Wine is just amazing. Yes, I love the effects of sight, smell, taste, and yes, alcohol, but it’s so much more. Wine is history, it’s adventure, it’s travel, it’s people; wine has provided me so much happiness in the last two–going on three–years than anything else I can think of. Sometimes wine takes me to far off places, be it intellectually or physically. However, this week’s wine kept me local.
This week’s Griffy on Wine features a selection hailing from Long Island, Bridge Land Chardonnay. Long Island is anchored on its southwestern end to New York City. It’s shaped like a Lobster claw and thrusts out into the Atlantic at a northeastern angle roughly paralleling the Connecticut cost. At the end it splits into the claw, the North folk and the South folk. The North has been historically known for orchards, potato fields, and small farms. The South is better known for sand dunes, beaches and whaling ports. Today it’s known as the Hamptons, where the rich and famous people spend summer weekends.
Long Island is New York’s newest wine region. The wine boom hit here in the 1970’s and they’ve been off to the races ever since. The epicenter for this wine boom is the little hamlet of Cutchogue.
I use the term epicenter because the owners of Lieb Cellars were in California looking to buy a vineyard when an earthquake stuck. After the dust settled, Kathy looked at Mark and said, “When’s the next flight out of here!?” The rest is history.
Mark was an investment banker, and now owns a money-management firm. Kathy was a vice president at Salomon Brothers, and now runs the tasting room and marketing operations. The vineyard was purchased in 1993 and was originally planted by Steve Mudd, one of the premier growers on the East Coast. The Wine was made at PWG (Premium Wine Group), a custom winery, or more specifically a crush house, that sells no wines of its own but makes the wines of many of Long Island’s Vineyards.
The wine was pale straw yellow. On the nose you get wet stone with peach and hints of citrus, which for me was lemons. The taste was simply yummy; crisp when served cold around 48 degrees, which 20 minutes in the fridge before serving should accomplish. I got apple with lemon and lime, hints of mineral, and a very nice finish. I paired my bottle of Bridge Land with spicy Chinese food. Your drink by date is a surprising 2017. No oak here, aged for 6 months in stainless steel. The wine is a blend of: 94% Chardonnay, with a splash of 2% Pinot Blanc and 2% Merlot Blanc, and the Wine Maker is Russell Hearn. My bottle is from the Wall Street Wine club, but you should be able to find Lieb Cellars in your local wine shop.
It’s is said the Long Island is New York’s answer to Bordeaux. Cooled by the Atlantic, Long Island has a climate and soil type similar to Bordeaux. Lieb’s signature wine is a Pinot Blanc. They also make a notable Merlot Reserve, blending Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot.
Before I end I would like to give a heartfelt shout out to my Long Island family affectionately known as “Barbra’s Bunch.” I consider your guys brothers and sisters, and look forward to seeing you all in July.
This is my 99th post. Next week will be my 100th. I hope you have enjoyed the adventure as much as I have. If you have, may I ask you to share next weeks post with anyone you can think of that would enjoy it. I’m shooting for 100 views and could use some help. My record high was 68, I average 30 views per release. Thanks.