Tag Archives: hudson valley wine
How big a portfolio do you think this Hudson Valley winery has? What many people don’t know is that Millbrook Vineyard and Winery was John Dyson’s first winery and then his portfolio grew. Villa Pillo in Tuscany was their next addition and then in 1998 he purchased Williams Selyem.
On Saturday, November 16th you can taste the portfolio of wines all at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery. Yes, you will be able to taste some of the fantastic Pinot Noirs that come from Williams Selyem and a bit of Tuscany as well.
It’s a great event and you won’t want to miss it. The event runs from 12pm -5pm. It’s both informative and educational. For more information you can visit their website at http://www.millbrookwine.com/events-a-news
Here’s a slide show from a few years back when I attended the event. Enjoy!
Another year, another competition but this one was different.
Every year I contact the same judges. It’s kind of like a cult when you begin to judge a competition. So many of my judges came back this year. However, I was faced with a cancellation 4 days from the competition. So I sent a note out to my judges and Nicholas came through with a judge who is my equivalent in Connecticut. Renee Allan from the Wine Institute of New England. I can’t thank her enough for volunteering her time with all of us Saturday morning.
What was different this year? Let’s just say cucumbers. Remember back in June when I judged the Ultimate Wine Challenge? We were served cucumbers as palate cleansers. I thought this was amazing as it really worked for me and guess what I have in my garden….so I sliced a few cukes for the competition and I had some amazing results!
This 2013 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition had more Double Gold and Gold Medals than I have ever seen on the 5 years that I have been organizing it. I attribute it to the palate cleansing cucumbers! But really, I believe the quality of the wine & spirits produced in the Hudson Valley have increased tremendously and this proves it!
Another element to the competition was the Governor of New York. He was expected to attended the Hudson Valley Wine Festival and was slated to give out the award for the Best Hudson Valley Wine made with Hudson Valley fruit. This was all a part of his Taste NY Program. Well the Governor didn’t show up and the award was given out by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery for their Tocai Friulano Proprietor’s Special Reserve. So exciting for Hudson Valley!
It was a little stress full for me. I was given a table at the Governor’s reception to display the winning wines. So as we went along a bottle of the Double Gold and Gold Medal wines were being pulled. I was on the final rounds (best of) where the winning wines are decided by a vote of all 15 judges. During this time I had the festival coordinator calling me to see if the wines are ready, the Governor’s office texting me to find out the winning Hudson Valley wine and I was trying to get through the last most important rounds of the competition. Yes a little stressful but we got through it with great success.
Congratulations to all the wineries.
A couple of Saturdays ago I drove up to Tousey Winery for their Rose & Riesling Release Party. I had found out about the party when I was attending an event at Cru Club Wine Bar in Rhinebeck.
On this beautiful Saturday I set forth for the ride to Germantown to do some Rose and Riesling tasting.
We began the tasting with the 2012 Rebellion Rose that was 100% Blaufrankisch. Aromas of red berry and strawberry filled my glass. It was quite delightful! The palate was just bursting with bright red fruit.
Many of you may know that I have been trying to find a Rose that I like. I can tell you this is up there and I’ve personally been quite pleased with the Rose wines that Ben has been making.
Rebellion Rose retails for $16
Now we moved on to the Riesling wines. There were two, one dry and one semi-sweet.
Stone fruit filled the palate with slight minerality. I was really enjoying the taste of this wine when I noticed it was time for the next Riesling. This is a great summer Riesling.
This Riesling retails for $21 and is made from Estate Grown 100% Hudson Valley Riesling
The last wine tasted was the Semi-Sweet Riesling. These grapes were picked 3 weeks later than the dry Riesling grapes. They were left out there longer so that their sugar content would be a bit higher.
I didn’t find the aromas in this wine quite as strong as the dry Riesling. It was almost like the sweetness in the wine took away from the aroma. The wine had aromas of apricot and soft peach. Flavors of apricot filled my mouth and it had a nice creamy texture and didn’t show as much minerality as the dry Riesling.
I am a bit sensitive to sweetness levels in a wine and guessed the residual sugar was between 1.5% and 2%. Well I think Ben was quite surprised when I approached the subject because the residual sugar is 1.7%.
The wine isn’t overly sweet and was quite enjoyable. Would pair very well with a spicy seafood dish!
The Semi-Sweet Riesling retails for $19 and is made from Estate Grown 100% Hudson Valley Riesling.
|2009 Benmarl Baco (sorry for the lousy shot)|
The more I drink Baco the more I like it. The more it ages the better it gets.
This 2009 Baco had aromas of sour cherry, raspberry and a bit of smoke.
On the palate I enjoyed black raspberry, tart cherry, and tobacco. The wine was smooth heading towards the finish with a slight hint of spice.
If you are out wine tasting and purchase a Baco Noir, make sure you purchase at least two. One to drink now, one to age.
