Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hermann J. Wiemer Still A Cut Above the Rest (NY)

What is there left to say about Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards that hasn't already been said? It is one of the most heralded wineries in the Finger Lakes. The first time I ever met Mr. Wiemer was in 1999 or 2000. It was late in the day. I had been tasting quite a bit already, and I was a little toasty. He was alone, and tasting his wines. I informed him I was doing research on a book about east coast wines, and I came to him not knowing who he was. I introduced myself, and he introduced himself, and I said, "OK, Herm, let's see what you got!"
I cringe every time I think about that. I was immediately impressed with the wines, and had an immediate twinge that I had somehow embarrassed myself (not the first time). Then I went home and found out who he was. Hermann is one of the most important figures in the history of east coast winemaking. Ah well, I had failed to impress yet again.
In 2003, Hermann’s long-term apprentice Fred Merwarth took charge of winemaking and vineyard management. Fred’s talent and ambition brought fresh energy and vision to the winery, placing it on a new trajectory. In 2007, Hermann officially retired, handing  over the winery to Fred, who partnered with his university friend, Swedish agronomist Oskar Bynke, to carry on Hermann’s legacy. Oscar and Fred are doing as much as they can to make sure that legacy not only endures, but excels. You have to respect that. 

Over the last two years, I have gone back several times, twice with the same group of people including wine enthusiasts Bryan VanDeusen and Rich Srsich. We have sampled he wines and bought our bottles. This is no small feat at Hermann J. Wiemer. Their wines wine award after award, and they score highly in all the right magazines.


The tastingroom is an odd mixture of gorgeous high-end shop, and industrial chic. The small shoppe up front is elegant with warm off whites and beautiful wood tones. The tasting area is majestic with gorgeous wood bars and gleaming stainless steel. But it is always elegant, and always in exceptional taste.


The one thing Wiemer is known for are their wonderful, delicate, elegant Germanic-styled whites, where in they have gained much fame and rightfully so. The favorite of mine is the Riesling Dry 2012. Big notes of green apple and ripe, juicy pear, are blended with tropical fruits, exceptional acidity, and a long, lingering mouthwatering taste of fruit. Not sweet in any sense, this wine is a beautiful, elegant wine. If it were a painting I would say it was Madame X by Sargent, because it is so sexy and seductive. Something to behold and savor.

I love Gewurztraminer. Let me say that before I begin. And let me tell you before I write about this wine, that I bought several bottles over the last two visits and they do not last in my house, and my wife and I are red wine drinkers. The nose here on the Gewurztraminer 2012 is a big, floral bouquet with mixed with melon, and lychee, and citrus. And the wine is a big, acidic bomb of a Gewurztraminer, with a grapefruit-lemon ending that keeps your mouth awake and wanted more after each sip. One of the most beautiful dry Gewurztraminers you will ever have. Fantastic!
Rose' Cuvee is a dry rose made from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and a hint of Chardonnay. The result is an incredibly beautiful wine that bursts forth with strawberries and bright, ripe cherries. Dry as a bone, with also exhibits lime, vanilla, and a hint of creaminess on the end. A beautiful, elegant sipper sure to impress all your friends.

Field Cuvee 2008 was a lovely, well structured blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Lemberger and Cabernet Sauvignon. A lovely, well structured, complex table red, with big juicy fruit and solid taste. Good enough to pair with chicken, pork, turkey, veal, or even a flank steak as well as Penne Arabiata. Lovely.
2010 was a very good year for Finger Lakes reds. Fermented in small lots and aged in a mix of new and old French oak barrels, the Cabernet Franc 2010 shows a lovely medium-bodied color. Cherry, plum, and red berry all come through as promised. A lovely wine, with a medium, ripe fruit up front and a lovely complexity and structure. An elegant Cabernet Franc.

The Cabernet Franc 2012 is as impressive as the 2010. Big shocks of bright cherry, nice undertones of dark cherry, with spice and a hint of smoke to make it all come together beautifully. Again, the hallmarks of structure and complexity make this a lovely example of everything Cabernet Franc should be - light-to-medium bodied, fruity, but exceptional and delicious. 

Big notes of cherry, bright and ripe, and dark cherry come through on the nose of this lovely, light-bodied Pinot Noir 2010. Delicate and impressive, there is enough acidity in the wine for the fruit to linger a long, long time. Again, elegant, classic Pinot structure, with a lovely, love finish. Complex and extremely well balanced. This was a lovely wine.
These wines prove that Wiemer is making excellent wines, and are still a cut above the rest.

