TasteCamp East: Unfiltered. 650+ miles, 156 wines

This weekend I attended an unforgettable wine event in Long Island. Hosted by wine blogger role model Lenn Thompson of LENNDEVOURS.com, the goal of TasteCamp East was to get wine bloggers together to taste as many Long Island wines as possible and meet with winemakers to get an overall sense of New York’s third-best wine region. (Kidding, Lenn!) Without further ado, here is a list of EVERY SINGLE one the tasty beverages I had at Taste Camp, along with some comments and shoutouts (shouts out?). If the year isn’t there it’s because I didn’t write it down. Wines in bold were standout hits for me. And yes, I was spitting pretty much the whole day, hence my ability to (1) write things down and (2) stand up.

Day 1: Dinner with Long Island Merlot Alliance
Raphael Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Pellegrini Merlot 1993
Pellegrini Merlot 1994
Pellegrini Merlot 1997
Pellegrini Merlot 2001
Pellegrini Merlot 2005
Pellegrini Encore 1997 (bordeaux blend)
Sherwood House Merlot 2004
Sherwood House Merlot 2003
Sherwood House Merlot 2002
Sherwood House Merlot 2001
Sherwood House Merlot 2000
Sherwood House Bordeaux Blend (didn’t get the name)
Raphael Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Clovis Point Merlot 2004
Wölffer Estate Selection Merlot 2000
Sherwood House Cabernet Franc 2004
Pellegrini Finale (“iced” wine, non-vintage, multiple fermentations)
Long Island Merliance 2004
Long Island Merliance 2006
Long Island Merliance 2007
Freedom Run Pinot Noir
Catawba Ice Wine (unlabeled, courtesy of the Niagara wine fairy)

Day 2: Wineries

Early budbreak at Shinn Estate

Early budbreak at Shinn Estate

Roanoke Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Roanoke Merlot 2005
Roanoke Blend One 2004
Roanoke Cabernet Franc 2006 (interesting strawberry jam component on this one)
Roanoke Marco Tulio 2007 (juicy, great mouthfeel, not yet released)
Freedom Run Riesling
Paumonok Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2007 (partial spontaneous fermentation gives character)
Paumonok Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (tropical, fruit stripe gum, no herbaceousness)
Paumonok Chenin Blanc 2008 (little grassy but great fruit!)
Paumonok Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (not quite ripe to me)
Paumonok Assemblage 2004 (raisiny)
Paumonok Petit Verdot (my first varietal PV, funky, owner’s “Rhône” descriptor was right on)
Paumonok Assemblage 2007 (barrel tasting, kaPOW fruit, awesome!)
Paumonok Petit Verdot 2007 (barrel tasting, balanced for 14.2% alcohol)
Paumonok Merlot Tuttles Lane 2007 (barrel tasting, OAK)
Paumonok Dry Riesling 2008
Paumonok Semi-Dry Riesling 2008
Paumonok Late Harvest Riesling 2008 (all these rieslings lacked the acidity I craved, came up short on finish)

Delish lunch, also at Shinn, featuring Peconic Bay squid, our second dose of asparagus for the day, and duck to die for.

Delish lunch, also at Shinn, featuring Peconic Bay squid, our second dose of asparagus for the day, and duck to die for.

