Monday, June 03, 2013

Red Hook's Rebirth from the Sea 2009 Aptly Named, Marks the Return of the Small, Powerful Artisnal Brooklyn House (NY)

A friend came over and brought some libation as a companion for the fine dinner my wife and I had lovingly prepared for him. On the dining table nestled on our porch outside, alongside the big buns, ketchup and mustard, were such goodies as potato salad and coleslaw. And of course big fat juicy hamburgers. Me and my hungry family were eagerly awaiting his arrival. We started off with numerous brews to accompany our meal, local craft made beverages. The light outside started to die, but the conversation just started warming up.

Another beer? Nope, opined my fine guest….how about Red Hook Rebirth From the Sea.

As you will no doubt remember, Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn, was thought to have possibly have vanished from the face of the earth after hurricane Sandy and the accompanying sunami that devastated New York City. Return From the Se is one of the wines that was released just after Red Hook reopened.

“Despite losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in wine and equipment to Hurricane Sandy last year, Red Hook Winery reopened last Friday on Pier 41. How? The storm spared stocks of bottled wine stored in an off-site warehouse and, pulling from that inventory, the winery is now pouring and selling all 70 different wines (yes, 70) at their tasting bar -- from crisp Long Island Sauvignon Blanc to plush and plummy Macari Vineyard "Black and Blue" red,” reported Lauren Mowrey in “Red Hook Winery Makes a Triumphant Return” in the Village Voice.

Mark Snyder told Mowrey, "If we waited until we were done, we would never open. It won't be perfect, there is still a lot under construction, but we have wine, wine glasses, and water to clean them with. That's enough."

According to Mowrey, RHW sold off old wine-barrel staves repurposed as candle holders, and other crafts, in an attempt to avoid a total loss and not "throw away everything that Sandy touched." The team is also coordinating with other Brooklyn-based vendors to provide tasting-room treats: Additionally other Brooklyn-based artisanal companies lent a hand by coordinating tatsing-room retreats such as A.L.C. Italian Grocery, Saxelby Cheese, and Cacao Prieto.

In the meantime, RHW received numerous offers of grape juice and wine to bend and make new wines with. "Taking wine from someone and somewhere else fundamentally goes against what we are all about," admitted Snyder Mowrey, "but if we have to do it to remain open for the next few years, maybe that's better than closing completely." The idea was to blend those wines with some of the wiens that survived the hurricane. Such offerings carried names like "Hurricane Sandy" or "Pier 41 Napa" blend.

Rebirth From the Sea 2009 is a Bordeaux Styled blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker was Abe Schoener using native yeast fermentation. Macari Vineyardds on the North Fork of Long Island is an important source for the 2009 red blend, as well as other source such as Jamesport and One Woman Vineyard.

This is a lovely, powerful, mature, concentrated, and elegant wine. The wine is medium-to-dark red wine tinged with purple. The aromas were cherry, plumb, raspberry, and blackberry with hints of cassis, vanilla, and other spices. It would be a treat whether or not it had followed such a devastating incident, but having emerged from the morass as it has, it is a significant return for the small but powerful winery from Brooklyn, and signifies the house’s return to operation in a triumphant way. A wonderful wine. An accomplishment in any year.
An exciting moment in New York wine.
Read the Village Voice piece here: