Loose Tasting Notes from Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — November 11, 2019


Mackinaw Trail Winery 2018 Estate Grown Marquette Rose ($18*)
Simple nose shows ripe cherry and a hint of high-toned vanilla. Simple palate bursts with ripe red cherries with, again, that faint vanilla note. Off-dry but balanced by fresh acidity. 85pts.

Mackinaw Trail Winery 2018 Estate Selecte Harvest La Crescent ($18*)
Honeyed lemon aromas with a distinct lemon herb note on a bright nose. The honey qualities are even more forward on the palate with more of the same citrus flavors. Definitely sweet, but fairly well balanced. Fruit flavors turn a bit tropical on a medium-long finish. 86pts.


Cannon River Winery 2018 Family Reserve Rose (N/A*)
Unique nose of red raspberries and yellow apples with hints of toasty oak and vanilla. Nice mouthfeel with juicy acids that are rounded at the edges. Similar mix of red berries and apples on the palate, but a bit lacking in flavor, particularly on the mid-palate. Great balance and the oak is well-integrated. Gritty pear peeks through on the finish. More about texture than flavor. 87pts.

Cannon River Winery 2018 Sogn Blanc ($12*)
Blend of mostly edelweiss with some Louise Swenson and Prairie Star. Very floral on the nose with hints of peach and tropical fruit. Light body and quite sweet tasting. Peach and passionfruit. Lower acidity than you’d expect. Could use more. Floral finish. 83pts.

New Jersey

Bellview Winery 2017 Chardonnay ($18*)
Standard apple and vanilla aromas with just a little floral complexity. Lighter bodied and lacking concentration. Not over-oaked but maybe a little under-wined. 84pts.

Bellview Winery 2017 Gruner Veltliner ($17*)
The nose shows ripe notes of pineapple and lime, but also something that almost smells like raw kale. Brisk acidity and a slightly gritty texture on the medium-bodied palate. Apple and lime with summer herbs and just a few cracks of white pepper. 86pts.

William Heritage Winery 2015 Estate Reserve Brut Rose ($40*)
Very yeasty on the nose with underripe strawberries, pink grapefruit and just a little cherry. The fruit is a bit more berried on a fresh, lighter-bodied palate with persistent carbonation and a long, yeasty finish. 88pts.

New York

Bedell Cellars 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($30*)
Pretty nose of citrus and green melon with just a little fresh-cut hay and some sweet floral notes. Delicate fruit – mostly citrus – with a nice bit of minerality on a lean-but-fresh palate. Crisp edges but lacks a little concentration. 87pts.

Clovis Point NV Rose ($23*)
Sweet strawberries, candy coating (like from almonds) and rose petals on the nose. Not very fresh feeling. Not flabby, but a little lifeless. Flavors match the nose. Just okay and not much of a value. 84pts.

Fossenvue Winery 2018 Revisionist “Cuvee de Pression” Rose ($18*)
Blend of blaufrankisch, saperavi and cabernet franc. Timid nose offers only a little maraschino cherry, watermelon and strawberry. Medium body in a rounder, riper style. Red berries and brown sugar flavors. A hint of minty herb in the background. A bit of tannin too. Not a wimpy white wine stand-in. 87pts.

Hunt Country Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc Rose ($17*)
Sweet strawberry fruit aromas are accented by notes of licorice and dried leaves. There is some residual sweetness on the palate, but it’s balanced pretty well. Decent concentration and a long, dry finish. 86pts.

Liten Buffel 2017 De la terre, Pour la Wine Diva ($20*)
100% pinot grigio with obvious skin contact. Aromas of just-ripe strawberries drizzled with balsamic syrup and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts. Great texture and mouthfeel with more red berries, balsamic and nutty edges. Some cured meat umami but also some mouse. 86pts

McCall Wines 2018 “Marjorie’s” Rose ($18*)
The nose is a slightly pff-putting mix of strawberries, Smarties candy and banana candy. Big acidity feels disjointed. Flavors lean toward underripe blueberries and strawberries. Just very disjointed. 80pts.

Roanoke Vineyards 2018 Infinite Possibilities ($22)
Blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Yellow apple and melon aromas are accented by just a little lemongrass. Taste mostly like a well-made steel chardonnay. Apple and pear fruit with a bit of that lemongrass again. Medium-long finish turns just a bit peachy/tropical. 88pts.

Palmer Vineyards 2018 Rose ($20*)
Scents of strawberries, flowers and savory herbs. Ripe fruit on the palate balances the more savory side of things. Medium-lighter body. Watermelon joins the strawberry. 87pts.

Paumanok Vineyards 2018 Dry Rose ($19*)
Unique due to a dose of petit verdot. The flavors here lean toward cranberry and pomegranate with a savory, spicy edge and food-friendly structure. 88pts.

Paumanok Vineyards 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($25*)
Sweet lemons and grass along with hints of lemon verbena on the nose. Bright with lemony citrus flavors and super-fresh acidity. Simple but refreshing. Hints of those lemony herbs at the edges. Maybe a little RS? 87pts.

Raphael 2018 Rose of Pinot Noir ($20*)
Jammy with strawberry and raspberry fruit. Good-not-great acidity doesn’t quite balance some noticeable sweetness. Simple. 85pts.

Raphael 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($19*)
The nose offers a melange of citrus – grapefruit, tangerine and lemon – with subtle floral notes. Not concentrated and lacking flavor just a bit. Well-integrated acidity to go with light citrus flavors. Bit thin on the mid-palate as well. 84pts.

Sannino Vineyard 2018 Bianca Dolce White Merlot ($18*)
Peachy and citrusy on the nose with a faint yeasty/autolytic note. More red berried on the palate with decided sweetness — but not enough acidity for balance. Falls flat. Almost cloying. 82pts.

Sannino Vineyard 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($22*)
Citrusy with a faintly bruised apple quality on the nose. Very apple-y – almost cider-like – up front. Good acidity, but not complex. 84pts


Karamoor Estate 2018 Pinot Gris ($24*)
Smells almost like an apple-almond pastry. The acidity is fresh and the texture is great, but overall the palate lacks fruit flavor. It’s all frangipane and oak. 84pts.

Karamoor Estate 2018 Viognier ($32*)
Nutty and leesy with creamed yellow apple and faint honey aromas. Lees are a bit overwhelming on the palate. Nice spice, but it covers up the fruit character with only a little grapefruit and under-ripe peach poking through. Pricey. 83pts.


Early Mountain Vineyards 2018 “Young Wine” Chambourcin ($20*)
Made via whole cluster carbonic maceration, it’s uber-fresh and fruit-forward (with a melange of red berry fruit) with a mouthfeel that is defined more by punchy acidity than tannin (it takes a light chill beautifully). This isn’t a wine to ponder. It’s a wine to drink with enthusiasm with friends and family. 87pts.

* Review sample provided by the winery

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