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March 23, 2011

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Great piece. I was smiling at the stark difference between Long Island and the Finger Lakes when it comes to hiring French consultants. How common, exactly, is that down there? Not that it's any sort of stigma, of course.

Flight was one of the first truly beat-the-heck-out-of-expectations Long Island red that I've had. You make a great point about the affordability of these wines, and I wonder two things:

1) Would other winemakers say that all the mechanical work has a deleterious effect? Actually, we've heard that with some frequency, haven't we?

2) Does making wine at a lower price point change expectations among buyers / critics, whether we want to admit it or not?

I met Adam about a year ago, tasted through some current and future releases. I tried getting a post together, but unfortunately, time and my writing ability got the best of me. Adam if you read this sorry Bro!

I had visited Osprey's years ago as a novice wine enthusiast. I was never a fan of the fruit wine and I had a not so pleasant experience in the old, claustrophobic tasting room. Neither one of those exist any more.

Your description of Adam is exactly how I would have described him. I cam away that day wanting to spend more time with him and helping out in the cellar one day.

Osprey's defiantly deserves more attention, if not for their green practices, for their delicious red wines. Osprey's 2007 Flight and Reserve Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Long Island first Carménère were no doubt memorable.

You will see me and the family out it Osprey's Dominion this summer for sure.

Evan, great questions...and the first one is maybe one I should have given more details on in the post.

As far as I know, there are two French consultants involved in LI wine, used to be a third and there is also a Hungarian consultant around.

For question #2...I would like to say definitively that it doesn't enter my own mind, but it probably does.

Lenn: thanks for the kind words and the post.

Evan: to further clarify on mechanical harvesting, it is only possible to be successful with meticulous "pre-sorting" in the field before the machine picks the fruit. We do pick by hand for certain varieties like Pinot Noir, our small 1- 2 acre blocks, or if we feel that we will not be able to machine pick clean fruit because of poor harvest weather.
I think the take home message is that there is more than one way to make great wine as we see with the diverse winemaking strategies utilized by winemakers statewide. The proof is in the bottle.

Adam -

Cheers to that. Lots of successful methods to make wine. We see that every day.

I look forward to tasting more of your wines.

Having assisted Adam for two vintages (2009/2010) while alternately working three others in Bordeaux, New Zealand, and South Africa, I know that he is as good as it gets re: winemaking intelligence. Anyone who claims to understand great Long Island wine while overlooking Osprey's to any degree is blissfully ignorant.

I visited Osprey's last year with my brother's family after having not been there in several years. My level of respect went up on that visit. I didn't "disrespect" Osprey's previously, but my opinion was neutral. No more.

And now, reading this, I look forward to more regular visits to try some of these wines. I expect my opinion to continue to rise.

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