Today, talk with the one, the only Lyle Fass about his experiences at TasteCamp EAST 2009. Lyle has been in and around wine since he was 19. Of course he started drinking it when he was 21.
Most of his background is in retail buying for Crush, Chambers Street Wines and The Wine Shop in Manhattan. Before he arrived in NYC he he learned the ropes of retail in Boston at The Wine Press, Brookline Liquor Mart and The Wine Bottega.
His blog Rockss and Fruit has a loyal, devoted readership and has been featured numerous times in the paper of record, the New York Times.
Was this your first time to Long Island wine country?
Had you ever had any Long Island wines before? And if so, what was your impression of them?
Yes I had. My impression was overoaked and insipid wines that really had no character.
After tasting a larger sample of the wines being produced on Long Island, what is your impression now?
My new impression is that the wines have greatly improved but there still is a lot of work to be done.
What grape or variety, in general, impressed you the most?
Chenin blanc. I do not understand why more is not planted.
What grape or variety, in general, underwhelmed you the most?
Merlot. The terroir just will not lift it to the heights of say St. Emillion or Pomerol. If the terroir you have is not perfect for merlot it turns out pretty boring which was my impression of most of the merlot I tasted. I did however like 2005 Paumanok as it was gritty, earthy and had lovely structure and was not trying to be something it was not.
Was there a winery or tour stop that stands out in your mind as the "best"?
Shinn. No questions asked. Lunch, tasting and vineyard tour. Just like the Old World!
If you had to pick one, what would your wine of the weekend be?
2005 Paumanok Merlot (White Label)