Loose Tasting Notes from Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia — September 20, 2019


Brengman Brothers 2017 Two Long Cool Fizz ($21*)
Viognier, chenin blanc and muscat. Underripe peach, lemon and flowers on the nose lead into a palate that is quite dry and frothy in feel. Light body. Underripe peach and green papaya. A kind of weird, funkiness at the end distracts. Nice freshness. 84pts.

Brengman Brothers 2017 Two Long Cool Rose ($21*)
Gruner veltliner, pinot grigio and chambourcin. Unique nose of cranberry, lime and candied ginger with just a hint of white pepperm savory herb and grapefruit zest. Similar complex, unique flavors with gritty acidity. Fun and unique. 87pts.

Left Foot Charley 2013 “Gitali” Chenin Blanc Brut ($50*)
Floral with beeswax, pear and startfruit on the nose. Citrusy palate with more beeswax, but not super concentrated/flavorful. Some vanilla at the edges. Clean with fine bubbles and fresh acidity. Pricey. 87pts.

Petoskey Farms 2017 Petoskey White ($17*)
Mostly seyval blanc with a little vidal blanc blended in. Bruised apple seyvall-ness with hay and sweet citrus. Palate is semi-sweet but shows decent balance. Candied apple and citrus flavors, but lacks focus and verve. 84pts.

Petoskey Farms 2017 Petoskey Red ($19*)
Cassis and black cherry nose with some spice and toasted oak at the edges. Light body. Maybe too light as the oak is a bit too forward. Lacks body – bordering on thin. Nice fruit flavor beneath the oak along with purple flowers. 84pts.

Shady Lane Cellars 2016 Gewurztraminer ($20*)
Nose is dominated by nice lychee and ginger cookie notes with some tangerine in the back. Palate opens with orange peel and ginger. Though off-dry it’s balanced — just. Not very floral, but a nice expression of the grape. A bit more acidity would elevate it. 87pts.

Tabor Hill Winery NV “Grand Mark” Methode Champenoise ($39*)
Made with chardonnay and pinot noir. Classic notes of apple and hay along with some pears in syrup and a faint nuttiness. More autolytic on the palate. Somewhat simple and lacking a bit of fruit on the palate, but balanced and well done. 87pts.

New Jersey

Bellview Vineyards NV “Leo” White Blend ($15*)
Smells a bit like banana candy with peach and raw wood behind. Medium bodied. Lots of vanilla/oak with banana extract and some citrus in the background. Lime popsicle on the finish with oak. 82pts.

New York

Bedell Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc ($45*)
Fresh, fruity nose shows strawberry and red cherry with subtle floral overtones. Silky and almost pinot-esque on the palate, with straightforward but ripe red fruits and a long finish that turns just a bit earthy. 88pts.

Bedell Cellars 2015 Merlot ($30*)
There is an earthy edge to the red cherry and plum aromas here. The palate shows nice freshness with blueberry and cherry fruit made more complex by notes of cocoa bean and dark roast coffee. Long finish turns a bit earthy at the end. 88pts.

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2018 Dry Rose of Cabernet Franc ($18)
Somewhat neutral nose and on the palate. Light body with some gentle berry and herb qualities. Not as fresh as I’d like given the lack of much else going on. 83pts.

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2018 Dry Rose of Pinot Noir ($18)
Wild strawberries and earth on the nose with just a little orange peel. Silky mouthfeel delivers nice red berry fruit with that same earthy edge. Nice bit of cut and focus at the end. 88pts.

Forge Cellars 2017 Peach Orchard Dry Riesling ($28)
Very fruit-forward on the nose with intense mandarin orange and peach aromas backed by just a little wet stone minerality. Round and broad on the palate, the flavors are similar with peach and citrus peel and a subtle grassy edge. Good acidity, but not as textural as many Forge rieslings. Actually dry, which is nice. 88pts.

Glenora Vineyards 2016 Meritage ($30*)
Nice mix of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry on the nose with just a hint of bay leaf. Ripe berries burst on the palate with a nice bit of structure. Medium body. Not super complex or long, but a well-done Finger Lakes red blend. 87pts.

