Loose Tasting Notes from Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — July 18, 2019


Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard 2016 “Blue Roan” Chambourcin ($30*)
Chocolate-covered dried cranberry and black cherry on the nose with just a little curry-like funk. Fresher and less oaky on the palate with cherry/cranberry and a tingle of fresh acidity. Lighter bodied. Bit pricey for what it is. 86pts.

Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard 2017 “Perlino” Vidal ($25*)
Pears, peaches and a little lime zest create a fruity nose. Lighter body with fruit flavors — peach, pear and green melon — and fresh, grapefruit-y acidity. Simple, but a definite pleaser. 87pts.


Bowers Harbor 2013 “2896” Brut Rose ($45*)
Nose starts with red cherry and crabapple before a subtle yeastiness emerges. Nice combination of red berry fruits and nutty autolytic notes. Great acidity. Earthy note on the finish. 87pts.

Fenn Valley Vineyards NV Premier Cuvee ($24*)
Made with chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Richer style. Nose is toasty and yeasty with some yellow apple. Dry but quite ripe on the palate, there is a nice mix of apple and white cherry. Distinctly peachy note on the doughy finish. 87pts.

New Jersey

Beneduce Vineyards 2016 “Tuxedo” White Pinot Noir ($35*)
Quiet nose shows some vanilla cream and earthiness but not a lot of fruit. Nicely balanced on the palate with great texture/mouthfeel. Creamy on the mid-palate with just enough focus on the finish. Still not a lot of fruit here though. Some apple/pear with a nutty note. 87pts.

Four JG’s 2015 Cabernet Franc ($19*)
Smells quite underripe with bell pepper and grass overwhelming light black cherry and blackberry aromas. Similarly underripe on the palate. Medium bodied and bitter. Very green. 80pts.

White Horse Vineyards 2017 Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (NA*)
Typical East Coast barrel-fermented chardonnay aromas. Clearly quality oak. Apple and pineapple aromas with vanilla and spice. Medium body with really good balance. Bit fruitier than the nose but with the same toasty, spicy edge. Good not great. 86pts.

New York

Barry Family Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc ($26*)
Slightly brambly edge to a pure red cherry nose. Juicy and light-bodied with candied cherry but not a lot of cabernet franc character. Fresh, low-tannin style. 85pts.

Buttonwood Grove 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30*)
Oak and cherry on the nose with quite a bit of underripe character. Thin palate with cherry cola, bitter oak, vanilla and cut grass. 78pts.

Buttonwood Grove 2016 Chardonnay ($20*)
Oaky. Very little fruit aroma with sawdust and vanilla leading. Palate is much nicer, though fruit seems green and underripe. Buttery edge. Good acidity. 83pts.

Domaine Le Seurre 2014 Riesling Dry Cuvee Classique ($22*)
Floral nose with green citrus and subtle notes of talc and lime zest. Bright and still quite fresh with concentrated apple and lime – and an interesting distinct note of orange marmalade. Good balance. 88pts.

Element Wines 2013 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir ($36*)
Black licorice and balsamic vinegar dominate the nose with less intense aromas of red cherry and herbs. Nice intensity on the mid-palate but some VA. Soft, supple texture to go with cherry cola and mulch-y flavors. Lacks freshness and verve, though it is a bit older. 85pts.

Glenora Vineyards 2017 Select Harvest Riesling ($25*)
Golden Delcious apple and peach on the nose with a drizzle of wildflower honey. Juicy fruit qualities — more peach and apple — are joined by exotic notes of jasmine. Enough acidity to balance some residual sugar, but not a lot of focus or cut. Showy style. 87pts.

Macari Vineyards 2018 “Early Wine” Chardonnay ($22)
Nose is all green apple and grapefruit with a background note of citrus blossom. Lemon-lime and green apple combine on a slightly sweet palate that finishes nearly dry. 88pts.

Mazza Wines 2016 Merlot ($18*)
Merlot with 9% noiret, 3% petit verdot, 3% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon. Red berries on the nose are layered with vanilla, dried herbs and sweet tobacco. Cherry and cranberry fruit flavors with some slightly darker fruits there too. Lower-oak style. Tobacco-y notes are very forward. Very short finish. 84pts.

Raphael 2017 First Label “Virgin Berry” Riesling ($27*)
Lime and honeysuckle lead the nose with some jasmine and dried apricot. Very light body. Dry, with juicy acids. Floral over fruity with some white grapefruit and white pepper. 86pts.

Southold Farm + Cellar 2016 “Time of Our Lives” Lagrein ($28)
Savory nose. Black pepper, leather, balsamic with dried blueberry fruit and a hint of citronella. Medium body with a dry, leathery finish. Juicy acidity keeps the brooding leather and cured meat savoriness fresh. 87pts.

Wild Arc Farm 2017 Cabernet Franc Rose ($25)
Yeasty, nutty aromas with cherry and a little residual CO2 at the edges. Not a lot of flavor here on a slightly spritz-y palate. Cherry candy and some tropical overtones. Not super fresh, so the CO2 is welcome. 84pts.


Nimble Hill Winery 2016 Gruner Veltliner ($13*)
Timid nose of lemon-lime soda and a little melon. Citrusy and fresh, but not a lot of varietal character. Great texture with a minerally finish but lacking in much gruner quality. 86pts.

Penns Woods 2016 Pinot Noir ($30*)
Toasty oak dominates the nose with Tootsie Roll, faint red berries and spice box. Less overtly oaky on the palate where a nice blend of red fruits, spice and earth redeem this wine. Silky tannins and a bit of acidity. 87pts.

South Shore Wine Co. 2017 Gruner Veltliner ($15*)
Intense pineapple aromas are accented by notes of peach and peppery spice. Light-medium body, the palate brings more of the same. Not super nervy, but not flabby either. Lacks a bit of focus. 85pts.

Vox Vineti 2017 “Discatus” Rose ($30*)
55% barbera, 45% cabernet sauvignon. Delicate nose with some red berries, cinnamon spice and dried flowers. Good balance, but a bit short on the finish. Mostly red berries with a subtle earthiness along with pink grapefruit on that finish. Not a great value. 86pts.

Vox Vineti 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ($30*)
Citrus, green apple and hay aromas (and a little SO2) on the nose. Lighter bodied, but not watery. Nice passionfruit and citrus flavor with well-integrated acidity. Not super-crisp, but not soft or flabby either. Solid but probably overpriced. 87pts.

Rhode Island

Greenvale Vineyards 2017 Chardonnay ($18*)
Fresh, fruity apple and pear with a light oak footprint that shows as some vanilla and roasted nuts. Medium-bodied and fresh there is a purity here to the fruit. Simple but delicious with balanced oak. 88pts.

Newport Vineyards 2017 Dry Rose ($21*)
Strawberry, dried herbs and white pepper aromas lead into a dry, very fresh palate with straightforward strawberry flavors and a little dried herb. Acid is a bit disjointed. 85pts.

Newport Vineyards 2017 Gewurztraminer ($22*)
Very floral on the nose — rose petal driven. Some citrus oil. Mostly orange. The brisk palate shows candied ginger and orange peel to go with a lot of rose petal. Solid but seems a bit tame for gewurzt. 86pts.

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