Saturday, May 23, 2020

Exciting: Glorie Farm Cabernet 2018 Releases are Amazing (NY)

As you have read in my report for the CORK REPORT Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, NY was  sold to Dan and Jacqui Heavens.

Glorie is one of the larger grape growers in the Hudson River Region AVA and supplies a number of neighboring wineries with Hudson River Region fruit. “We are ecstatic to have found buyers Dan and Jacqui Heavens,” former owner Doug Glorie told me. “They have the desire and the will to carry on the success and tradition we have created here at Glorie Farm and Winery. We know they will be successful.”

This farm has been productive for many generations. Previously known as Stoneside Farm, the Glorie have been growing 20 acres of fruit including peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, quince, black currants, and – of course – wine grapes. Doug planted his first grape vines in 1983.

Doug left his engineering job in the mid-1990s, and became a full-time farmer and winemaker. Glorie Farm has 15 grape varieties in the ground, including hybrids, chardonnay, riesling and cabernet franc. The winery also made a great move in hiring traveling winemaker Kristop Brown, who has turned out some incredibly well-received estate cabernet franc wines, as well as others.

“We are thrilled about this opportunity!” said Jacqui Heavens. “We hope to continue to build on the legacy that Doug and MaryEllen created here: a beautiful, authentic place with a focus on high-quality estate fruit and wine. We are hard at work and can’t wait to share this experience with our guests.”

Glorie’s recent sampling of their Cabernet Francs impressed numerous enthusiasts (especially their barrel samples for their future vintages) in a recent Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition tasting last May.

Dan and Jacqui Heavens will have some quality wines to start off their run.

As I wrote for, the Hudson Valley has been the historic heart of New York's winemaking industry. But in the last decade its reputation for quality wines has improved greatly, making it a region on the come. At a recent tasting of the Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition, Glorie Farm Winery's two barrel samples (two separate vineyard blocks) drew some of the highest praise from all around.

Glorie's well-known winemaker Kristop Brown is known to be one of the better winemakers in the valley (he also formerly made wine in Walla Walla). New owners Dan and Jacqui Heavens have decided to sell the two vineyard blocks separately (originally there was the thought to blend the two into one). It was too much fun tasting the two blocks side-by-side. Hence, the winery is releasing Glorie Farm Cabernet Franc West - 2018 and Glorie Farm East - 2018.

The East - 2018 is made from newer vines, and the flavor is all bright red cherry like a fresh cherry pie. Big red fruit and a lovely, lip-smacking finish that clings to the palate for a long time. The West - 2018 comes from a much older block. The flavors are dark cherry and dark raspberry, hints of mocha, graphite, and prune. It's deep, multi-layered, and luscious. It's sex in a glass! This is what wine geekdom is all about. Too much fun to pass up!

Congrats to all!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Landmark Series: Two Winners From Boordy Vineyards (MD)

I bought these two bottles of Boordy Vineyards wine at the Drink Local Wine/Taste Camp in Maryland in 2017. It seems like a life time ago but I do remember it incredibly fondly. These wines are both from the Landmark Series, which is the winery's premiere expression of their terroir and the winemaking art, as well as about land stewardship.

Boordy founder Philip Wagner made his name and reputation growing Baco Noir, but Rob Deford steered the company in a new direction with the turn of the century. It turns out it was an impressive move. Rob and his family and their operation have been a leader in the Mid-Atlantic wine scene for many years. This was a big step. He turned Boordy into one of the most serious wine producers in the region. And indeed, they are a regional powerhouse.

According to Boordy, Tom Burns is the head winemaker. He spent 20 years managing our vineyards in addition to making our wines, so the critical connection between the vineyard and winery is in his DNA. In 2011 Tom was joined by José Real, whose analytical skills were honed working in his family’s wine laboratory in Jerez, Spain. Steve Blais, from the consulting firm of Michele Rolland in Bordeaux, provides a global perspective on their work. Son Phineas, Rob and Julie manage the winery. This team is strong and deep. 

Boordy South Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2014 was harvested Between October 14 and the 21st of 2014. The wine is 75% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Syrah, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged 16 months in new Freanch oak (45%) and older oak (55%). They produced 575 cases. This was an impressive wine, which led with a lot of dark and medium ripe cherry, hints of red raspberry, and plum, with notes of graphite and vanilla. The fruit was strong on the first sip, but the mid palate was smooth and silky, with a lasting flavor. This was an impressive, impressive wine!

Next was the Boordy South Mountain Red 2015 is a Bordeaux/Meritage-style blend of 60% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 12% Syrah, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's 100% Maryland grown and was harvest between October 18-29, 2015. The wine starts of with a love stew of red fruit, including ripe cherry, fresh raspberry, cassis, and plum. The front is all fruit, but the middle swirls with notes of cedar, leather, and undeniable earthiness and bramble, with hints of spice. The come the ample tannins. And a lovely finish of red fruit that lingers. A supple, complex, and well balanced wine. Each sip is an opportunity to continue to explore its many intricacies. Wonderful. Easily could have laid down another 5 years. Ashamed I opened it so soon. Sad I don't have another bottle!

The Landmark Series has been a significant success and is testament to Deford, his team, and their commitment to serious, quality wine...and to their leadership in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Mouthwatering: Fiore Rose Sangiovese/Moscato (MD)

Everyone knows I love Mike Fiore. He's the last young lion left from the original wave of winery owners dating back to Ham Mowbrey and the like. I've been a fan of his Chambourcin and his Sangiovese. And his spirits, like the barrel aged Grappa Reserve and the Maryland Rye. Now the grand old lion, Mike's grandson Tony is the everyday helms man, and doing a great job!

This bottle of Fiore Rose Sangiovese/Moscato was a lovely surprise from the Maryland winemaker. It was a nose full of bright cherry and fresh strawberry...with the cherry lingering a long, long time. There were lovely notes of tropical fruits and hints of lime, but with a lovely creaminess and a lovely finish. Don't just take my word for it, the wine won Gold Medal & Best in Class: Rose’ – 2019 Maryland Governor’s Cup Competition!

Great job Tony and Mike!