Loose Tasting Notes from Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont — June 8, 2018

“Loose Tasting Notes” (I really need to come up with a better name for these posts) is my way of compiling short-form tasting notes for wines that I’ve tasted that didn’t make it into a review or a story elsewhere — for one reason or another.


Four Daughters Vineyard 2016 “Frönk” ($20*)
Frontenac Gris and Blanc. Wild strawberry, honey and apples on the nose. Some sweetness, but plenty of acidity to balance. Maybe even too much. Light body with sweet-tart fruit — strawberry, melon and citrus. A little residual CO2. Unique, but not unpleasant.  84 pts.


Vermillion Valley Vineyards 2016 Gewurztraminer (N/A)
Spicy, floral nose with juicy pineapple fruit. Dry, with some nice concentration on the mid-palate, but also a bit too bitter — even for gewurzt. Very phenolic. 84 pts.

New Jersey

4 JG’s Vineyard 2015 Chambourcin Riserva ($25*)
Plummy nose with some nice gamay-like minerality, but the palate isn’t as appealing. Tootsie Roll and bitter oak cover up what is nice, bright fruit. Just too much oak. 82 pts. 

4 JG’s Vineyard NV Patriot Red ($19*)
Leathery nose with grilled plums and some blackberry. Medium-light body with a bit more overt oak on the palate. Solid red blend, but not distinctive. Tannins are a bit gritty. Could be from anywhere. 85 pts.

Beneduce Vineyard 2017 Three Windows White Riesling ($19*)
Timid, almost neutral nose that shows only a little citrus and blossom. Juicy acidity that is well incorporated, but overall it’s not very flavorful. Some yellow and green apple and lime zest. 84 pts.

Hawk Haven Vineyard 2016 Chardonnay ($20*)
Barrel fermented (60% neutral oak). Pear, citrus and just-ripe pineapple aromas with a little vanilla and toastiness. Medium body. Nice acidity and clean flavors of pineapple and citrus peel. Short finish, but not over-oaked at all. 86 pts.

William Heritage Winery 2017 Pinot Gris ($18*)
Not very aromatic, with some yellow apple and rainwater notes. Medium-light body with cantaloupe and sweet citrus. Gritty pear acidity. Medium finish. Solid. Unspectacular. 86 pts.

New York

Buttonwood Grove Vineyards 2017 Rosé ($15*)
Simple with red cherry and a leafy earthiness. Some weight and a similar cherry-earthy combination on the palate, but also some sweetness that isn’t quite balanced by good-not-great acidity. 84 pts.

Liten Buffel 2016 De la terre, pour la wine diva ($20*)
A unique expression of pinot gris in New York. Beeswax and Brazil nuts with dried pears and bruised peaches. Coats the mouth but is both concentrated and lithe at the same time. Overripe peach dominates. Opulent but not tiring. Some caramel. I’d prefer more acidity. 86 pts. 


Southold Farm + Cellar 2017 “Don’t Forget to Soar”  ($24)
Roussane with some albarino. Ripe, almost over-ripe melons, with spiced peach and honey. Little floral thing on the nose too. Palate shows layers of honey and melons — musk and honeydew. Lighter bodied, but still has some presence. Gritty pear finish. Not super nervy, but not quite flabby. 86 pts. 


Lincoln Peak Vineyard 2015 Farnsworth Red ($25*)
Black cherries and blueberries with distinct dried herb and black pepper qualities. Medium bodied and juicy — but turns a bit bitter at the end. Fruity and savory in nice balance. Tastes almost Italian in its rusticity. Short finish with a hint of tobacco. 85 pts.

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