Wine Wednesdays – Northfork Edition

Mom came to visit last weekend and we had a great time exploring NYC but took the opportunity to get out and explore something new over the weekend (part 2 post to come!).  We ventured out to the Northfork of Long Island and made our way to a couple of wineries.  There was certainly no shortage of wineries to choose from, with over 35 vineyards for tasting and tours.  I did some research and decided on Shinn Estate and Lieb Cellars.  We spent all of 10 minutes at Shinn, the wines were undrinkable, the service cordial at best, and overall not a pleasant experience or a place that we wanted to linger.  
We moved on to Lieb Cellars which was a completely difference experience.  Our host Megan, a Midwest transplant living out in Greenport was friendly and inviting, walking us through their “White Flight” tasting while also pouring us tastes from other flights that she thought we might like.  We spent an hour or so in their beautiful tasting room.  My mom is a strict chardonnay drinker, but I’ve made it my job figure out what it is that she likes about chardonnay and try to introduce her to other varietals that she might like.  So far I’ve had success with certain Pinot Gris and Pinot Blancs.  Lieb had 2 chardonnays and 2 pinot blancs available for tasting, and she was pleasantly surprised with both!  

The standout and favorite for both of us was the 2010 10-Year Anniversary Pinot Blanc.  It showed the structure and richness of a Chardonnay but remained light and very easily drinkable.  Their 2011 Reserve Pinot Blanc was more similar to a Sauvignon Blanc, fermented entirely in stainless steel it had the varietal character of lemongrass and citrus, with a finish of crisp green apple. 
Anniversary Pinot Blanc vs. Reserve Pinot Blanc – Anniversary blend gets our vote!

 We finished with their 2011 Bridge Lane Chardonnay and their 2009 Reserve Chardonnay.  The Bridge Lane was crisp, clean, and light bodied, fermented entirely in stainless steel it retained the purity and true characteristics of a Chardonnay.  The 2009 Reserve was a blend of stainless steel and French oak barrel fermented fruit.  It was extremely oak forward and had a bolder, creamy mouth feel with hints of vanilla on the finish.  

Oaked vs. Unoaked Chardonnay – Unoaked wins!
We took home with us two bottles of the 10-Year Anniversary Pinot Blanc and ended up ordering another bottle while having dinner at The Frisky Oyster in Greenport later that night.  It’s nice to get out and learn more about a new and different wine region, and it was mother approved, bonus!!
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