By Sasha Smith, New York City Correspondent
Photo by Sasha Smith
A few weeks ago I attended the first annual Winebow "I Drink New York" event at Astor Wines featuring Ravines Wine Cellars, Wolffer Estate Vineyards and Millbrook Vineyards. I focused on Ravines, which I knew little about (aside from the fact that Lenn's a fan) and Wolffer.
A brief dispatch:
A good wine is like a good thriller: it should hold your attention throughout and finish with a surprise. The Ravines Wine Cellars 2007 Dry Riesling fulfilled both criteria. The wine has a mineral and citrus fruit purity that’s really compelling, and instead of falling off a bit on the back palate and the finish (something that I’ve noticed often in lesser-quality New York rieslings), it retains this intensity throughout.
The Ravines Wine Cellars 2006 Keuka Village White, made from Cayuga White and Vignoles, is the best hybrid I’ve ever had. Granted, I don’t drink them very much and even really good hybrid wines leave me a little cold, but this one was simple (in a good way), clean, and refreshing. A picnic wine if there ever were one.
I wasn’t a big fan of the pinot noir. A little too green for my taste, and with none of the silkiness that makes Pinot Noir what it is.
The Ravines Wine Cellars 2006 Cabernet Franc had vibrant red fruit and hit an earthy, mushroomy note that I loved. Winemaker Morten Hallgren told me that they pick cab franc as late as November. Whether or not you like this very cool climate style of wine, you have to respect that kind of patience and fortitude.
Morten and his wife Lisa (pictured here) could not have been kinder, or better ambassadors for their wine.
I also had the opportunity to meet Roman Roth, probably the closest thing Long Island has to a celebrity winemaker. Given his reputation, I was expecting him to be a bit stand-offish, but nothing could have been further from the truth.
We chatted about a sparkling rosé they’ll release in time for the holidays this year and he let me linger over a glass of their Wolffer Estate 2007 Late Harvest Chardonnay. With ripe apricot, peach and honey flavors, the wine has a finish that seems to last forever –- or, as Roman quaintly put it, one would need the neck of a giraffe to fully savor it.