Kick, sure. I wanted to use the word bender but that’s definitely less classy a title, isn’t it? But again Long Island wines are making my life a happier one. You know me, I can go on and on and on about how great the region and its wines are, and I have. Just check the archives…
The past few days are no exception. On Friday night I had the wonderful opportunity to pour some of my favorite North Fork wines — Paumanok and Sparkling Pointe — at a company tasting event (with one of the winemakers himself). It was easy to talk about them in depth with eager customers, given the amount of passion I feel for the region and its wines.
Then, when I arrived home I got a notice that my first club shipment from Anthony Nappa’s Winemakers studio had arrived. I will be going at lunchtime to pick that up and am already picturing popping open a Bordo or Anomoly later. Is it 5:30 yet?
And yesterday I continued by sharing with my family a Paumanok 2012 Chenin Blanc (which I got to try from the tank mid-fermentation last fall thanks to a special private tour) and a wonderful Lieb Cellars Cabernet Franc I picked up when on a visit out there last month. On that last visit I had the pleasure of meeting their head winemaker and we talked for hours about the craft and the joy of wine, how we ended up in the business and where we’d like to go. I ended up joining that club as well and look forward to their shipment. My regular share of the North Fork’s best is secure.
The 2012 Paumanok Chenin Blanc was crisp and refreshing with citrus and floral notes on the nose, and melon and grapefruit on the palate. It had a zippy but balanced acidity and medium body and finish. On this hot and sunny afternoon it was a perfect fit, sipped in the garden with some hors d’oeuvres. It is 100% Chenin Blanc and bottled with a screwcap to keep it fresh until its gone. It is a blend of three lots of Chenin and is made by slow cool fermentation in steel tanks to retain the acidity and bright fruit. It retails at $28. I have yet to have a Paumanok I didn’t love and there’s no exception here. Delicious.
The 2008 Lieb Cellars Reserve Cabernet Franc was delicious as well. I had it both with a fresh charcuterie tray at lunchtime in my parents’ sunny garden, as well as with my first BBQ of the season last night. It paired perfectly with the cold meat and the grilled burgers. It is ruby in color with notes of pepper, some perfume, toast and a little game on the nose. The palate carried over these aromas, with some cassis and wildflower hints. It’s structure was well-balanced in acidity and tannin and the finish was smooth. It retails at $26, and hopefully my first club case has a bit more of this, because I’m now all out! I tried many of their wines last month, and look forward to sharing my notes on more of them when they arrive at my door. Also to note is this vineyard is completely herbicide-free.
Something I’ve noticed about all the winemakers in this region that I’ve met (and there are at least 5) is how friendly, approachable and passionate they are about their wines. There is none of the pretentious wine-snobbery here that you’d find in other places, even with the stunning wines they are producing. It is so refreshing, and it is one of the reasons I am more and more entranced with the craft of wine-making and this region every time I visit. It’s inspiring.
You can get wines from both of these fine vineyards in many New York City restaurants and shops, as well as in their tasting rooms, which I of course recommend. They will treat you right. Also, you can order online at www.liebcellars.com or www.paumanok.com.