By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
I keep trying to retire the "Tasting Table" series, but my recently chaotic day job along with the all-consuming reality of an infant and a 5-year old have once again reminded me that no matter how obsessed I am with local wines, beers etc. and this website -- it's still a hobby. Add to that the fact that we'll be cutting over to our new site design and platform soon (maybe even next week) and Tasting Table remains a valuable tool. I'd like to start things off at the new site fresh. Tasting Table will not be a part of the new NYCR, but it will be here. At least one more time.
As always, these are wines that crossed the NYCR tasting table at some point recently but for one reason or another, will not be reviewed in standalone posts. The notes are more or less straight from my notebook.
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2009 Riewurz ($18): Blend of 60% gewurzt, 40% riesling. Gingery nose with rose petals, grapefruit and lime. Medium-light body that starts out very gewurzt-y but finish is all riesling. Good balance, but lacks a bit of focus. Unique and tasty. Long finish of apple, peach and lime.
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling ($16): Green apple, sweet lime and a little fennel frond on the nose. Feather light palate with more apple-lime flavors with notes of peach, fennel and slate. Good acidity and a dry finish that lingers gently.
Billsboro Winery 2010 Pinot Gris ($17): Grapefruit, citrus blossom and sweet apricot on a medium-light nose. Candied lemon leads the way with peach and light floral flavors beneath. Show a little of the RS (1.2%) on mid-palate but mostly dry on the finish. Good acidity but somewhat short finish.
Billsboro Winery 2010 Riesling ($16): Tangerine, grapefruit and pineapple on the nose. Grapefruit and orange peel flavors on the palate with slightly tropical hints. Shows RS (2.3%) but isn't cloying. Citrusy acidity brings balance. Somewhat showy style.
Grapes of Roth 2005 Merlot ($50): Nose of licorice, black cherry, leaf tobacco and pencil shavings/graphite. Ripe but not jammy, showing mixed cherry/cherry pit and tobacco flavors. Medium bodied with medium-intense tannins that are well integrated. Graphite/rocky finish that is long and shows a bit of dried herb as well.
Hudson-Chatham Winery 2010 Casscles Vineyard Reserve Baco Noir ($24): Sour cherry, cranberry, toasty oak, black pepper and vanilla on the nose. Medium body with lively acidity. Crunchy red fruit with black pepper and earth. Juice mid-palate but perhaps a bit short on the finish.
Hudson-Chatham Winery 2010 Field Stone Baco Noir ($30): Dark fruit -- black cherry and plum -- with mustard seed, violets and curry spice. Soft and lush with forward fruit, low tannins and just enough acidity. Plum, juicy and fruity. Long finish with subtle vanilla character.
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2010 Round Rock Riesling ($20): Minerally, slate-y nose with hints of yellow apple, lemon balm and tonic water. Generous palate with solid focus. Citrus and herbs mingle with pear and light peach flavors. Light RS brings weight. A bit more acidity would elevate.
Millbrook Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc ($18): Plum, blackberry, vanilla, dried leaves and brown spices on the nose. Medium body with plum and blackberry fruit flavors. Medium tannins that are well incorporated. Finish is of medium length with a hint of toasted, slightly bitter oak.
Millbrook Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir ($18): Nose of macerated strawberries, black cherry and button mushroom. Toasty, bitter oak a bit too heavy on top of dark, intense cherry flavors and big, dry tannins.
Millbrook Vineyards 2010 Tocai Friulano ($16): Clementines, persimmon, melon and peach aromas on a very fruity nose. Melange of peach, orange, lemon and pear on the palate. Fresh acidity that lingers. Simple and fruity, but also quite tasty.
Palaia Vineyards 2007 Traminette ($15): Very floral on the nose with slightly foxy aromas I don't usually find in traminette. One-note floral flavors with a bit of RS and not enough acidity. Ends up being soft and a bit watery on the finish.
Pindar Vineyards 2010 Viognier ($25): The nose shows just-cut melon, honeysuckle, spiced peach tea and subtle nuttiness. Sweet melon, spice and honeysuckle on the palate with a squirt of juicy citrus and spiced nuts. Very ripe on the mid-palate and the oak is restrained. Finish is a bit hot, but a note of hay is interesting at the end.
Raphael 2010 First Label Sauvignon Blanc ($26): Lemon, green apple and kiwi fruit aromas with honey and blanched almond notes. Fuller bodied and very citrusy. Bit lean on flavor but good balance. Slight saline quality to finish, that turns just a bit bitter.
Red Tail Ridge Winery 2010 Semi-Sweet Riesling ($14): Apricot -- fresh and dried -- with hints of mango and lime on the nose. Friendly style with gobs of sweet, juicy fruit -- apricot, peach and pineapple. Rich mid-palate but nice cut of acidity on the finish to bring just enough focus. Finish is pretty long.
Roanoke Vineyards 2010 "The Wild" Chardonnay ($20): Light vanilla over top of peach, apple and high-toned herbs. Medium body with butterscotch and ripe, juicy fruit. Medium-long finish with nice acidity and balance. Appetite-whetting finisih with pineapple and Asian pear notes.
Sherwood House Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay ($30): Pure pear aromas accented by vanilla, toasty oak and roasted hazelnuts. Round, opulent palate with nice, integrated acidity to keep it balanced. Pear and toffee flavors lead into more nuts and vanilla. Long finish with crisp apple and a bit of lemon zest at the very end.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($41): Blueberry and cassis aromas mingle with notes of smoked meat, chicory coffee and dark chocolate. Hefty and slightly hot (15.4%) on the palate, showing fruit that edges on over-ripe but holds on, with chocolate, coffee and oak notes. Ripe, slightly edgy tannins provide structure. After a few hours open, a pretty minty note emerges.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Haven ($36): 84% sauvignon blanc with 16% semillon. Complex nose of melon, fig, nutty oak, dried apricot and golden raisin. Rich and dry on the palate, it shows dried fruit and nut flavors layered on top of melon and peach. A bit more acidity would help enliven the palate.
Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2008 "Caya" Cabernet Franc ($40): Cherries, tobacco, sweet cedar and green peppercorn aromas lead into medium-light body with similar flavors with caramel added. Lacks fruit just a bit, but well made.
Zugibe Vineyards 2008 Dry Riesling ($13): Citrus and petrol aromas dominate. Not big on flavor -- again mostly citrus and petrol. Dry with very good acidity and focus. Right on the edge of the "citrus water" style of dry riesling.
Zugibe Vineyards 2009 Late Harvest Riesling ($22): Honey, botrytis and pineapple on the nose. Shows its RS, but finishes nearly dry. Very botrytis driven with secondary flavors of apricot, peach and pineapple. Long finish with orange and spice. Want a bit more acid and perhaps a bit mature for a 2009, but delicious.
Zugibe Vineyards 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling ($13): Nose shows citrus and apricot with hints of petrol. Palate is peachy but not intense, with light layers of lime and honey. Off-dry with good-no-great acidity.