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Monday, April 30, 2012

Bedell Cellars

Bedell has always been one of my favorite wineries here on Long Island.  I rarely drink local wines as they just aren’t my style in general, but there are a few wineries on Long Island whose wines I really enjoy.  Bedell is one of them.

What was especially exciting about this winery visit is that I was there with my lovely friend, Chef Marney White - the talented chef behind Marneycakes, Inc.  She brought two delicious cakes for us to taste with the wines - lemon cake with lemon filling, and spice cake with meltaway caramel icing and almond buttercream.

The first wine we tasted was the 2011 Bedell Viognier.  The wine is a straw color, 11% alcohol, and shows characteristics of citrus, orchard fruit, and some tropical fruit, lots of floral notes, and nice acidity, mineral characteristics, clean feel, and long finish.  The aromas are lovely and enticing and the flavors reflected those same characteristics.  This was a perfect start to our tasting.

Next was the 2010 Bedell Chardonnay, part barrel fermented and spent time aging in oak.  The wine is a yellow gold, 13% alcohol, and shows characteristics of baked apple, pear, a bit of peach, and some clean citrus notes, and some baking spice reflecting the oak contact.  The wine’s fruit/acid balance is nice, it’s smooth and clean, and the finish is long.  It’s a fairly substantial white and the oak is tastefully done.

I was happy finally to try a Bedell rose - this was the 2011 Bedell Taste Rose - it’s 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Syrah.  And 100% fun and delicious.  It’s a salmon pink color, 11.8% alcohol, and shows the characteristics I expected of a nice dry style rose - barely ripened strawberry, raspberry, a bit of herb, white blossom, and some mineral.  The aromas are light, and the flavors are crisp and fresh, leaving the palate feeling clean.  The wine was everything I hoped it would be.

I’m a big fan of Gewurztraminer so of course I was happy to try the 2010 Corey Creek Gewurtztraminer.  It’s a light golden color, 12% alcohol, and shows the characteristics I expected - aromas of lychee, tropical fruit, some candied orange, spice, and lots of floral notes.  The flavors reflected the aromas and emphasized the spiciness of the wine, and shows nice underlying acidity to follow the fruit.

The last white of course was the 2009 Bedell Gallery, a wonderful blend of 65% Chardonnay, 22% Sauvignon Blanc, and 13% Viognier.  It’s fairly pale golden, beautiful in the glass, 13.5% alcohol, and shows characteristics of some candied lemon, baked orchard fruit, apple, cooked peach, and baking spice.  It’s a big white wine with lots of presence but while it’s rich and smooth, it has a clean feel with bright acidity.

Then it was time for the reds - first was the 2010 Bedell Cabernet Franc.  Cabernet Franc isn’t really my style generally but I had no problem with this wine.  It’s a deep purple color with a youthful pinkish rim, 13% alcohol, and shows characteristics of both dark and red fruit but leaning toward dark fruit, both fresh and cooked fruit, a hint of pepper, soft spice, earthiness, and a clean feel, smooth, fairly light, and a nice finish.

The final wine of the tasting was Bedell’s fabulous Musee - this was the 2008 - a blend of 87% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot.  It’s a very dark red with an almost black core, and a rim turning ever so slightly brickish, but it’s still young, 13.9% alcohol, and has characteristics of macerated red fruit, some dark fruit, plenty of spice, oak, a “warm” feel, vanilla, and a hint of black pepper.  The balance of fruit/acidity/smooth tannin is really nice, and based on the tannin, the wine still appears youthful, and I think it’ll continue to age nicely.

After the tasting, Steve let Marney and me taste 2010 Musee and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - they’re really special.  The 2010 vintage on Long Island was certainly one to remember, and the wines are very promising.  I’m excited for the release of those wines - so far they’re wonderful!

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