Host Carlo DeVito has a fantastic tasting with Billy Wilson and Nancy Parker Wilson at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. A stone's throw from Newport, and an ferry from the North Fork. Some incredible quality wines from this small producer. Great stuff.
Nancy Parker Wilson comes as close as you possibly can to eats coast winemaking royalty. Her parents founded the ubiquitous Wine Gazette back in the 1980s. As a young woman and mom she helped to publish the magazine by taking many jobs, including writing and photography. There are few people in the industry she doesn't know or know about. And her knowledge in staggering. She is an impressive person.
Billy Wilson is an equally impressive winemaker. He has plans to astound more and more. In a region like New England, when so many are having success with the Minnesota grapes, Wilson flies in the face of popular wisdom. His land allows him to do that. The warming influences of Newport Bay and being not too far north of Long Island Sound, Greenvale offers a unique growing location. Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Albarino, Malbec, and other classic varieties thrive there. And he's into making serious, quality driven wines. And he;s super passionate about wine. What's not to like?
Greenvale makes a Pinot Gris Ramato. Ramato is when the crushed Pinot Gris skins are left to macerate with the wine. A resulting orange or coppery colored wine offers softer, bigger mouth feel. A unique and delicious wine.
The estate Cjardonnay was next. This first is mostly stainless steel with some older oak. A fine, light, classic eastcoast Chardonnay with lovely mineral qualities and beautifully lean and crisp. The 2019, show in the bottle below was impressive as well. A lot bigger fruit. Bolder. Really impressive.
Next, I tried the Greenvale Chardonnay Select 2017 and 2019. Made form 30 and 40 year old vines, this goes through a partial Malolactic fermentation. It's also aged for 9 months in 100% French oak barrels. The resulting wine is a classic barrel aged wine. Elegant. Classic. With lean fruit and great balance and complexity. Fantastic! The 2019 was stellar!
Greenvale Cabernet Franc is usually one of the best in all of New England, and the 2016 was no exception. A lovely rich wine, with dark cherry, dark raspberry, and a solid does of oak. Really well balanced and complex. A sophisticated red. I always have one or two bottles of this wine in my cellar. And this one was no exception.
They are alos making an estate grown Vermouth! The added brandy was made from their estate grown Pinot Gris. Martinis anyone?!
Greenvale Vineyards is a wonderful winery. They are a small, quality focused producer, that would be a start no matter what region they were in! You need to rush to Greenvale Vineyards!