Wolffer Estate Fatalis Fatum 2011


I’ve had a life that’s full

Everyone’s been good to me

So fire up that fiddle boy

and give me one last drink

when the sun comes up I will leave without a fight

the world is mine tonight!

This is a song called “One Last Drink” (a concept I struggle to get my head around), by an Irish band called  “Enter the Haggis.”  My daughter says it reminds her of me, and I would say it is a fairly accurate description of my life!  My Life is full; in general I have a blast. I travel, I meet interesting people, I read great books, drink good wine, eat great food, I see and understand stuff that is going on around me I believe far more accurately than most.  For the most part, life comes under a heading of “it is what it is,” and I accept that because I know I can’t change a thing!

Everyone is generally good to me, hell some are so good as to get me great wine to drink, and others are at least kind enough to tell me about it.  Case in point: today’s wine from Wolffer Estate on Long Island.  This wine is courtesy of Jessica, the lovely and talented Josephine’s daughter, and her son-in-law, Matt, who took a trip to Montauk and while there visited Wolffer Estate.

Christian Wolffer had already enjoyed a full life with a career that included investment banking, venture capital, real estate, agriculture and entertainment parks.  His weekend retreat on the Island started off as a state-of-the-art horse park–the wine Fatalis Fatum is named after one of his famous horses–and grew to include 55 acres of vineyards when he purchased Sagpond Vineyards in 1978.  The winery name was changed to Wolffer Estates in 1998, but the vineyard is still called Sagpond.  In total, the estate is 170 acres; not too bad for a weekend home.  Christian passed away in 2008, but his legacy lives on in his wines.

The winemaker at Wolffer Estate is Roman Roth, a German by birth but a world traveler by choice, and a hell of a wine maker by vocation.  The vineyard is managed by Richard Pisacano.  Together they makes some very sophisticated and polished wines.  Taste them and see if you don’t agree these wines can stand next to any in the world and not be ashamed.

Fatalis Fatum is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 17%, Merlot 44,5%, Cabernet Franc 32%, Malbec 6% and Petit Verdot 0.5%.  Really, 0.5%?  The label is very interesting, almost all white, but if you look at it for a bit the horse’s face slowly reveals itself.  I know nothing about jumping horses, steeple chase I think they call it, but Fatalis Fatum was a champion.  And so is the wine.

The color was crystal red.  The tasting notes say brick red, but it would have to be one very new brick!  One breath and you know you are drinking a Cabernet, the aroma is that distinctive.  Again, compared against the noses of the professionals, who note aromas of blackberries, figs and sandalwood, all I got was the distinct scent of Cabernet Sauvignon.  The flavor was great: black cherries and prunes, very chewy, and with nice, soft tannins.  You could taste the European influence of the terroir and winemaker.  The Fatalis Fatum was very fruit-forward but more in the Bordeaux tradition than California. The finish was long, with hints of chocolate and leather.  It was a great glass of wine.


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