brown/ amber color because the wine was exposed to oxygen in the casks and feature aromas of toffee, caramel, nuts, brown sugar and vanilla.

And 2) Those aged very briefly in cask, but aged for a long time in a bottle, Vintage and Single Quinta Vintage ports are examples of these. These wines have a deep red or ruby color and feature notes of black cherry, plum, chocolate, cloves, spices and plenty of tannins. They are usually bottled unfiltered, so they need to be decanted to remove the sediments before serving. They require cellar aging and will reach their peak usually 20 years from their vintage.

Let’s take a look now at the most well known Port styles in ascending order of quality. 

Ruby is the simplest and most affordable type of Port, these are fruity wines with less than 3 years of aging (usually in stainless steel or concrete vats to preserve color and fruitiness). They are usually blends from different vintages. These wines are ready to be drunk, after fining and bottling. Now, the Ruby Reserva, is a bit better in quality, and is usually aged for longer, up to 5 years. Most of their fruit comes from the Lower Corgo subzone.

LBVs or Late Bottled Vintage is similar to the Ruby Reserva, but it is made from grapes from only 1 vintage and aged for longer between 4-6 years in cask. It will have plenty of ripe fruit but a heftier body than Ruby and Ruby Reserva.

Tawny ports are known for their brownish color, which they acquire by oxidative aging in casks, which happens for a minimum of three years. The best Tawnys are aged for longer and have an indication of age on the label: they can be 10, 20, 30 or 40 years old. The age on the label is an average of the vintages blended, and much depends on the stock that producers have. They do not need to be decanted, and are best consumed cool.

Colheita Tawnys are single vintage Tawnys. They need to be aged for a minimum of 7 years in oak, but most producers age them for longer. 

Vintage and Single Quinta Vintage Ports are the best ports of all, truly the crème of the crop! For starters, Vintage ports are not produced every vintage but only in the best years. A vintage is declared by producers an average of 3 times in 10 years, something that is decided by each winery. These wines are made with grapes from the best vineyards (classified as A), they are aged for a very short time, no more than 2 years in oak, and then, they are bottled without filtration. They have high levels of tannins, and intense fruit flavors, sweetness and alcohol. They can be drunk young but it is advisable to age them for at least 20 years or more, to see their true potential. The bottle aging will soften the wine and change it thanks to the reductive aging (without oxygen). They will show notes of stewed fruit, coffee, spices and leather. Because they are unfiltered, they need decanting to remove their sediments. Best vintages were: 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011 (exceptional), 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

The Single Quinta wines are made following the same process of Vintage ports, but are made with grapes from one vineyard, (vintage port is a blend from grapes of different vineyards) Single Quintas are made mostly on years that a vintage is not declared. They are usually ready sooner than vintage ports and are also less expensive. 

Finally, there’s also a White port category, made from white grapes, these could be dry or sweet, and are aged in wood from 2-3 years. Unfortunately, not much of it is available in the US. The Portuguese drink them as an aperitif on ice.

Store your ports in a cool and dark room, away from vibration. Open bottles of Port will last at least 2 months in the fridge. Vintage port last less so make sure you drink those right away.

My Recommendations:

Broadbent Ruby Port, $17
Seductive and ready to drink port, showing ripe currant and black plum notes, fleshy and very rich with a spicy finish. Have this with dark chocolate filled with strawberry or raspberry cream or other fruity fillings.

Taylor Fladgate LBV 2017 Port, $ 25
Succulent port with plenty of red fruit that include maraschino cherries and strawberry preserve notes. Shows a beautiful balance of oak aging and refreshing acidity. Delish! Have this with dark chocolates filled with almond nougat, coffee filling or dark chocolate filled with toffee.

Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny, $33.99
Very polished and rich tawny featuring toffee, honey and hazelnut notes. Nicely integrated acidity lifts the long finish. Refined! Have this with milk chocolate filled with pecans, walnuts or toffee. Also good with black chocolate truffles filled with white chocolate. 

Ramos Pinto Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Year Old Tawny, $82
Exquisite and luscious tawny delivers orange peel, marzipan, vanilla cream and caramelized walnut notes. So dense, with a viscous/ velvety texture and ample balancing acidity. Outstanding! Have this with marzipan covered with dark chocolate or milk chocolate salted caramels.

Broadbent Vintage Port 2011, $65
Superb port for one of the best vintages, (99 points), shows dark fruit: blackberry and plum, combined with chocolate and licorice notes. Backed by solid tannins that offer structure to the smoky finish. Have this with 70 % dark chocolate bonbons or black truffles filled with ganache.

