Sunday, February 05, 2017

Palmer Vineyards - The Best Line-Up of White Wines I Have Ever Had! (NY)

I have not been to Palmer Vineyards in many years So it was a treat when fellow wine writer Lenn Thompson, Editor of the Cork Report, decided to join me on my weekend trek, and accompany me 

 Back in 1983 Robert Palmer, purchased a rolling parcel of gravelly farmland  on the North Fork of Long Island and cultivated his vineyard. Throughout the years, the vineyard and its wines have received numerous accolades. “I have to set the standards high” said Bob, “my name is on every bottle.”  According to the New York Times, "Robert Joseph Prignano — he adopted the name Palmer early in his business career — was born in Forest Hills, Queens, on July 16, 1934. He never attended college and, by his own recollection, was already working in advertising agencies by the time he was 14. Mr. Palmer rose to president and chief executive of Kelly Nason. During his tenure, 1970 to 1978, the agency’s billings increased to $140 million from $14 million, Adweek reported. In 1979, he started RJ Palmer, one of the first media-buying services for advertisers. He maintained that business as the Palmer Vineyard grew, selling it to a partner in the 1990s but remaining active in it until two years ago." He died in 2009. 

Palmer is a member of Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing. Palmer Vineyards is an estate winery meaning, They adhere to sustainable wine growing practices. Palmer Vineyards has more than 90 planted acres that yield 20+ varietals and produces in excess of 10,000 cases a year.

Miguel Martin is the winemaker at Palmer Vineyards. He has worked for some of the world’s most notable wine producers and has more than 20 years of winemaking experience. 

Evan Ducz is part of a whole new crew who are working hard to refit the vineyard's output, along with a new vineyard manager, and winemaker Miguel Martin. Evan was affable and entertaining as he poured for me and my fellow taster Lenn Thompson. Evan was excellent at presenting his own wines, as well as incredibly knowledgeable about other LI and NY wines as well.

Also evident were the whole makeover thing, new label program for Palmer Vineyards is being rolled out. The new, updated labels are awesome, and I liked them very very much. Much more current and hip. Very cool!

The first wine we tried was the Palmer Vineyards Aromatico 2015. This blend of Muscat and Malvasia explodes on the nose with big, fresh fruit.Gorgeous nose, big with lots of exotic tropical fruit like Asian pear, jasmine, honeysuckle, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, a whiff of lychee (?) and a slightly citrus ending makes this an immensely popular wine. Nice acidity, nice balance. Keeps the wine honest. Loved it! Exquisite!!! 

Viognier is one of my favorite winemaking grapes. The Palmer Vineyards Viognier 2015 was instantly one of my favorite east coast Viognier. A big, flowery nose of peach, tangierine, honeysuckle, as well as Lemon curd, kiwi, and honey and apricot all vie for your attention along with a hint of white pepper and citrus on the ending. Amazing. An absolutely lovely wine!

My tasting companion for the afternoon, wine writer and long time Long Island expert, Lenn Thompson, was companion and tour director for the day. We had a blast tasting all day together, and almost as much fun ripping each other during the course of the day.. Though we don;t always agree, I think he does have an excellent palate. 

The Palmer Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2015 is another aromatic white, with green apple, pineapple, allspice, and vanilla all coming through along on a tropical journey. Fantastic acidity as well, giving the wine back bone and structure. This wine won a Double Gold Medal at New York Wine & Food Classic. It is a wine that illustrates tremendous winemaking skills, and yet shows its power through its delicate balance.

Palmer Vineyards Steel Chardonnay 2015. Big nose of Green apple, melon, and citrus. Smells like fresh cut fruit! Big, bright, zesty wine, with a zippy acidity! Easy to drink, and super impressive.

The Palmer Vineyards Old Roots Chardonnay 2014 was completely in the other direction. This wine i made using chardonnay grapes from older vines and aged in French oak. A big wine from the opposite side of the stainless steel version. Big ripe red apple, and Bosc pear, with hints of tropical fruits, with notes caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. A classic barrel fermented/barrel aged Cchardonnay of the best and highest quality!

This Palmer Vineyard Riesling 2015 is a big, green-eyed monster, like taking a bite out of a fresh, Granny Smmith apple, with notes of peach, apricot, and honey, and a nice lime note to it as well. A hint of sweetness, but not a lot. Delicate, well balanced, and impressive.

Palmer Vineyard Brut Special Reserve (NV) is a lovely bone dry sparkling wine. Big notes of red and green apple, with a bready nose, and lemon and vanilla. A lovely sparkler that is perfect for toasting, a romantic evening, or perfect with food. An incredibly versatile wine, complex and layered, and easy to drink.

Also impressive were the two ports Reposso and Passion. Loved both equally. Big, thick, chewy wines, with a hint of sweetness. Not super sweet. Raisin-y with stewed strawberries, honey and apricot and peach in each, but both slightly different. Delicious!!!!

OK, so now I need to say, this was easily one of the best wine tastings of white wines I have ever experienced all from one producer all at the same time. It was an eye-opening, and stellar presentation of well balanced, well made, impressive wines. Miguel has really produced something special and unique, and must be exerienced by as many folks as possible. You must go and try thee wines!