Becky Borichevsky, who is better known in some circles as Taster B, is our TasteCamp interviewee this Monday morning. Becky started Smells Like Grape with her husband Steve (Taster A) in 2007 to document their exploration of wine. Becky felt that wine and blogging were a natural fit because good wine is endlessly inspiring.
When not twittering, or blogging, Becky works in QA on Boston’s North Shore.
Was this your first time to
Long Island wine country?
Yes, it was.
Had you ever had any Long Island wines before? And if so, what was your
impression of them?
Yes, I’d had a few. Specifically, I remember a Palmer 2003 Cab Franc that we liked. We also tasted a few while visiting the Hudson Valley all of which I preferred to the Hudson Valley wines I tasted.
After tasting a larger
sampling of the wines being produced on Long Island,
what is your impression now?
I am surprised by the level of fruit that can be achieved in this AVA. I expected zingy whites and tart/funky reds and there was plenty of that of course but, particularly in the reds, I was taken aback by how much of the darker fruit in the black cherry/blueberry/plum band came through, and how deep and mellow some of the reds were.
What grape or variety, in
general, impressed you the most?
I was most impressed by both the merlot and the cab franc. I liked the structure of the merlot. It was a nice change of pace from the soft, lazy merlots coming out of some warmer climates.
The cab franc impressed me because it was so delicious compared with the iodine and cabbage flavored cab francs I’ve tried. These Long Island cab francs are meaty, but its braised meat rather than raw blood (sorry, just not my thing). Also, they are actually getting some fruit coming through in the Long Island cab francs which was a new experience for me with the grape.
What grape or variety, in
general, underwhelmed you the most?
Well…I generally don’t get too excited about whites. I know they are necessary, and I definitely need more white than red in my cellar to pair with the kind of meals we eat but, melon, green apple, grapefruit, etc kind of bore me. That being said, I tasted a lot of first-rate sauvignon blancs at TasteCamp.
I preferred the LI sauv blancs I sampled to most New Zealand ones I’ve tried. I didn't try all the riesling samples on offer but that was probably the most underwhelming varietal for me.
Was there a winery or tour
stop that stands out in your mind as the "best"?
Hard choice -- they all had their different plus points. Obviously, lunch at Shinn was a highlight. My favorites were the salads (I have to get some large pearl couscous and see if I can replicate that mushroom salad). Not to sound like I’m parroting every single other attendee of TasteCamp but, the 2007 Shinn Estates Cab Franc killed.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the stop at Lenz: There was something really appealing to me about standing around the drain grate tasting barrel samples from an old juice container. Also, I really dug Eric Fry’s philosophy as a winemaker. I wanted to give him an “Amen” every time he mentioned his intolerance toward astringent tannins.
If you had to pick one, what
would your wine of the weekend be?
ONE? Can I pick four? Okay, I’m going with the Shinn Estates 2007 Cab Franc, with the Lenz Old Vines Merlot (2007?) as runner up.