I’ve been collecting Cassis from the various producers in the Hudson Valley. I lined them all up and invite you to the tasting. To me Cassis is Cassis and should have certain aromas. Tastes do vary.
Just as I finished up the video my husband Paul walks in. I asked him if he would sit down and taste them on video and he declined but wanted to taste. So he did a blind tasting of the Cassis. I brought in each glass, one by one, got his take on the wine before revealing the producer. Paul being a winemaker himself (at a non Cassis producing winery) looks for different aspects in a wine. As I am critical on sugar, smell, overall taste and he is on acidity and balance. This shows how two people taste the same thing and like different producers in the end.
Just like I said, everyone has a different palate.
Here is his take:
Tousey Cassis - Way to good of a mouth feel for Cassis. Color a little off. After revealing that they sweeten it with honey he associated the mouth feel to the addition of honey. I should note here that Tousey produces the honey they use to sweeten the Cassis. Paul thought the wine smelled like plastic.
Glorie Cassis – High acid and unbalanced
Brookview Station Conductor’s Cassis – better balanced, nice fruit.
American Fruits Black Currant Cordial – decent fruit, higher acidity, long tart finish
Hudson Chatham Cassis - tart
Clinton Vineyards Cassis – Black licorice and coffee on nose. Good balance between sweet and acidity.
When I asked Paul what two bottles he would take out that evening he said American Fruits and Clinton Vineyards.
This is just to show you two peoples different views on a drink experience.
Saturday was the last class of Millbrook Vineyard & Winery’s Winegrowing Boot Camp. We took the vines from the cradle to the bottle and Saturday we proudly bottled our season’s hard work.
After the grapes were pressed the wine went into neutral oak pungents about 270 gallons and is fermented in those barrels. The wine went into the barrels after the grapes were pressed until 2 weeks ago. At that time the barrels were moved outside to cold stabilize the wine.
The pungents came back inside and the wine was racked into a tank. Then put into a portable plastic tank they use for small bottling. They bottled the first 84 cases that morning before the class came. Now it’s the time to bottle and label the classes wine.
The wine gets pumped out of the tank, goes through two cartridge filters to fine the wine. Then into the bottle, it gets corked and put into the boxes for sale.
We were all responsible for catching our bottles as they came down the line and packing them in the cases.
As the first graduating class of Millbrook’s Winegrowing Boot Camp I can say I learned lots, had a great time participating and made new friends. I am very thankful it was a great growing season!
Linda Pierro and Robert Bedford founders of Hudson Valley Wine Magazine made a guest appearance on iWine Radio.
They talk about why they started Hudson Valley Wine Magazine and the history of the Hudson River Valley AVA.
Did you know that Hudson River Valley AVA was the 12th AVA in United States. Acknowledged after Napa but before Sonoma.
They talk about the wineries, breweries, and distilleries of the Hudson Valley.
I spent one morning this winter with Chris Stewart the winemaker at Clinton Vineyards. He was performing the last step of the classic methode champenois or traditional method of sparkling wine production of their Seyval Naturel.
Before my visit the wine has gone through primary fermentation, malolactic fermentation, liqueur de triage was added and the second fermentation began. Now a few weeks later it’s time for the wine to be disgorged and the dosage is added and the bottle is topped off with additional champagne lost during disgoring.
Chris is a one man show and does all these processes by hand one case at a time, one bottle at a time.
The neck of the bottle is frozen and we begin with Chris opening the bottle and the dead yeast cells go flying out. I’ll let him explain the rest of the process.
So often I get caught up with the blogging that I don’t take time to reflect and look at the year in review. I am humbled to know that many of you seek out some of the noted selections I review and enjoy the wine. I want to thank Tyler Philp for inspiring me to dig deep into the past year and come up with my most memorable moments and wines.
I got to travel this year to Napa, Oregon,Virginia New Jersey wine country. Napa is Napa and I was only up there for one day as I was visiting some friends. I really enjoyed my time in Oregon and Virginia learning about the region and their wines and hanging out with fellow bloggers. I can not say one was better than the other, but learning about the wineries their history and what brought the owners or winemakers into wine industry, the grapes of the region and tasting the wine was truly enjoyable.
I have seen such growth over the years in the South Jersey wine industry. When I began going to Cape May in the ’80′s there weren’t many wineries. Now there are 6 wineries and 2 breweries in the area. I hope to report on them more, as I will be down in the region more frequently this year.
This year I had three wonderful tasting experiences in NYC. The most fun was had at the Rutini lunch where it was very laid back. Almost to laid back as I was disgusted to see a distributor rep attend the lunch in shorts as if he was stopping in on his way to the beach. A little professionalism goes a long way buddy. I have become a fan of Rutini and both their Rutini and Trumpeter brands are well worth the purchase. Both are reasonably priced and the Torrontes is a great summer sipper.
I was so honored to be invited to the Barons De Rothschild Champagne launch. What an honor it was to meet and have lunch with Philippe. Their Champagnes….outstanding!
