Monday, January 09, 2017

Sparkling Pointe - The Bubbly Star of the North Fork (NY)

So, while on Long Island for the holidays, I finally made it over to Sparkling Pointe, the one winery on the North Fork dedicated to sparkling wine. Without question, it was instantly among my favorite new spots! I love sparkling wine (who doesn't?) and visiting a sparkling wine house is always a special event. It was elegant yet casual, roomy and enjoyable. Oh, yeah, and the wines were wonderful! 

From their website: Tom and Cynthia Rosicki first met at a debutante ball at the Waldorf Astoria. Weeks later, with a bottle of Champagne they toasted their first date. As residents and lovers of Long Island’s North Fork, Tom and Cynthia witnessed the birth and growth of North Fork wine development, and they wanted to be part of it. In 2001 they paid a visit to Steve Mudd, the pre-eminent vineyard developer and manager, but the time was not yet right for them. A year later while Tom and Cynthia were having breakfast in a Southold Diner, Steve walked in, and persuaded them to acquire land for a vineyard. Steve drew a map on the back of a napkin, showing the relative scarcity of North Fork land, and told them to get moving if they wanted to have a vineyard.

They looked at property all that day to no avail, and decided to buy some Champagne from Showcase Wines in Southold. Corinne, the owner of Showcase, opened a new brand of Champagne that she was carrying for them to taste. As they were standing at the counter, Corinne exclaimed, “Here comes Champagne George!” George walked in and Corinne poured him a tall flute. As the four bubbly devotees chatted, Tom mentioned to George that he and Cynthia had been looking at property for a vineyard. George replied that his brother-in-law was just about to put a parcel up for sale, a nursery on the North Road – across the street from Steve Mudd. George made a phone call, and Tom and Cynthia met the owner, walked the property, negotiated a price, and put down a binder that afternoon.

A year later, after the ground had been prepared by Steve, he asked Tom and Cynthia what kind of wine they wanted to produce. They looked at each other with sparkles in their eyes. They both answered at the same time, “Champagne!” Steve replied that there was only one winemaker for this project, Gilles Martin, a talented and international winemaker, who had previously worked with a major French Champagne House.

Gilles Martin

Giles Martin is one of my favorite winemakers on the island.

Again, from the website: With 20 years of national and international experience, an accomplished scientific background and a distinctive artistic talent, award winning winemaker Gilles Martin blends in his wine creations the classic refinements of old world tradition with the adventurous passion of new world innovation.

Born at the gates of the Champagne region, Gilles headed to the South of France in the Languedoc wine region to obtain an engineering degree in biology and food sciences as well as a prestigious Masters of Oenology from the University of Montpellier. His 1986 Master thesis on the technology of wine ultra-filtration won national acclaim and a first prize, awarded in person, by former France president Jacques Chirac.

I had four favorites from my tasting. You can read the notes yourself. They will enlarge.

The first was the Methode Chapenoise Brut. Simple, elegant, straight forward, eminently drinkable. Classic sparkling white wine (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and an addition of reserve wine) in the Champagne tradition. Yeast, green apple, honey suckle, with a lovely, dry, creamy finish! Excellent! A real crowd pleaser!

The Blanc de Blanc 2011 was a little bigger and bolder in flavor. 100% Chardonnay with big ripe apple and pear and tropical fruits abounding, lovely notes of apricot and kiwi couched in cobbler. Lovely, fresh pastry like notes, with a lovely, dry ending. Beautiful!

Brut Seduction 2006, this wine sat on the lees for almost 8 years. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this elegant, bug sparkling wine is a wonderful sparkling wine, no matter what region it comes from. This is a true, quality sparkling white wine, poised to make any occasion special. It's tailor made for fine caviar, domestic or imported. Absoutely fabulous! I served this to a very snooty crowd during the holidays, and all were disappointed it ran out so quickly!

The Cuvee Carnaval NV is a lovely blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (and a touch of reserve wine) priced affordably, and meant for celebrations. Any holiday is always more festive with some sparkling wine, and this is the one you can buy to pour all around! Easy drinking, with notes of green apple and honeydew melon, and nice bright acidity and plenty of effervescence this wine will be sure to impress!

Hats off to Giles Martin and Tom and Cynthia Rosicki!!! Sparkling Pointe is the bubbly star of the North Fork!