A juicy zinfandel from Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley and a host of impressive wines from New York’s Long Island tickled my palate this month:
Mazzocco 2008 Sullivan Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley CA: With its intoxicating aromas of jammy berry richness that rise from the glass, this Zin stays lush and berry packed with spicy highlights from the minute it hits your lips to the long, lingering finish. This is a new addition to the delicious line-up of Dry Creek Valley Zins from Mazzocco Winery; and once again they have produced a dazzling treasure.
J Lohr Vineyards 2009 Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, St. Helena CA: Lovely fresh herbs and a hint of apple blossom aromas rise from the glass and marry pleasingly with crisp pear flavors and mineral notes in the mouth. Crisp and clean with a generous dose of acidity, enjoy this Sauv Blanc as a delightful aperitif or pair with fresh shellfish.
Sherwood House Chardonnay 2009 North Fork, Long Island NY: This bright and sassy unoaked chardonnay is brimming full of lemon, lime and crisp green apples from the first whiff, through the delicious palate, to the appealing, lifted finish. This wine really captures the beauty of Chardonnay’s varietal characteristics, and the snappy acidity keeps it fresh and lively.
Shinn 2007 Wild Boar Doe, North Fork, Long Island NY: Aromas of freshly ground black peppercorns and ripe berry fruit capture your attention and keep you fully engaged through the memorable finish. This blend of 72% Merlot, 6% Cab Sauv, 12% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and 6% Cab Franc is expansive on the palate with generous fruit melding richly with a touch of earthiness, pepper spice and spot on oak integration; very well balanced.
Shinn 2007 Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot, North Fork, Long Island, NY: A blend of 87% Merlot, 10% Petite Verdot and 2% Malbec, here is another winner from Shinn. Lush and full bodied with aromas of cherry and blueberry fruit wafting from the glass, this striking Merlot showcases a purity of cherry and berry fruit surrounded by dark chocolate notes, offset perfectly with a good level of acidity. Plan on this Merlot to age beautifully for many years.
Wöllfer 2007 Perle Chardonnay; South Fork, Long Island NY: From vineyards planted in 1993, this full bodied chardonnay opens with aromas of lemon curd and fresh ripe pears and bursts out expansively on the palate with baked pear, roasted nuts and a thread of minerality. Delightfully rich with a creamy texture and a nice lift of acidity to balance the juicy fruit.
Wöllfer Vineyards Grandiose Rose 2009 South Fork, Long Island NY: Too bad this beauty is sold out; better get in line for the 2010 vintage! A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 9% Chardonnay, this is just what I look for in a well made dry rose. Peach and strawberry scents fill the nose and a stream of lime zest and savory spice really highlight the fruit on the palate. Elegant and rich at the same time, this is a flamboyant dry rose.
Wöllfer 2007 Cassango Cabernet Sauvignon, South Fork, Long Island NY: This stunning Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 10% Merlot is chock full of black plums and berries enrobed in licorice, spice and subtle toasty oak. Splendidly structured, this Cab is dense, opulent and pure with a firm backbone of tannins that suggest outstanding aging potential.
Channing Daughters 2008 Mosaico, Long Island NY: A fascinating blend of several varieties including Tocai, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Ottonel. The floral and spice aromas lift from the glass and lead to layers of Asian fruits, melon, a touch of herbs and cardamom spice topped off by a pleasing nuttiness; a clean finish completes the refreshing package.
Channing Daughters 2007 Mudd; Long Island NY: From the Steve Mudd Vineyards on the North Fork, this full bodied blend of Merlot, Syrah, Dornfelder, Cab Franc and Blaufrankisch showcases nice depth of flavors and a firm backbone of tannins. Dusty, earthy, black pepper notes join juicy blueberry, black plums and red fruits that coat the mouth fully, and the satisfying finish is warm and lingering.