I’ve been opening about two cases of wine per night for the past six days and, guess what, I wake up feeling like I have the arthritic hands of 70-year-old embroiderer. I’ve got to loosen my grip, or switch over entirely to screw cap. There’s another argument for alternative closures to cork.
Also, my schedule is drifting towards the go-to-bed-at 3 a.m. and wake-up-past-10. It’s a shame because the weather out here on the East End has been beautiful for the past week. Dry, cool at night and in the low 80s during the day. Perfect at this crucial stage of ripening.
Miguel Martin of Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue was in the restaurant on Thursday showing me four of his white from recent vintages. The 2006 Pinot Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay, and the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and the winery’s Select Reserve, a blend of chardonnay, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and gewurztraminer.
Palmer has two acres of pinot blanc with the familiar backstory that it was bought and planted in the belief that it was chardonnay. This wine, said Miguel, is 15 percent oak. It was pale lemon, clear with a rather muted floral, white fruit, spice nose. It has an oily texture with medium high acid and white peach and yellow apple flavors. It misses a little on the mid palate, but is long on the finish.
The chardonnay was too oaky and moderately buttery for my taste, with apples and cinnamon. And the sauvignon blanc was notable for its acid and its similarites to New Zealand sauvignon blanc, bright, grapefruit and grassy with a bit of a spritz.
The more I drink the Select Reserve, the more I like it. It’s a pale pale lemon with grass, apricots and spice on the nose and fresh citrus with a long finish on the palate. It good summer drinking wine and good food wine with is high acid and light body. It only has two percent gewurz, but it adds a spiciness. The wine is not yet listed and the website and Miguel did not bring me a price list.
2006 and 2007 are the first vintages at Palmer for Miguel, who has worked in Spain and California. These wines, however, show a more old-world style of good acid and pure fruit flavors.
It’s time for Palmer to update their packaging. The wines are fresh and modern, but the labels are too staid, and in a word, boring. Come up with a better name for the Select Reserve, something sexier.
This also reminds me of something I curse nearly everytime I unpack a case of Long Island wine. Please, please stop boxing up the wine upside down! It takes twice as long to unpack. If one opens the case using the taped side, the bottoms of the bottle are on top and harder to grab. And if one opens the box with the label right side up, the bottles are upside down.
It might have to do with Hauser Packaging, which everyone seems to use. Box up your wine for easy removal Long Island!