Open At Last

 

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Finally, in mid June the government eased up on the restrictions placed on business and permitted the North Fork wineries to serve wines to the public in an outdoor setting. It’s a start. I took a drive out East to sit down among the vineyards to drink the first glass of wine I’ve had in public in several weeks.

 

Lenz Winery 38355 Rte 25, Peconic

One of the founding wineries on the North Fork, they pour a dependable glass of wine. 

2014 Sauvignon Blanc: They tell me this is the first vintage of this varietal for this long time winery.

Straw yellow in color, white flowers on the nose, crisp with subtle grassy and honeydew notes on the fruit. Nicely balanced, great first time effort. 

 

McCall Wines  22600 Main Road, Cutchogue

A working cattle ranch as well as a winery, there’s always a family member in the tasting room. 

2019 “Nicola” Sauvignon Blanc: Nicola is the name of the daughter of the owners who served me the wine this day. 

Light yellow in color, kiwi and honeydew melon on the nose, full fruit with lime notes on the fruit with moderate to low acids. 

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” One of three Pinot Noir they were pouring on this day. Opaque dark brick in color, tarry, red cherry and smoky pepper on the nose with red licorice, new leather and earth on the fruit with good acid on the finish. Nice balance. 

 

 

Sauvignon Blanc On Long Island

 

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Sauvignon Blanc is a white varietal and the parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s ancestral home is the Bordeaux region of France where (along with Semillon) used in Bordeaux whites. It’s also a major grape in the Loire with Sancerre and Pouilly Fume and as with most of the Bordeaux varietals, exported around the world.

Out on Long Island it plays second fiddle to Chardonnay which is the Queen of white wine out here. Most wineries out East grow and bottle a sauvignon blanc and since it’s rarely aged in oak, most versions of it are clean, crisp and herbaceous if it’s made well, if not the herbaceous notes can get robust.  I spent a Sunday afternoon in wine country sampling a few.

 

One Women Winery  5195 Old North Road, Southhold

A small winery off the main road with “Old World Roots on the North Fork”. Certified sustainable and owner/winemaker a Claudia Purita as the one women of the winery. They grow and bottle Gruner Vetliner which is not very common on the North Fork.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc: Light yellow with a greenish tint, rosemary on the nose with tight lime and green herb notes on the crisp finish.

 

Coffee Pot Cellars  31855 Route 25, Cutchogue

A small production winery with their tasting room on the main road and who are also beekeepers so there are always some honey product available at the tasting room. You’ll find Beasley the pug on guard duty.

2014 Sauvignon Blanc: Unusual to find a SB with this bottle age and it showed, ripe mango on the nose, tight, slate and tropical fruit notes with nice acidity on the finish.

 

Suhru Wines  28735 Main Road, Cutchogue

A family run winery established in 2008 whose goal is “to make the wines we most enjoy” with a new tasting house on the main road.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc: Very light yellow with greenish tints, closed nose with some funkiness, fresh light fruit with moderate acids.

 

Clovis Point Winery  1935 Main Road, Jamesport

A relative newcomer to the North Fork established in 2001 with 10 acres under vine, the tasting room is in a renovated potato barn. One of the few tasting rooms that use a proper wine glass.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc: Light yellow, mowed grass and honeydew melon on the nose, starts with melon fruit notes followed by lime tartness with good acidity.