Monday, September 21, 2009

Paumanok Assemblage 2004 - Wow!


As you know by now, I do not race out to review the most recent vintage. Rather, I tend to like older wines. However, Sunday was a nice day to try out something a little different - Paumanok Assemblage 2004.

Now, it was a beautiful day throughout the Hudson Valley. Wanna know how know that? because I was forced to run errands that took me from the north end of the Valley to just below the mid point. I spent hours riding around in a truck, picking up fruit lugs (those large plastic trays that are used for harvesting small fruits - mostly berry fruits - raspberries, blueberries, grapes, currents, etc.). I left the house about 8:30 a.m. and returned around 3:30 in the afternoon, having to miss most of the 1pm football games.

Unfortunately, I fared little better on the second set of 4pm games. I missed most of them too!

Upon my return, there were farm chores to perform. I am no longer a consumer driven suburbanite. I am now a Jeffersonian agrarian hero....at least in my own mind. Although, I wished I weren't this past Sunday.

It was gorgeous outside. The hilly roads of the valley are bursting with farm markets sporting pumpkin's and hay bales. You can see in the forests the beginning of change in the colors of the trees. The air is cold and crisp in the morning, and you need a robe or fleece when you come down for your morning coffee.

So it wasn't all awful, between lifting hundreds of fruit totes up and down, preparing for the fall harvest.

So it was with great glee, when I came inside, with the idea of catching at least a half of football, with the blue crisp day behind me, when I smelled the most amazing smells from the kitchen

Dominique had planned a fabulous dinner. She made a Vichyssoise a classic French Potato Leek soup. And then we had a pork roast studded with garlic, homemade apple compote, and steamed Brussels sprouts with butter and salt and pepper. For this I needed something special. Enter Paumanok.

Here are the winery's notes on the wine:
2004 ASSEMBLAGE WINEMAKER NOTES...The summer of 2004 was long and hot. This resulted in clean, unblemished, very ripe fruit. Thanks to meticulous and exhaustive (four passes) fruit-thinning, the grapes reached optimum ripeness. Average yields were 1.75 to 2 tons per acre. The grapes were sent through the crusher-destemmer with the rollers set wide apart to retain a larger number of whole berries. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks after 3 days of cold soaking. Pump overs were done with splashing of the free run and then gently irrigating the cap. This method insures that only the softest tannins are extracted. After the fermentation was complete, the free run was drained into oak barrels. The must was pressed and, after clarification, was also moved to oak barrels. The malolactic fermentation was completed in the barrels. After 14 months in the barrels the ASSEMBLAGE was bottled.

TASTING NOTES“…Massoud’s 2004 Assemblage seems to incorporate in its aromatic panoply the resin and blueberry typical of Petit Verdot...as well as licorice and diverse black fruits. Dense and intense on the palate, this full-bodied wine will...need at least another year before it shows its real personality. An impressively long, low-toned finish offers great promise.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - (88-91) - June 30, 2006

TECHNICAL INFORMATIONAppellation: North Fork of Long IslandVariety: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit VerdotCooperage: 70% new and older French oak barrels, 30% older American oak barrelsAlcohol: 13.0%pH: 3.42Total acidity: 6.6 g/lHarvest Dates: October 13 & 27, 2004Brix at Harvest: 22.0Residual Sugar: 0.2%Bottling Date: May 9, 2006Release Date: October 15, 2006Production: 575 cases

We poured the wine and swirled it in our glasses. The boys rolled their eyes and told my wife they didn't eat Brussels sprouts. We sighed, and tried to enjoy the moment for just a second. The wine was deep and dark. Nice berry fruits. A nice touch of black cherry. A long, smooth, dry finish. Lovely tannins. Great structure. And just enough pucker at the end.

An impressive, impressive wine. It has definitely improved with age. A very, very nice blend. Wow!