Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wine Tasting on my birthday - Roanoke and Shinn Estate Vineyards

January 15, 2011 - My Birthday.  A great excuse for some wine tasting on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island. 

Our first stop was Roanoke Vineyards (Sound Avenue - Riverhead, NY) to sign up for thier wine club.  I had decided on an earlier visit, that this was the perfect place for me to start to really absorb myself in Long Islands' fine wines.  So, my birthday present to myself starts with a box of three stellar wines ($95) :
- 2007 Blend One - winner of the 2009 Judgement of Riverhead
- 2009 Rhyme and Meter (barrel fermented Chardonnay)
- 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

I have tasted all three and look forward to enjoying each with a special meal.

Andrew and I spent a nice half hour sipping Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  We also tried a non-alcoholic white wine that was tasty.  Adam and Amanda were wonderful to talk with and learn from.  A nice extra was the birthday wishes from the friendly patrons.

The next stop was to Shinn Estate Vineyards (Oregon Road, Mattituck, NY).  I had learned from Facebook that Shinn was offering free tastings to locals from Riverhead and Southold Townships. Once a month, we can enjoy this freebie (as well as entering a Trivia Contest) during the winter months.

We were pleased to come in out of the cold into the cozy tasting room (above) and to be offered 3 free tastings (each).  This is my kind of promotion and I felt special.  The very friendly staff seamlessly helped us and the other patrons while being informative and welcoming. 
We happily sat and picked our 3 tastings from a list of what seems like all of their wine offerings.  That was impressive, in itself.  Andrew started with the 2007 Nemesis Pinot Noir ($32/btl).  He liked the full bodied quality.  I started with the 2009 Haven ($35).  I liked the sweet, smooth blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.  Then Andrew tried the 2007 Malbec ($35).  Pure Malbec from Long Island! Love it! Long legs but still smooth.  He liked it very much.  He smelled good Cianti and then was surprised by the smoothness.  I tried the 2007 Nine Barrels ($42).  It is a blend of 87% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec.  I was lucky enough to try the 2005 Nine Barrels at a charity event at Roanoke Vineyards - it was wonderful!  The 2007 was also wonderful.  What a treat to be able to taste this gem!  Then we were on to our final tastes.  Andrew chose the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.  He loved the smooth boldness. I tasted the eucalyptus and mint and it was good.  As you can tell, smoothness is a big thing for us.  My final taste was the 2007 "Brut" Sparkling.  What a nice refreshing way to end our pleasant visit.  I asked if there was a wine club. No, but they offer discounts and have special sales.  We bought a bottle of MORE Red Blend - on sale for $10.99, which we drank in our room at the Bayview Inn, later in the evening.  That story will be in my next blog.  Stay tuned.

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