Monday, July 21, 2014

McGregor Vineyards Reds - Unique and Still Strong (NY)

So, I was at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival 2014, and I thought to myself that I really should check out McGregor, because I am jonesing for a good red. And I think of McGregor as one of the better red producers in the region. The grapes they grow are a little funky, but hey, I'm a wine geek, so they are right up my alley.  The first one I tried was the Pinot Noir 2009. It was holding up beautifully from my first tasting in 2012.  I LOVED the estate 2009 Pinot Noir. It’s very light in its color extraction and flavors. Almost a dark rose’. But it was wonderful. Bright cherry and raspberry spill out of the glass, couched in vanilla and spice. A wonderful, lean, crisp bright red wine. I loved it!

I also tried the 2010 Black Russian Red – 30 Month Barrel Reserve. This is the wine at the heart of all the fuss. This wine is so famous Evan Dawson devoted a whole chapter to it in his book, Summer In A Glass. At what point is the wine hype versus great wine, in my mind? was what I wondered in 2012. In 2014 I can tell you I am a fan!
The wine is made with Saperavi and Sereksiya grapes. Saperavi (Georgian:
საფერავი; literally "paint, dye" - due to its intensive dark-red colour) is an acidic, teinturier-type grape variety native to Georgia, where it is used to make many of the region's distinctive wines, along with the Alexandreuli and Rkatsiteli varieties. Leaves are 3-lobed, large, and roundish. Berries are medium to large, elliptic, dark bluish, and thin-skinned; with a maturation period of approximately 5 months and moderate productivity. It has the potential to produce high alcohol levels, and is used extensively for blending with other lesser varieties. It is the most important grape variety used to make Georgian red wines. Saperavi is a hardy variety, known for its ability to handle extremely cold weather; and is popular for growing in high altitude and inland regions. It is a teinturier grape, containing the red anthrocyanin within the grape pulp as well as the skin; and is unusual in being one of very few such grapes used in single-varietal winemaking (most are used in small amounts, strictly for blending).
Sereksiya is also known as Băbească Neagră, which is an old native Romanian - Moldovan wine grape variety. It is cultivated in the south of Moldova and in Romania (region of Moldavia, Dobruja and Wallachia), and is the second most planted grape variety in Romania, with about 6,300 hectares (16,000 acres) in 2005. The name Băbească Neagră means "grandmother's grape". Wines made solely from Băbească Neagră are light, fruity red wines.
This blend is an estate wine aged in American oak. It has big fruit up front and big oak. Blackberry, cherry, plum, cocoa, and eucalyptus all came through, again! There was also  some vanilla and some spices. This was a big, dark, deep, red wine. Loved it!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trenton Times: Thousands attend Laurita Winery Food Trucks and Fire Pits festival (NJ)

Thousands attend Laurita Winery Food Trucks and Fire Pits festival
By Ashley Peskoe |  Trenton Times
The Star July 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM, updated July 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM 

NEW EGYPT – From food and line dancing, to live music, pony rides and vineyard tours, there was a little something for everyone at Laurita Winery’s Food Trucks and Fire Pits event.
Ray Shea, who is co-owner of the winery with Randy Johnson, said they hold the festival because food trucks have become popular.

“You put a bunch of the [food] trucks in one place and a beautiful setting together with what we consider good wine – it’s just a magical combination of ingredients that’s proved to be a very successful recipe,” Shea said.

While there were wine tastings for adults, Shea said the event is geared toward people of all ages. In addition to a playground for kids, there was also pony rides, face painting, fireworks, wood carving demonstrations and country line dancing.

“We try to design our entertainment activities for the entire family,” Shea said.

Each festival is dedicated to a different charity and 10 percent of all ticket sales from this event benefitted the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Shea said that organization was chosen because he lost his 25-year-old daughter to leukemia in 1998.

“They do great work in terms of research and in terms of patient services,” Shea said. “We’re very proud to make a donation to them.”

Shea said he previously served on the board of directors of the organization.

“We’re doing our small bit to make the world a better place,” he said.

Alain Fortier, of Freehold, said he was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2012 and finished treatment in November 2013. He and his wife, Marie, said they were glad to hear the money was benefitting the LLS.

“They need money for research and this is a fantastic outing,” Alain Fortier said. “It’s a great thing.”
The couple each tried food from different trucks and was going to get dessert next, Fortier said.
“There’s just so many different types of food,” he added.

Kate Devine, marketing and entertainment manger, said 4,700 people attended the event on Saturday and they were expecting to have more than 10,000 attendees before the weekend was over.
“This is much more crowded than it was yesterday at this time,” she said. “It’s the biggest event that Laurita has.”

In the original tasting room on the property, Farm Treasures owner Steve Layton turned it into an antique store with a winery theme.

“Our whole theme is in support of New Jersey vineyards and certainly Laurita winery,” he said.
Vince Sgro, who is an ambassador at the winery, said 70 percent of the building was made from recycled material.

