I taste a lot of wine — as much wine from more East Coast regions as anyone, I’d guess.

For almost as long as I’ve been writing about wine, I’ve struggled with how to handle the wines that I don’t want to write a full review of for one reason or another. A lot of wine writers will only write about the wines they like or love or find interesting. I’ve always wanted to be more transparent and comprehensive than that, though.

With that in mind, I’m going to periodically (weekly? bi-weekly?) compile posts that offer short-form notes on the other wines that I’ve tasted that didn’t make it into a review or a story elsewhere. I have a bit of a backlog because I haven’t done this since moving to this site — but I’m also not going to drop them ALL into a single post either. I’ll work through them in the coming weeks.

New Jersey

Hawk Haven Vineyard 2016 Dry Rose ($19*)
Soft and berried with a subtle earthy streak. Disjointed acidity takes over. Not bad, but nothign special. 83 pts.

Hawk Haven Vineyard 2016 Gewurztraminer ($22*)
Subdued nose of lemony-citrus and honey. Very little varietal character. Very delicate palate as well. More lemon and subtle floral notes. Nice acidity and balance on an almost peachy finish.  84 pts.

Sharrott Winery 2016 Barrel Reserve Chardonnay ($25*)
Nice fruit with lightly caramelized toasty oak and a candy coating aroma. Oak isn’t overwhelming. Light body with some citrus and yellow apple, but comes off a bit dilute. Not brisk or concentrated 83 Pts.

White Horse Winery 2016 Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (N/A*)
Toasty nose with pineapple and roasted apples. Palate is very woody. Raw oak with not enough concentration. Vanilla and oak overwhelm. 82 pts.

New York

Agness Wine Cellars 2016 Semi-Dry Riesling ($16*)
Lemon and lime Skittles aromas and flavors with just a little peach and pineapple in the back. Flat and a little watery. Not flabby, but definitely on the lower end of acidity. Lime pith finish is a bit bitter. 83 pts.

Glenora Vineyards 2016 Pinot Blanc ($16*)
Nose of pears and yellow apples with a little citrus blossom and slightly toasty edges. Apple and melon on the palate with faint vanilla notes and a slightly creamy feel on the mid-palate. Lacks concentration, but nice fresh acidity. 85 pts.

Glenora Vineyards 2017 Dry Rose ($15*)
Very fruity on the nose — strawberry and red cherries — with a sweet cream nuance. Similarly fruity on a very dry palate. Just a little roundness on the mid-palate. Not super nervy, but shows enough balance to be refreshing. 85 pts.

Martha Clara Vineyards 2015 L’Orange (N/A*)
Entry-level orange wine for the masses (in a good way). Floral aromatics — rose petals and dried flowers. Dried apples and apricots. Shows tannin but isn’t harsh or funky/oxidized. Floral with apples and dried fruits. Nice saline minerality. Not long or complex though. 85 pts.


Galer Estate 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc (N/A*)
Underripe bordering on weedy with vanilla and spice over top that somewhat dominates the red berry qualities. Overwrought alate shows a lot of sweet vanilla, a melange of red fruits, tobacco and fresh herbs. Oak tannins are substantial. Too substantial. 82 pts.


Early Mountain Vineyards 2017 “Young Wine” Vidal Blanc ($22*)
Floral nose with some apricot and grapefruit. Palate is a little watery, but great acidity provides interest. Grapefruit and lemon flavors dominate. Fresh, but not super-interesting. 85 pts.

* Review sample provided by the winery

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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