By Lenn Thompson, Publisher and Editor
When Anthony Nappa, winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards, interviewed for the job, he had two questions of his own for the owners, could he bring his dog to work, and could he make his own wine?
I've seen his dog at the winery myself and with the release of Anthony Nappa Wines 2008 Anomaly ($18), the second question is answered as well. His second wine, the Anthony Nappa Wines 2008 Nemesis, will be released this weeked. Both are available at Shinn's tasting room and both wines are 100% pinot noir sourced on the North Fork. The Anomaly is a white wine, while Nemesis is a more traditional pinot.
Why would he put himself through the pain of making pinot noir on Long Island, a cool, humid region? It's simple: "Part of the reason is because I love pinot, and part of the reason is because everyone says pinot cannot be done well on Long Island. I know it can, and I enjoy the challenge of working with such a hard grape," he says.
And when I asked him why he decided to make a white pinot, he told me that "making a white wine out of pinot gives me a pure expression of Long Island pinot noir, brought down to its basics, and allows me to better understand the nuances of the variety grown here." Of course, he knows that it's a little off the beaten path, it's called Anomaly after all.
After tasting this wine for myself, I can say that I've found a Nappa wine I can recommend. Notice the second "p" in Nappa.
As with all the wines made at Shinn Estate, all of the fruit was hand harvested and sorted in the field. Then, it was de-stemmed but not crushed, and hand sorted on a sorting table. The fruit was then processed by gravity, to the press, where it was very gently pressed to minimize color extraction, like a Champagne. The wine was fermented cold, slow and aged without oak or malolactic fermentation
It is also worth noting that Anthony doesn't use enzymes or tannins in his winemaking. He only uses a little bit of sulfur and "Some are inoculated with yeast, and some are wild fermented, but none of the wines get DAP, only certified organic yeast nutrients if they need them."
I didn't get a very good picture of the wine, but its nearly colorless with only the faintest suggestion of pink. Unless you're looking for it, you may not even see it.
You're reminded that this is pinot noir once its aromas greet your nose, however. Delicate aromas of wweet red cherry, strawberry and strawberry hull are accented with a light note of sweet herb way in the back that became more apparent as the wine warmed to room temperature.
On the palate, it is mouth-filling, with a beautiful silky texture (this is pinot, remember?) that delivery clean, bright red fruit flavors, framed by good acid backbone.
Producer: Anthony Nappa Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Rating: (3 out of 5 | Recommended)