The tasting room is small when compared with some of the opulent buildings and tasting rooms around, but the pouring staff (which sometimes includes Mrs. LENNDEVOURS) is super friendly and knows there stuff too.
Lieb Family Cellars is the winery that brought us September's Mission Merlot ($9.11), an affordable, gulpable red that donates 91 cents to charity for every bottle that is sold. They also make one of my favorite, lighter-style local merlots and the not-often-made pinot blanc, which is one of Long Island's wine treats.
As is the case with quite a few LI producers, the wines often sell out within a year of release (their huge and hugely loyal wine club has a lot to do with it) and it's always a treat to try their new bottlings. In the last few months, they've released three new wines, two still whites and the latest vintage of a LENNDEVOURS favorite bubbly.
Lieb Family Cellars 2004 Bridge Lane Merlot ($14)
Bridge Lane is the name Lieb uses for its second-label wines (they also make a merlot and rose under the label). It's nose is mostly lemony-citrus with faint hints of richer aromas like vanilla and honey. On the palate, it's much less tropical and melony than the 2003 release, with flavors that stay in the citrus arena with medium body and acidity that is a little underwhelming. I like the 03 release better. Lenn's Grade: C+ |Nena's Grade: C
Lieb Familiy Cellars 2004 Pinot Blanc ($18)
Lieb's pinot blanc could be renamed "Lieb Family Cellars Everytripwhite" as far as I'm concerned, because we almost always end up there, with a chilled bottle and cheeses we buy at the Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck. It's always great with cheese and even better on a warm spring, summer or fall day. The 2004 just might be my favorite vintage to date. The nose is lime, honeydew melon and wet stones and the medium-bodied palate has similar flavors with crisp pear and melon giving way to a tangy lime-mineral finish. Lenn's Grade: A- | Nena's Grade: B-
Lieb Family Cellars 2002 Blanc de Blanc ($35)
Nena and I toasted with the 2001 at our wedding last July, so we clearly enjoyed that bottling. The 2002 is a little less elegant, but the bone-dry flavors are a bit more pronounced, with green apples and citrus accented by delicate yeasty and butterscotch. Easy drinking and delicious, this would be our house sparkler if it were more affordable. Lenn's Grade: B- | Nena's Grade: B+