As always, many thanks to all the suppliers that provided samples for me, and especially to: Broadbent Wines Selections, Kobrand Wines and Spirits, Vineyard Brands and Ramos Pinto. Cheers! Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #winewednesday #drinkport #drinkupAmerica #port

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Underdog Grapes: Tannat

Are you up to a challenge? This is what I propose you to do, next weekend, leave your cabernet,  merlot and shiraz that you like so much, and try a different red, like a wine made from Tannat.

Tannat is often considered an underdog red grape, mostly because very few people know about it, yet it has plenty to say.  Tannat makes some of the most powerful wines in the world, wines that are rich, flavorful, and tannic. Wines that thrive at all price ranges, with some very affordable samples starting at only $18, but also super premium quality at $30 and above.

Originally from Southwest France, Tannat is a main component of AOC Madiran wines. By law, traditional Madiran is usually a blend made from 60 to 80 % Tannat, complemented  by either Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or Fer.  Stylistically, Madiran wines were once known for being very powerful and rustic, requiring years in the cellar to soften their grippy tannins, but nowadays and thanks to destemming and to micro-oxygenation, Madiran wines are approachable sooner.  
Besides Madiran, Tannat does very well in another place in the world, and this is where I want you to focus today, in a tiny South American country called Uruguay. Uruguay, located to the south of Brazil and to the east of Argentina, has over 180 wine producers, and over 6,000 hectares of vineyards, 27% of which are dedicated exclusively to Tannat. 

Without a doubt, Tannat is the varietal flagship of all Uruguayan reds. Tannat is also known in Uruguay as Harriague, to honor Pascal Harriague, the Basque country pioneer, who was the first person to import cuttings of Tannat to Uruguay, in the late 1800s. Uruguayan vineyards, like those in Madiran, enjoy a similar mild maritime climate; though technically  located at the same latitude as Mendoza in Argentina or Maipo in Chile, Uruguay has a completely different terroir. For starters, there is very little altitude in their vineyards, with most of them planted on rather flat valleys, with some small hills that can reach up to 500 meters above sea level on their highest peaks. There are 6 distinctive wine regions in Uruguay but the two most important are located near the city of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.  

Map courtesy of Wines of Uruguay (Inavi).

Canelones is considered the very heart of all Uruguayan viticulture,  producing almost 73% of all Uruguayan wine, followed by nearby Maldonado that produces about 7%. These side to side areas are very much influenced by the Atlantic ocean and by two opposite currents: the Malvinas current that comes from the South and the Brazilian current that comes from the north, which bring plenty of rain (about 1000 mm a year). Uruguay’s climate is  warmer and very humid and very different from the almost desertic and dry Mendoza or cooler Casablanca valley in Chile. This maritime influence will leave a mark on the final wines that are more fruit-forward with balanced acidity and less aggressive tannins than their European counterparts. Like in Madiran, Uruguayan Tannat is also planted on soils rich in clay and granite with some patches of calcium carbonate compounds from sea shells. Most Uruguayan Tannat is sold as a single varietal, but it can be blended with other grapes, such as Pinot Noir or Merlot, I was surprised to receive a sample with some Viognier in the blend too!

Stylistically, Tannat yields a natural powerbomb wine: with a big body, plenty of acidity and structure from tannins, and these tannins you will surely feel on your palate, even when the wines have not been aged in oak at all. Tannat wines are almost black in color and display ripe black fruit flavors of black cherries, blackberries, black plums, licorice and tobacco. With aging they will show notes of leather, smoke, espresso, chocolate and cigar box. Their muscular structure will allow them to develop in your cellars  for 10 years or more.  

My Wine recommendations:
Before I dive into the wines I tasted recently, allow me to thank Global Vineyard,  the Inavi (Uruguay wine institute) and Creative Palate, for inviting me to a very informative Zoom seminar about Uruguay wines and for sending these wonderful samples.

Gimenez Mendez Alta Reserva Tannat 2020, $18
Made from 100 % Tannat, it shows delicious blackberry and plum notes complemented by milk chocolate hints. With very smooth tannins and lively acidity, this wine was aged for 9 months in a blend of both American and French oak.  

Marichal Reserve Collection 2019
, $20
Made from 100% Tannat grapes, from 25 year old vineyards. This seductive red reveals layers of jammy black cherry, prune and leather notes. Velvety, round and ample with a touch of spice from spending 12 months in oak.

Montes Toscanini Gran Tannat Premium 2019, $59

Super classic 100 % Tannat that yields rich blackberry marmalade,  spicy clove and  roasted coffee notes.  A nice integration of ripe fruit, acidity and tannins. Very elegant and structured, it was aged for 18 months in oak. Wonderful now, but has plenty of cellar potential and will only get better with time.

Alto de La Ballena Tannat, 2018, $24
A singular blend of 85% Tannat and 15%  Viognier (something that is done only in Uruguay). It delivers charming red fruits: raspberry and cherry with powdery cocoa and chalky tannins from aging in American oak for 9 months. Very yummy!