Macari Sauvignon Blanc Katherine’s Field 2008
Shinn Cabernet Franc 2007 (barrel sample, lots of fruit, earthy, nice acid)
Jamesport Pinot Noir Sarah Hill 2006
Shinn First Fruit Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Shinn nine barrels Merlot Reserve 2005
Macari Rosé (pear-like aromas)
Bouké Red 2007
Castello di Borghese Pinot Noir (intense, lots of tannin for a PN)
Castello di Borghese Merlot
Macari Bergen Road Meritage 2004
Martha Clara Five-O Red Blend 2005
Shinn six barrels Merlot Reserve 2002(Meaty with some green pepper, like a chile relleno)
Jamesport Cabernet Franc 2005 (espresso)
Palmer Select Reserve Merlot
Palmer Cabernet Franc 2000 (more coffee aromas)
Harbes Old Barn Merlot 2005 (talked to the winemaker for a while)
Sparkling Pointe Brut Seduction 2000 (huge marketing buzz, with tons of swag and press kit)
Sparkling Pointe Topaz Imperial 2004 (there is a lot of $$ behind this place)
Sparkling Pointe Brut 2004 (especially since they only make sparklers. lots of capital to start up)
Lieb Cellars White Merlot 2007
Palmer Sauvignon Blanc
Macari Sauvignon Blanc Block E Dessert Wine (reminded me of the time i put wine jelly in a used salsa jar. bad news!)
Castello di Borghese Chardonnay 2007 (not as much oak as other chardonnays of the day)
The Old Field Blanc de Noirs
The Old Field Mostly Stainless Chardonnay (10% oaked, still smoky/oaky for me. I noticed pretty high toast on the barrels we saw, medium +, toasted heads)
The Old Field Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Martha Clara Gewürztraminer (nice floral nose, practically no acid)
Martha Clara Riesling
Croteaux Rosé Merlot 181
Croteaux Rosé Melort 314
Croteaux Rosé Merlot 3 (with malolactic fermentation?! Croteaux only does rosé. Interesting.)
Croteaux tank sample (this will be put into Charmat tanks and made into bubbly)
Corey Creek Rosé (a lot of wineries make rosés because a lot do saignée on their reds!)
Corey Creek Gewürztraminer 2007 (finally, a little acid in an aromatic white, but not enough)
Bedell Gallery Chardonnay (oak bomb, but decent acid backup, but for $48, forget it!)
Bedell Cabernet Franc 2004
Bedell Musée 2006 (so-called “Best Red Wine in NY” at Governor’s cup. Eh, it was ok. Lots of coffee/chocolate)
Lenz Cuvée 2002 (sparkling, 5.5 years on tirage!)
Lenz Gewürztraminer 2008 (tank sample)
Lenz Gewürztraminer 2005 (again, low acid)
Lenz Chardonnay 2008 (tank sample, very acidic, obviously no ML yet)
Lenz Chardonnay 2005 (oaky, but the cheapest wine of the trip at $12!)
Lenz Blanc de Noir still wine (tank sample, to be made into bubbly)
Lenz Blanc de Noir press fraction (to be made into still wine)
Lenz Cabernet Sauvigon/Petit Verdot (barrel sample)
Lenz Merlot (barrel sample)
Lenz Cabernet/Merlot (barrel sample)
Lenz Estate Merlot (barrel sample)
Lenz Old Vines Merlot (barrel sample)
Lenz Cabernet Sauvigon 2002
Lenz Old Vines Merlot 2002
Lenz Old Vines Merlot 2001 (still got great structure, very nice)

Day 2: BYOB Dinner at Grand Cru Classes
Schloss Johannisberg Spätlese Trocken 2005
Leonard Oakes Frontenac 2007 (from Niagara, a little sweet, but balanced quite well!)
Travessia Vidal Blanc 2007 (from Massachusetts, brought by the magnanimous Dale Cruse, “food-friendly”, big acid)
Domaine Pavelot Savigny-le-Beaune 2002
Turtle Creek Syrah 2006 (from Mass. as well, stank of H2S, first faulted wine of the trip!)
R. López de Heredia Viño Gravonia Rioja 1999 (white Rioja, made in slightly oxidized style. Boy, did I look stupid when I leaned over to Robbin and said “Aw, man, I think this wine is oxidized!”)
JJ Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr 1999 Spätlese (very nice)
Benmarl Baco Noir 2007 (brought by the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess), who lives up to her name, and whose husband has an awesome Philly accent.
Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2005 (Wine Spectator 2008 wine of the year, 96 pts., it was big and pretty complex with good fruit. Wasn’t the right environment to write a full tasting note…)
Penns Woods Ameritage (brought by 1WineDude, nice to see PA represented, and actually pretty well. I will have to do some wine touring next time I get some time at home)
Applewoods Blackberry (A bit acidic, but nice)
Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc (This Virginia wine, brought by John Witherspoon of Anything Wine does him and Mr. Jefferson proud)
Les Pervenches 2007 Chardonnay-Seyval (brought from Québec by resident francophone and overall cool guy Rémy Charest of WineCase, whose palate I agreed with on a few occasions. He also uses a good wordpress theme on his blog)
Glorie Cabernet Franc
Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Napa, raisiny, pruney, unique)
Jared’s wine 2007 (Cabernet Franc made by the co-proprietor of Grand Cru Classes, a LI wine education place with a clever mame and very nice setup. Kudos to Jared and Tracy for hosting us! The wine was a good start, had a bit of volatile acidity, but not bad at all…)
Ledson Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil (got some ashtray on this one, which Bryan, our cabernet franc aficionado, informed me was varietally correct for this region. Okay…)
Jewell Towne Vineyards Alden Rosé (50% Massachusetts, 50% New Hampshire, 100% WTF. This wine had people talking. It looked like Kool-aid and drank like a watermelon jolly rancher. Weird stuff. Alden is one of Cornell’s hybrid grapes.)
Clarendon Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (brought by the lovely Erika Strum, who was a part of my first foot-in-mouth moment of the trip, in which I railed on junk wine science vis-a-vis decanters and Riedel glasses and magnetic wine clips and clefs du vin… only to find out that her company sells all of those things.)
Donna Fugata Mille Notte
Altaïr 2003 (brought by Rob Bralow, our industry marketing representative and another cool dude.)
Tierce Riesling 2006 (Finger Lakes represent! This riesling is a cooperative project between Anthony Road, Fox Run, and Red Newt, and was likely brought by Melissa Dobson, my fun Finger Lakes companion.)
Baron de Oña Rioja Gran Reserva 1999 (cool herbal component. thyme?)
Whitecliff Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay
Eveningside Chardonnay 2008 (Niagara, good to see some unoaked chardonnay for a change)
Freedom Run Chardonnay
Sheldrake Point Reserve Riesling 2006 (yum!)
Domaine Les Brome Late Harvest Vidal Blanc 2006
Château La Lagune Haut-Médoc 1998
Eagle Rare 10-year Bourbon (brought along by our Kentucky contingent, Michelle Lentz and Kevin Gerl. Fun people, and always good for an ’80s pop culture reference.)
Lamoreaux Landing T23 Cabernet Franc 2007 (all stainless steel aged, one of my offerings
Les Clos de Paulilles Vin Doux Naturel
Penns Woods Chardonnay Reserve
Penns Woods Cabernet Reserve 2005 (These PA wines are not to be messed with! Seriously impressed!)
Domaine des Quatre Vents Fleurie 2006
Sonis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (made by our host, Lenn Thompson. How’d you end up with that much acidity in a 2007, man?!)
Anthony Road Martini-Reinhardt Selection Riesling 2007
Bloomer Creek Dry Riesling
Atwater Dry Riesling 2007 (my other one)

