Monday, November 02, 2009

Ursula Massoud at Union Square and Paumanok Festival Red 2007

I was walking through Union Square Farmers Market on Monday afternoon, during my lunch hour. One of my favorite things to do since I was an assistant back in the late 1980s.

And I saw Ursula Massoud (wife of Charles) who is co-owner of Paumanok Vineyards of Long Island. The last time I had seen her, Dominique and I had attended Wine Camp in 2005. Also in our group was Peter Becraft and his lovely wife Cary (of Cary Mo Chocolate). Peter is now the Assistant Winemaker at Anthony Road and Dominique and I have our own vineyard in the Hudson Valley.

I instantly walked over and began chatting with Ursula. She was as warm, and vibrant, and as outgoing as ever. And of course, she entreated me to try some of her wines. She didn't need to twist my arm.

The first wine I tried was Paumanok 2007 Festival Red. This is a lightly oaked, bright red blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Lots of bright and black cherry upfront, A lovely mouth feel, and a nice finish, with a nice balance of acid and fruit. And a smooth, dry finish.

The second wine I tried was the Paumanok 2006 Merlot. This is a bigger, deeper, darker wine. A more mature wine, with a nice amount of oak. Good balance between fruit, and acid, and tannin. A slight scent of vanilla. Dried cherries, and some dark berries. Very nice, long lingering finish. Excellent.

We chatted some more in the bright light of the autumn afternoon. She could not have been more pleasant. She and her husband Charles, and their family, have turned Paumanok into one of the premiere vineyards, and helped to firmly establish the region for so many years. The industry certainly owns them alot.

Dominique and I saw her and Charles hold forth almost five years ago, and they made us believe in New York state wines. They have achieved something remarkable. And she was as encouraging, when she learned that we own a vineyard, as she was when she was selling wine. I was very glad to have seen her. I bought my bottle and was on my way.

But she is one of those people that make this a most exciting and pleasant business.