Pisano RPF Tannat 2018, $24
This 100% Tannat features savory plum, cassis and bitter chocolate notes that open up to a delicious and very powerful red. Robust with very balanced tannins and a beautiful and concentrated finish. It smells and tastes more expensive than its price tag!

Marichal Grand Reserve “A”Tannat 2018, $65
Massive and spectacular! This hearty red is made from 100% Tannat grapes from 40 year old vineyards. Grand Reserve “A” features cocoa, blackberry and prune notes with espresso hints. Very expressive and extracted, a Wow me Tannat for sure!


 Cheers! Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #WineWednesday #drinkupamerica #tannat

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Time to drink local, Time to drink Long Island Wines!

Only 85 miles separate New York from Long Island, making this wine region the closest one to home. I still remember one Memorial Day weekend, not long ago, when I decided to go over there to visit some of the wineries. I was impressed by the variety of grapes planted,  and especially with samples made from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chardonnay.

So, what is special about Long Island? It's a relatively young wine appellation and small. Vinifera varieties were first planted here by John Wickham in the 1960s, but the first commercial wines, made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, were produced 10 years later by the owners of Castello di Borghese: Louisa and Alex Hargrave.  
There are only three AVAs here, two were set up in the 1980s, the North Fork AVA, and the Hamptons AVA. The third and newest AVA, Long Island was set up in 2001. There are over 57 wine producers to visit, most of them, located in the northern fork, alongside route 25.

As we may see in the map above (courtesy of Long Island wines), both forks are surrounded by bodies of water, enjoying a similar tempered maritime climate like in Bordeaux. This is the main reason why we find many Bordelais vinifera varieties, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot & Merlot. The cool breezes from the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean have also proven fantastic to grow whites too, my favorites are Chardonnay (used to make sparkling and table wines), Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.

Of course and due to its northerly location, at the beginning I had my doubts, but soon I discovered that these areas receive plenty of sun during the growing season, which allows most red grapes to attain full maturity.  Soils here are mostly sandy loam, haven loam and silty loam, with excellent drainage. Now, if I have to describe Long Island’s wine style, I will describe them as a cool climate, meaning very focused wines, with medium to medium + bodies, crisp acidity and very nice aromatics. Note that the reds tend to be more elegant and for sure less alcoholic than wines from warmer regions.  
Most wineries produce all styles of wines from whites, reds, rosés and sparkling, here is a delicious selection (thanks to Maria Calvert), that showcase their ample versatility:

Sparkling Pointe Vineyards Topaz Imperial 2019, North Fork Long Island ($44)
I love this winery’s slogan, if it’s not Sparkling what is the Pointe? This method Champenoise sparkling is a blend of 50 % Chardonnay with 34% Pinot Noir  and 16%  Pinot Meunier. It spends two years aging sur lie.
 A refreshing and vibrant nose opens up to strawberry shortcake and ripe yellow peach notes. Pastry aromas, crisp acidity and a touch of minerality makes this a very flavorful bubbly.
Paumanok Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2021, North Fork Long Island ($29)
Made from 100% Chenin Blanc, this wine is completely fermented in stainless steel vats. Very expressive on the nose, showing a tropical bouquet of ripe pineapple and white peach, with citrusy lime on the palate. Medium bodied with lively acidity and an exotic finish.

RGNY Viognier 2020,
North Fork Long Island ($35)
Made from 100 % Viognier, this full bodied white reveals notes of apricots, mango and vanilla from aging in oak. Creamy and textured with balanced acidity. 20% of this wine was aged in second hand oak for 2 months.

McCall Wines Estate Pinot Noir 2015, North Fork Long Island ($30)
Made from sustainable grown 100% Pinot Noir. This elegant light-bodied red shows  aromas of red cherry, strawberry preserves, forest floor and clove. Juicy acidity is complemented very nicely by smooth and supple tannins.

Sannino Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2019, North Fork Long Island ($35)
If there’s one grape in the world that thrives in Long Island’s terroir, that is Cabernet Franc, so do explore them!. This medium bodied red meshes raspberry, savory dry herbs and pencil shaving notes. A very easy red to drink every night of the week.

Suhru Wines Shiraz 2021, North Fork Long Island ($25)
Last but not least, a blend of 77% Shiraz, 12% Teroldelgo and 11% Petit Verdot.
This almost full bodied red features blackberry and ripe plums notes with spicy black pepper and milk chocolate hints. This beauty was aged for 7 months in American oak. Savory!

Isn't it time we go local and drink some of these? If so, let me know your favorites. Until the next one! Cheers, Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #longislandwines #liwines #newsyorkwines #newyork

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