Day 3: More Wineries and Finale
Wölffer Estate Brut Blanc de Blanc 2005 (toasty, good way to start the day)
Wölffer Estate Chardonnay 2005 (oaky, again, but some fruit shining through, awesome golden color, rich creamy vanilla)
Wölffer Premier Cru Merlot 2000 (good fruit, balanced tannin, long finish)
Grapes of Roth Merlot 2002
Wölffer Premier Cru Merlot 2004 (my favorite LI merlot, had the acid backbone I was looking for [can you tell i like some acidity in my wine?] and long cocoa finish. Too bad it’s $100 a bottle!)
Wölffer Christian’s Cuvée 2005
Wölffer Claletto (Amarone-style cabernet sauvignon, very pruney/raisiny, but also very tannic!)
Wölffer 2007 Late Harvest “Ice” Chardonnay 2007
Wölffer Descencia Botrytis Chardonnay 2005 (calls to mind Sauternes, hasn’t quite come together yet)
Channing Daughters Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Channing Daughters Tocai Friulano 2007
Channing Daughters Vino Bianco 2007
Channing Daughters Mosaico 2007
Channing Daughters Scuttlehole Chardonnay 2007 (all stainless steel, bit of an oxidized component on the nose. cool stuff.)
Channing Daughters L’enfant Sauvage 2007 (the opposite end of the spectrum. lots of oak and full malolactic fermentation Nick Gorevic, next to me, had a win with “corn on the cob”.)
Channing Daughters Meditazione 2007 (I reviewed 2006 Meditazione here)
Channing Daughters Envelope 2007 (another skin-fermented white)
Channing Daughters Rosato Cabernet Franc 2008 (spicy and sweet-smelling despite being bone dry)
Channing Daughters Rosato Merlot 2008
Channing Daughters Rosato Cabernet Sauvigon 2008
Channing Daughters Blaufränkisch 2007
Channing Daughters Sculpture Garden 2007
Channing Daughters Over and Over Variation 2 (the story is a bit more interesting than the wine, you can see it here [all the way at the bottom])
Channing Daughters Sylvanus 2007
Southampton Publick House Maybock
Southampton Publick House Altbier

Lyle was NOT a fan of the Frontenac, and I don’t remember what the genuine Tasters A & B from smellslikegrape, the prolific Passionate Foodie, or Diane [sorry I dropped your dress in the driveway] brought, but it was definitely great meeting you all. I am sure we’ll be in touch.  Full distillation of the events to follow in a future post.


The light balance in this photo doesn't do it justice. My tongue was BLACK.

Published in: on 4 May 2009 at 10:24 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. No worries dude! It’s refreshing to hear an honest opinion. We’re already working on the blender idea. Seriously.

  2. I suppose you Cornell ivy league-er keg buying flag waiving choir singing NCAA class 2A rooting bucks down there have a chemical description for ashtray?

    Anyway nice list, either all that wine gave me a sore throat or I have swine flu.

  3. Tom, great meeting you. Thanks for coming down and for lending your brain to the discussions.

    And thank you for being the only one, I think anyway, who wrote down the name of every wine that entered your mouth during the weekend.

    Hope to see you in July when I’m in the area…and of course at next year’s edition of TasteCamp!

  4. Yeah, thanks for writing down every single wine–I’m going to have to link back to this as a reference…Oh, and we brought that atrocious rose–glad to be of service. 😉

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