Loose Tasting Notes from Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia — July 28, 2020


Carlson Vineyards NV NSFW White ($12*)
Smells like green apple Jolly Rancher with sweet citrus and honey. Light body that also lacks concentration. Fruity – apple, citrus, mango – with fresh acidity. Simple but refreshing. 85pts.

Qutori Wines 2017 Syrah ($30*)
Notes of tobacco and campfire lead the nose with ripe blueberry and some black pepper beneath. There is also just a little alcohol on the nose too. Oak forward palate in the form of spice, campfire and raw oak. Deep, dark, ripe fruit – blueberry and current – with some meaty salinity. Ripe, round tannins and a bit of acidity. Just too much oak. 86pts.

Snowy Peaks Winery 2016 Petite Sirah ($29*)
Deep, rich aromas of blueberry compote, black pepper, cassis and roasted fig. Bold and rich, the palate brings more blueberry compote and figs with layers of (well-balanced) smoke and spice. Both concentrated and lively thanks to fresh acidity. Meaty edge. 88pts.

The Storm Cellar 2018 Dry Riesling ($22*)
Very minerally on the nose with a little lime zest, citrus blossom and underripe peach. At 13.5% the alcohol is a bit present here. Peach with lime and fennel frond. Clean with decent acidity, but the alcohol is a bit present in the finish. 86pts.

The Storm Cellar 2018 Riesling ($20*)
Not huge on the nose (for riesling) some nectarine with floral and green apple candy undertones. Juicy with enough acidity to balance the light sweetness. All peaches and green apple. Long finish is a bit soft, but there is just enough acidity here. 87pts.


Petoskey Farms 2018 La Crescent ($23*)
The nose smells like canned pineapple and peaches drizzled with honey. Super fresh – fresh enough that it drinks almost dry despite 30g/l or residual sugar. More canned pineapple and peaches with a weird sour/bile note. 83pts.

Petoskey Farms 2018 Marquette Rose ($25*)
Strawberries, rhubarb, a crack of black pepper and even a little summer herb on the nose. Juicy palate with nice fruit and a definite savory, pizza herbs edge. Fresh acidity. A little pricey. 87pts.

New Jersey

William Heritage Winery 2019 Pet-Nat Chenin Blanc ($35*)
Aromas of lemon curd, tangerine, and underripe strawberry are accented by a yeasty/fermentation edge. Off-dry with medium-low carbonation, the palate is soft and gently yeasty with sweet citrus and canned pear flavors and a yeasty finish. 87pts.

New York

Agness Wine Cellars 2018 Semi-Dry Riesling ($16*)
Underripe peach and green apple nose with some floral notes. Drier than you might expect for something labeled “semi-dry” the palate shows nice tart apple and peach notes but not much else. Nice balance, but simple and not super distinctive. 86pts.

Johnson Estate Winery 2017 “Feelings Creek Reserve” Chambourcin ($14.50*)
Mixed cherry on the nose with Indian spices, chocolate and some dried herb. Bright red cherry fruit on a medium-light body palate, but some residual sweetness sticks out in a distracting way and giving it a candied feel. 84pts.

McCall Wines 2013 Merlot ($24*)
Herbal, almost-grassy, aromas to go with plums, blackberries, vanilla and tobacco. This slightly older vintage is defined more by secondary flavors like tobacco, herbs and earth. Lacks fruit. Mature, softening tannins. 85pts.

Osmote Wines 2019 DeChaunac ($18*)
The nose is a mix of blueberries, cranberries and plums along with a slightly stemmy spice note and some purple flowers. Juicy and gluggable, the black and blue fruit flavors are straight forward but also juicy and delicious. As it warms there is an interesting tomato paste note that brings a savory edge. 86pts

Suhru Wines 2019 Rose ($18*)
Peachy nose with layers of strawberries and passionfruit. Lighter in body and summery fresh. Red berries and some peach. Refreshing and satisfying fruity-style rose. 87pts.


Deerfoot Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc Reserve ($28)
Very earthy and herby on the nose, the palate is thin as well. There are some reds fruits on the palate, but it’s also very weedy and underripe. Nice spice tries to push through, but it can’t quite do it. 83pts.

Deerfoot Vineyards 2018 Chambourcin ($18*)
Black cherry and blueberry aromas with vanilla, caramel, and spice – almost cola-like on the nose. Fresh edging on tart/shrill, the palate is straightforward with black and blue fruit and subtle spice. Short finish. 85pts.


Debonné Vineyards 2016 Merlot ($15*)
Black and red cherry aromas along with red apple and a slightly grape-y note. Not a lot of varietal character. Mixed cherry and red apple skin with smokey oak. Not a lot of structure either. Lighter body. 83pts.

Rhode Island

Greenvale Vineyards 2018 Pinot Gris Ramato ($20*)
White tea and orange marmalade aromas mingle with those of pear and peach preserves. Similar flavors with a bit of peach and light tannins. Make sure you don’t over-chill this wine. This an entry-level type orange wine for those not familiar with the style. 87pts.


Paradise Springs 2015 Meritage ($49*)
Big burst of blueberries and black licorice on the nose with hints of vanilla, white pepper and significant new oak that comes through as campfire and charcoal. Medium body with a nice combination of tannin and acidity. More black and blue fruits but awfully heavy on the new oak. 87pts.

Rosemont of Virginia NV White Wine ($15*)
Fresh apples with some peachy and melon-y notes on the nose. Medium bodied and fruity up front with similar flavors. Balanced and fresh. Faint hit of vanilla as it warms. Simple but well-priced. 85pts.

* Review sample provided by the winery

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