For this column, I taste a lot of wines, some at tasting rooms, some at dinners and some as samples sent to me by local wineries. But while I can't give each one its own feature on the site, it doesn't mean I don't take my time tasting them and coming up with notes I hope you'll find useful in your own personal explorations of the local juice.
So this week, here's a selection from that notebook.
2007 Cabernet Franc
Look for dark aromas of stewed cherries and raspberries, herbal notes and hints of white pepper and clove. As for taste, flavors of bing cherry, chocolate, and tart raspberry, are followed by slightly stemmy, herbal flavors and crisp acidity. It's a soft, easy-drinking red.
2007 "Mirage" Red
Clean fruit aromas of currant, red plum, and cherry stem mix with very slight hints of wood smoke. On the palate, fruit takes over, with big cherry candy, some plum and smoke followed by and almost sweet, caramel finish. Definitely for fans of fruity wine. Very soft.
2004 Cabernet Franc
Cigar box aromas mingle with, wet cedar, rubber smoke, red currant, vanilla spice and black cherry on the nose. On the palate, flavors of dry, smoky cedar, cocoa powder, white pepper blend with dried raspberry and black cherry fruit. It has a long, herbal finish, supple tannins, and very slight green vegetal hints at the end. This is drinking quite well now, with the age allowing those oak and spice notes to stand out.
"Bouquet" 2009 Red Dessert Wine
Bouquet is a fortified wine, which means the partially fermented wine is spiked with grape spirits, which bumps up the alcohol level while rertaining sweetness. For the red, which is made of of 95 percent syrah, the aromas are are very fruity, with cherry and blackberry leading the nose. However, the scent of the alcohol is very strong, which can overpower the nuances. On the palate, again, the alcohol level makes the wine taste a bit more like a cherry brandy. Very fruity.
Bouke "Bouquet" 2009 White Dessert Wine
The winery's white version of this fortified wine is made up of 85 percent Gewurztraminer and and 15 percent chardonnay, and offers some orange blossom and apricot on the nose and palate. But like the red, the alcohol tends to overpower the flavors. Feels more like a spirit than a wine.
Due Uve 2009
Made from 68 percent merlot and 32 percent syrah, the wine shows off aromas of blackberry, black cherry, black currant, faint black pepper and a touch of wet earth. Flavors include blackberry, smoky vanilla, and dark, candied cherry, like the cherries you find in ice cream. The finish is long and tart, acidity is bright, with an coffee-cocoa finish mingling with earthy notes.
2009 Steel Fermented Chardonnay
Steel-fermeted chardonnay's should be crisp, and ths one fits the bill. Tropical aromas and key lime mix with grassy herbal notes, mineral nuances, floral notes and green apple. The palate is definitely steely and tart, with flavors nectarine, lemon, green apple and white grapefruit mixed with flinty undertones and floral notes on the finish. Great acid on this.
2006 Aquebogue Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Made from 100 percent estate-grown fruit, the wine shows aromas of blueberry cedar and plum jam, in addition to cola, herbal cherry, clean cedar and woodsy notes. On the palate, the rich mouthfeel shows off tart plum, dusty cocoa, tight oak and cedar, some charred caramel notes and currant. Chewy tannins stand out on the lean finish.
Martha Clara 2007 Syrah
Even in a warm year like 2007, local Syrah just doesn't get the same body as it does on warmer areas of the world, but the flavors can still be fun. In this wine, the nose shows off blackberry, soft leather hints, wet earth and prune, while the flavors include earth, bitter cocoa, blackberry, a touch of pepper, and a stony, dusty finish. Like a brighter, softer Cotes du Rhone.
From a good vintage, the wine shows aromas of black plum, lavender, blackberry, cocoa, and a touch of woodsy oak. On the palate, flavors include plum, an herbal mintiness, bakers chocolate and cedar. The finish is quick and herbal. Drinking well now, but could definitely age.