By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
Established in 1839, Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, NY is America's oldest winery and one of the largest, best-known and widely distributed wineries in the Hudson Valley region.
The portfolio is large -- and among the most diverse in the state.
On one end they produce a Sherry-style wine flavored with Korean ginseng, a rose blended with strawberries and woodruff, and two different honey wines. On the end of the spectrum, you'll find some excellent sparkling wines and vinifera table wines that are always well-priced and often over-deliver.
Many of those vinifera wines are sourced from elsewhere in the state. The rieslings typically come from the Finger Lakes, while the Bordeaux varieties are mostly sourced from Long Island. And this Brotherhood Winery 2008 Pinot Noir ($15) was made from Niagara-grown fruit.
If you're going to buy fruit, it only makes sense to buy it from the successful places, right?
Pure and focused, this pinot offers aromas of pomegranates, cranberries and cherries with a subtle woodsy spiciness with very little overt oak or vanilla character.
The cran-cherry fruitiness carries over, though not overly intense, on the light-bodied palate, with subtle earthiness and smoke notes. On the second day open, a gentle floral quality emerges too, along with more noticeable spice.
With just a little silky tannin, this is a wine that mainly relies on fresh acidity for structure. It might be a bit too acidic for some, but I appreciate it. I like it, in fact.
Though somewhat straightforward, there is a purity here and a fresh balance that it easy to appreciate. In fact, there may be no better $15 pinot noir in New York.
(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)