Hermann J. Wiemer 2018 Dry Rose ($20*)
Blend of pinot noir and cabernet franc. Nose smells of sweet red berries with a hint of brown sugar and rose petal. Not as dry as you might expect. Similar flavors with a buttery/butterscotch note on a palate that shows okay balance. 86pts.

Lieb Cellars 2017 Pinot Blanc ($22*)
Somewhat muted aromas of Meyer lemon, tangerine and pear. Softer than previous years. Nice citrus and pear flavors, but lacks energy and acidity. 84pts.

Nine-Four Wines 2016 Rhysling ($25*)
Slate and lime aromas are joined by wisps of peach pie. Feather light feel but not lacking flavor. Peach, lime and green apple. White pepper and grapefruit peek out on a medium-length finish. Dry finish. 88pts.

Wild Arc Farm 2017 Cabernet Franc ($27)
Intense, pure aromas of just-crushed blackberries and currents with sweet herb nuances. Fresh acidity frames more the same intense dark fruits and a bit of umami/meaty quality. Herbs in the back with a bit of a balsamic note. 89pts.

Wolffer Estate 2018 Rose ($18*)
Minerally pear and orange peel aromas are accented by notes of red cherry and golden apple. Nice acidity with a subtle creaminess on the mid-palate. Lacks a bit of concentration but that’s the vintage. 87pts.


Chaddsford Winery 2018 Artisan Series Petit Verdot ($28*)
Classic blueberry aromas are layers with blackberry, sage, bay leaf and dry earth. Medium bodied with nice concentration, the palate is a bit more herbal, but not in a bad way. Savory. Tannins are chewy with just a little raw oak in the background. 87pts.

Karmoor Estate 2018 Rose ($24*)
Almost equal blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Odd, unnatural pink color. Rhurbarb and dried herbs with just a little wild strawberry on the nose. Some sweetness that shines through because it’s a lower acid example. Leafy on the finish. 84pts.

Nimble Hill Winery 2017 Chardonnay ($20*)
Some yellow apple aromas that are a bit overwhelmed by toasty, buttery caramel ones. Juicy palate with decent balance between tree fruit and oak — though the oak is a bit raw rather than elegant. Caramel and wood on the finish. 83pts.

Nimble Hill Winery 2016 Chardonnay ($18*)
Lemons and red apple skins on the nose lead into a soft, simple palate that shows some RS, but is nicely balanced. Not interesting or nervy, but solid. 85pts.

Vynecrest Vineyards 2016 Chambourcin ($18*)
Cumin seed-laced black cherry and blackberry nose. Less funky on the palate. Soft and juicy with forward cherry fruit and a dusting of cocoa powder. 86pts.

Vynecrest Vineyards 2017 “Naked” Chardonnay ($16*)
A pure beam of pear on the nose with hints of pineapple and flowers in the background. Yellow apple and pear flavors dominate the juicy, medium-bodied palate. Not complex, but fresh and delicious with a long finish. 88pts.

Vynecrest Vineyards 2017 Riesling ($14*)
Floral nose with spiced pear and citrus leads into a lighter-bodied palate that shows delicate sweetness. Apple/pear and spice. Not flabby, but the finish is a bit soft, lacking verve. 85pts.

Rhode Island

Greenvale Vineyards 2012 “The Elms” Meritage ($30*)
Cocoa-dusted red fruit aromas are accented by hints of smoke and purple flowers. Medium-lighter style with a nice balance of fruit, spice and smoke. Nice savory edge. Lacks a bit of concentration. 87pts.


Iapetus 2016 “Subduction” Marquette ($25*)
Deep, dark black and blue fruits on the nose with dark chocolate, roast meat and black pepper. Higher ABV (15.2%) shows more than I’d like. Full flavored, but the fruit tastes over-ripe/raisined – almost appassimento. Low tannins. Showy but not sure it expresses Vermont terroir at all. Could be from anywhere. 85pts.


Rosemont of Virginia 2017 “Lineage” Chardonel ($22*)
Barrel fermented chardonel. Grapefruit and green melon on the nose with just the fainest hint of spice and oak. White pepper joins a melange of citrus and melon on the palate. Just a little butterscotch on the finish. Great acidity. 87pts.

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