LOOSE TASTING NOTES FROM Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, NEW YORK, AND VIRGINIA — OCTOBER 29, 2020

These near-weekly posts contain short reviews that come almost verbatim from my notebook with only limited editing for wines that – for one reason or another – won’t get standalone reviews on the site.


Loew Vineyards 2019 Barrel Aged Chardonnay ($22*)
Green apple and nutty lees on a straightforward nose. Fresh apple — mostly Granny Smith — and some pear. Fresh acidity. A little tart on the finish. Simple but very fresh. Well-integrated oak. 86pts.


Brengman Brothers 2019 Riesling Kabinett ($25*)
Huge grapefruit on the nose with hints of peach and honey. Juicy, off-dry style. Very grapefruit-driven with some leesy notes. Decent acidity but lacks focus. Simple. 85pts.


Les Bourgeois Vineyards NV Brut Sparkling ($30*)
Nose is sweet and baked apples with a hint of spice. Some residual sugar on the palate, but it is mostly balanced. Spiced apple and some pear flavors. Not very long or focused. 83pts.

Stone Hill Winery 2017 Chambourcin ($14*)
Black cherry and blueberry dipped in chocolate and dusted with cumin-y spice on the nose. Oak comes through as campfire ash. More chocolate-covered cherry on the palate. Oak and oak-born spice. Lower tannin, but nice acidity. Tootsie roll finish. 84pts.

New Jersey

William Heritage Winery 2018 Cabernet Franc ($28*)
Complex nose of black cherry, spice, autumn leaves, herbs, roasted poblano. Cherry and spice on the palate with vanilla cookie. Savory at the edges. Lower tannin. Soft but not flabby. 85pts.

William Heritage Winery 2019 “Blanc” ($18*)
Blend of chardonnay, semillon, viognier, sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc. Apple and citrus-driven nose with layers of flowers, apricot, melon and lemon balm. Nice balance between weight and freshness. Peachy with apple and floral hints. Subtle RS? 88pts.

William Heritage Winery 2019 Grenache Rose ($28*)
Scents of strawberry and lemon peel with a little gravel after the rain. Light body and much more citrusy on the palate with delicate strawberry and raspberry notes. Pithy on the finish. Fresh and refreshing. Straightforward but brisk. 88pts.

New York

Bedell Cellars 2019 Viognier ($30)
Big honeysuckle/floral aromas with melon, just-ripe peach and ocean breeze. Peachy palate with floral notes and melon — distinctly honeydew. Slightly slippery feel with a long, lightly saline finish. 89pts.

Fossenvue Winery 2019 Lemberger (19*)
Spiced red apple and strawberry on the nose with some toasted oak and plum behind. Light bodied with higher acidity. Spicy and earthy (dried leaves). Red raspberry and cranberry fruit. A little orange peel too. 85pts.

Fox Run Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc Lemberger ($22*)
60% cabernet franc and 40% blaufrankisch. Blackberry and black cherry aromas with notes of cola, licorice and toasty oak. More of the same on the medium-bodied palate but with the addition of just a little leaf tobacco and singed vanilla bean. 88pts.

Hosmer Winery 2017 Lemberger ($20*)
The red cherry and raspberry fruit is a little Ludens-esque and there is a distinct green peppercorn note on the nose too. Lighter body with a supple mouthfeel. Low tannin. Concentrated cherry flavor but not much else. Just a little peppery note. 86pts.

Idol Ridge Winery 2014 Carmine ($17*)
Over-ripe and over-oaked. Dried fruit, dill, vanilla and campfire smoke. Tastes like old/tired merlot but without the structure. Dill and vanilla overwhelm what little fruit is left. Soft. Toasty. With oak tannins. 82pts.

Idol Ridge Winery 2018 Saperavi ($28*)
Nose smells of figs, dried cherries and fresh red raspberries. Peppery syrah-like note too. Little VA? Dark fruits with hints of spice on a taut, young palate. Chocolate and violets on finish. 85pts.

Macari Vineyards 2019 Pinot Meunier ($30*)
Coppery reddish pink. Cherry and cherry skin aromas backed by earth, buttery caramel and a hint of roasted chestnuts. Beautiful texture/feel. Silky with slightly gritty acidity. Buttery edge to red berries. Fresh acidity and just a little tannin. Dried cranberry on the finish. 87pts.

Montezuma Winery 2019 Cabernet Franc ($19*)
Perfumed, higher-toned style. Plum, hibiscus, cherry candy and herbs on the nose. Cherry/Strawberry candy on the palate too, with some earthy, herby notes. Very fresh, with crunchy acidity and low tannins. 87pts.

Palmer Vineyards 2019 Albarino ($30*)
Starts with flowers and pear/pear skin on the nose before moving into melon and peach. Spice apple/pear with peach and white flowers. Nice concentration with fresh acidity. Riper style. Balanced but not as refreshing as some other vintages. 87pts.

The Lenz Winery 2015 Pinot Gris ($25)
Aromas of pineapple, citrus and apricot. Medium-fuller bodied. Tropical fruits and citrus. Creamy feel on mid-palate and well-balanced acidity. Slightly minerally finish. 90pts.


Rosemont of Virginia 2017 Merlot ($21*)
Ripe black and blue fruits with hints of nutty oak and licorice on the nose. Palate is medium-full with ripe cherry, earth and spice. Great structure and a long, nutty finish with a hint of clove. 89pts.

* Review sample provided by the winery

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