Great wines to come in the Hudson Valley with the addition of Nostrano Vineyards! Nic and Kayleigh should have their first vintage out in 2013. I am looking forward to tasting it! So nice to see new, young winemakers getting involved in the local wine industry! My interview and tour with them shows great commitment to region.
Most improved Hudson Valley winery goes to Brimstone Hill Vineyards. I have reviewed various wines this year from Brimstone and was very impressed at the improved quality of winemaking. Kudos to Dick.
I am going to end with a post to look forward to in 2013. Ever purchase a wine on futures? We did back in 2006 in Santa Barbara and slowly drank the Syrah. There was a point in time that we didn’t think the Syrah was tasting to good. In fact it got real sweet. Opened the last bottle a few weeks ago and……….
Have a wonderful New Year everyone and Thank You for your encouragement and for hanging out here with me.
Every year Millbrook Vineyards & Winery has a Grand Portfolio Tasting where they pull out all the stops and you get to taste wines from all their holdings throughout the world. Yes, I said world! Not only do they own Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in the Hudson Valley, but they own Williams Selyem Winery, Pebble Ridge & Vista Verde Vineyards all in California and Villa Pillo in Italy.
The wines with the Pebble Ridge label are all made by John. They bring the grapes across country in refrigerated trucks to the Millbrook site where the winemaking begins.
This fall there was the option at Grand Portfolio Tasting to attended the “Passion for Pinot” which I jumped on. What was really nice for me was to be able to taste the clones straight, without being blended to see what their true characters are.
Millbrook’s winemaker John Graziano led the seminar where he spoke about all the different clones, what is grown at Millbrook, the California Heritage clones and what climate change means for the region. Millbrook grows all Dijon Clones – 115, 667 & 777.
A little info on the clones grown at Millbrook and what they bring to the wine:
Clone 115 is a tight cluster grapes with a strong purplish color. It has notable tannins and a consistent aromatic profile of black cherries, lether and roses, some anise, boysenberries and blueberries. It is valued for its balance and aromatic profile.
Clone 667 is a big tight compact cluster with strong color, hi-tone and quality aromas. You’ll find dark cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and spice with thick but soft tannins. In cooler climates or sites you will find hints of allspice, nutmeg and clove.
Clone 777 yields small compact clusters with small berries and intense color. Very aromatic with complex black fruit flavors with hints of leather, tobacco and earthy notes. It has the tannin structure to age.
We tasted 5 clones – Canada, Swan, Clone A, 667 and a mix of clones. Below are my short observations of the tasting.
Canada (A French clone” imported via Canada and Millbrook Winery. Planted at John Dyson’s vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Vista Verde in the Central Coast)- Aromas of sour cherry and was tart
Swan (propagated by Joseph Swan in the Russian River Valley) – nose of chocolate, cocoa. Tasted like unsweetened chocolate
Clone A – a little pine on the nose with raspberry and red berry. Tasted like tart raspberry juice
Clone 667 – aromas of chocolate covered cherries and raspberry. Palate was soft and full of raspberry with a chocolate finish.
Clone Mix I thought was tasteless.
Now it was time to taste the finish products.
2011 Millbrook NYS Pinot Noir- Made with Pommard, 115,667,777. I found an earthy nose, with bright raspberry and some tea. The palate was a bit acidic with raspberry and red fruit flavors and a hint of coffee on the finish.
2010 Millbrook Proprietor’s Special Reserve NYS Pinot Noir – Blend of Pommard, 1l5, 667,777.Aromas of mushroom and cran-raspberry leads to a palate of cranberry and a hint of mushroom.
2010 Millbrook Block Five East, Hudson River Region Pinot Noir -Blend of 1l15, 667,777 all from the Millbrook Vineyards. A bit of mushroom and earth on the nose with a silky, sexy palate showing flavors of cran-raspberry and red fruits.
2010 Pebble Ridge Central Coast, CA Pinot Noir - Blended with clones Bruce, Pommard, Calera, 115, 667. I found this wine woody with red fruit. Very fruit driven.
2010 Millbrook Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, Central Coast, CA- Blended with Bruce, Pommard, Calera, 1l5 & 667 clones – Aromas of earth, raspberry and blackberry filled the glass. The palate was filled with blackberry and black raspberry and a tart raspberry finish
2009 Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir – A blend of Pommard, Calera, Canada, 115, 777,828,943 clones. Aromas of toasty oak, soft delicate red fruit, blackberry and some spice filled the glass. The palate is intense with blackberry, cranberry and cherry with some wet tobacco notes on the finish.
When the class was over it was time to enter the Grand Portfolio Tasting where of course I got to taste a selection of Williams Selyem wines. I met some really nice people hanging at this table and was there for quite a while savoring the wine and chatting.
As most things are at Millbrook, it was a very well done event on a beautiful fall day. Below you will find video from the Pinot Seminar. Enjoy.
Passion for Pinotl – Part 1″The Clones”