When I go out to the wineries out East I have my favorites. But I go back to try all of the others as well. I know that vintages change, owners change, and wine makers change so I go back to see how the new wines are going, and besides, it would be boring to go to the same wineries all the time.
I started my wine tour at Palmer Vineyards located at 108 Sound Avenue in Aquebogue. Palmer is one of the founding fathers of the industry established in the ’80s. He was one of the first guys to push Long Inland wines outside the region. He got American Airlines to carry his wine. I have to admit I’ve been a little disappointed in Palmer’s wines the last few years but I always go back to try the new vintages.
Wine making duties have been taken over by Spanish-born winemaker Miguel Marting. Today I started with their Barrel fermented flight. Three white wines that see a good amount of oak. The 2010 Pinot Blanc was medium gold with a nose of pineapple and ripe peaches with creamy fruit and firm acids and oak on the finish. The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc had a very dark gold color with a petrol, oily nose. It wasn’t as ripe as the color suggested and was dry with tight fruit. The 2009 Reserve Chardonnay was dark gold with a nose of butterscotch and was ripe and buttery with toasty fruit and tongue tighting tannin on the finish. These were all big, ripe wines.
The last couple of wines were some of the most exciting wines I’ve tried on the Island for a while. The 2011 Albarino is very limited in production and is served in a 500ml bottle . I believe that Palmer is the only winery growing this Spanish varietal on Long Island. It was light gold with a clean citrus nose, moderate fruit with a clean and crisp finish. Nice wine that was completely different from the wines in the flight I had earlier. Another wine that has a small production and served in the 500ml bottle format was the 2011 Aromatico. A blend of Muscat Canelli and Malvasia, a couple of grape varietals that you don’t see often out East, the wine was light gold with a big perfume of ripe peaches and tasted much drier than the nose would lead you to believe. It had some nice orange peel notes on the crisp finish. Very unique wines and well done and they used decent glasses too.
I next stopped at Osprey’s Dominion located at 44075 Main Road. One of the off the radar wineries, I had some nice juice this afternoon. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was dark with warm dark plum and camphor on the nose, dusty fruit with some astringency on the finish. They opened one of their library wines to taste, the 2000 Cabernet Franc, it was medium red to dark in color with a nose of smoky dried herbs, tight silky fruit with a firm long finish. Very nice, it was from a just opened bottle would have liked to air it out for a few minutes. I tried their award-winning 2009 Pinot Noir. Light red to dark, unfiltered so some cloudiness in the glass, it had a nose of cinnamon and black cherry with chewy fruit and a nice balanced finish, it was a nice glass of wine.