Monthly Archives: November 2008

Cellarette in New York Times

I was in the middle of my favorite Saturday morning activity — watching the dogs play and reading the paper — when I scanned Howard G. Goldberg’s column, Long Island Vines, and saw my name. Goldberg, who also writes for Decanter magazine, has been covering Long Island wine for the Times for decades. His column appears bi-weekly in the Long Island section of the paper.

This week he wrote about how to check in with what’s going on in Long Island Wine Country through websites and blogs. And he mentioned cellarette!

He wrote:

Cellarette, a blog run by Eileen Duffy, a sommelier and part owner of Six Corners, a Westhampton Beach wine shop, merits a quick visit periodically to see which Island wines inspire her enthusiasm.

He first mentioned Lenn Thompson, who obviously gets up earlier than I do, and his blog LENNDEVOURS, as well as the website for the Long Island Wine Council and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

What a nice surprise and an honor. Thanks Howard.



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I tasted a bottle of the 2005 Clos des Blanchais Menetou-Salon from Domaine Henry Pellé, and I loved it.

It’s pale lemon with a white rim; clean medium+ intense developing aromas of white grapefruit, mineral and white peach. It’s dry with medium+ acid, medium alcohol (a refreshing 12.5 percent) and a lovely creamy body with the white grapefruit, peach and minerals again. It’s not super long, but coats the tongue.

Menetou-Salon is a region in the eastern Loire Valley just southwest of its more famous neighbors of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. It became an appellation in 1959. The wines are not as characterful — to use a Jancis word — but are usually good values, and can have more finesse than the bruising Sancerres.

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More Italian DOCs

I took a sip of this, knowing nothing about — except it’s Italian — and I immediately thought it was from the northeast and had refosco in it. Wrong.

The Val di Cornia DOC is in Tuscany and this wine is 80 percent sangiovese and 20 percent canaiolo nero.

I’ve opened the 2007 Gualdo del Re Eliseo Val di Cornia. It’s young, and the fruitiness is what reminded me of refosco:

a group of distinct red varieties cultivated in north east Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, most of them being related to the Slovenian Refošk (also called teran in Croatia) and producing very similar wines. The finest variety is known in Friuli as refosco dal pedunculo rosso.

Thank you Jancis.

So this is what really young sangiovese tastes like, but what about the canaiolo nero? Continue reading


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An Invitation

I got this in the mail, and by e-mail: an invitation to the WSET graduation ceremony in London. I wonder if anyone from the states is going. It’d be a good excuse to go to London, which I haven’t visited since 1986, but I don’t know anyone there.

A presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by wine and canapés. Sounds posh.


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Good, but …

I’m conflicted about this wine, everytime I take a sip I think “It’s not that good,” but then I want another. It’s not complex but earthy enough to be pleasing. The tannins are light but rough, which makes me think it could benefit from some time in the cellar, but then the acid is creeps back and I think it will just age, not evolve.

It’s good, but ..

The wine is the 2005 Ca’Marcanda Promis, made by Piedmont heavyweight Angelo Gaja (who I once saw from the side in a restaurant in Barbaresco) from vineyards in the Maremma, the winegrowing region in Tuscany on the Atlantic coast. Continue reading


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Nothing to do with wine

In honor of Veterans Day — my father, a USNA grad, fought in Vietnam — here’s a picture and a story from The New York Times that made me cry.


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Double whammy

sscn0389This wine hits both of the honig nails on the head. It tastes great after one night open on the counter (see 2daysperbottle), and it’s rated 89 points in the Wine Advocate (see the 89project).

It’s the 2007 Sportoletti Assisi Rosso, wherein Assisi Rosso is a DOC. One that does not appear in the Oxford Companion to Wine, the text for all WSET students. This wine has a record of 90-point reviews — in ’01, ’04, ’05 and ’06 — and it is delicious and affordable, priced under $20.

The DOC is centered around the Umbrian city of Assisi, famous for its saint, Francis, and applied to a rosso, a bianco, a rosato and a novello. The DOC calls for the rosso to be at least 50 to 70 percent sangiovese; this wine is 50 percent of that variety blended with 30 percent merlot and 20 percent cabernet sauvignon. Continue reading


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