The outdoor benches and tables were from the state of New Jersey and the tasting room was made from two refurbished barns. Sgro said there are also five miles of trails throughout the property that are open to the public.

The 300-acre property has a 40-acre vineyard with 36,000 vines across the rolling hills and produces a variety of wine – including the Down the Shore wines Windswept White, Beachcomber Blush and Relaxing Red.

“People compare us to a little spot in Tuscany,” Sgro said.

While many people were just coming out to the event, engaged couple Tommy Veltre and Carley Giquinto said they were scoping the winery as a possible wedding location and were just starting to taste the different wines.

“We were unsure about a winery wedding but now that we see it, it’s done,” Giquinto said. “It’s beautiful.”

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White Springs Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2011 (NY)

Success has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan. - proverb

White Springs Estate ha had a mixed history. It's owned by Carl Fribolin, who owned the White Springs Estate for many years but who sold the actual vineyard and production facility to Morten Hallgren of Ravines in 2012.  But Fribolin still operates the tasting room and sells the wine made from the farm. While at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in 2014, I happened upon the White Springs table and decided to try this and that. The thing that originally caught my eye was their new label.

This wine may have been harvested and first pressed by Derek Wilbur, the previous winemaker, who is now over at Swedish Hill. Morten knows his way around the winery and around the wine cellar. He knows about Pinot Noir. Morten unmistakably released it, and his finger prints are on it in a good way. In 2013, he appeared at No.33 on the prestigious Wine Spectator list of the world's 100 best wines. So you we might have two competent winemakers collaborating (for better or worse) on this wine.

This light dry red was delicate and distinctive. A light, light red wine, the nose exploded with strawberry and cherry, and whiffs of vanilla and spice. Nicely balanced between acidity and fruit and tannin and structure, this wine was beautifully balanced, and elegant. Very, very nice! A very good Pinot Noir.

New York Post: Exotic Fruits Brews From New York State (NY)

Fun article on New York state craft fruit beers. Ithaca, Coney Island, Great South Bay, and Blue Point breweries are featured! Some cool brews!!

Peter Becraft - A New Artist in Residence at Anthony Road

I will never forget the first time I met Peter Becraft. Neither of us was in the wine business when we met. We met on Long Island. That's where it all seemed to start.
We (Dominique and myself) met Peter and Cary Becraft at Wine Camp which was being held in the North Fork. We stayed for three nights and four days. We planted vines. We did our own blending trials at Lenz (we were on the same team) and we were at the same dinner table with Marco and Ann Marie de Borghese, and in general we had a ball together. And we tasted a lot of North Fork wines. They loved the Atlanta Braves and we were Yankees fans so there was some jawing going back and forth. A great time was had by all. 

But something funny happened on the way to wine-dom. Peter was bitten by the bug. By 2006 Peter was working in the cellar at Anthony Road. A cellar rat. For the first few years he moved back and forth between the vineyard and the cellar, learning the craft of winemaking. He saw the fruit mature and go through it's stages, and he husbanded the wines in the wine cellars. Whatever it took. By 2008 he had worked his way up to associate winemaker. 

Peter toiled under the tutelage of Johannes Reinhardt, the dashing, captivating, star winemaker of Anthony Road for many years, whose career seems set totally on "ascend", and who was one of the featured characters in Evan Dawson's SUMMER IN A GLASS, a world wide wine hit!

Johannes Reinhardt, a German native, was born in the little village of Franconia, 80 miles east of Frankfort. Johannes grew up in a family that has been in the wine business since 1438. He has been in the vineyards and wine cellars all his life and his attraction to wines and winemaking began at a very early age. He joined Anthony Road in 2000.

Johannes issued forth a string wines at Anthony Road that scored high-80s and low-90s, and brought prestige not only to his house, but to the region. It was not unusual to see Johannes and Peter deep in conversation. Whether walking a trade show together or at a viticulture or winemaking conference, the two could be seen stepping at a lively pace, like two physicists discussing some exciting new theory. Reinhardt is now starting his own winery, Kemmeter, and so the transition between a legend and his understudy began. That said, and as happy as I am for Peter, there is no denying that Johannes' shadow casts tall and long over the winery he brought such fame to. It will take a string of many more successful vintages before Peter will finally emerge on his won. That said, I do not think he could have been better prepared. He could not have found a better teacher. And of course, Johannes is not really going anywhere. He will remain a consultant with Anthony Road, while situated across the street at his own winery. It is the best of both worlds for owners John and Ann Martini.
With an education in Fine Arts and an incarnation as a casting director for a fashion photographer in New York City, it was only natural that Peter would end up becoming a wine maker in the Finger Lakes! Peter was bitten by the proverbial wine bug and found his life moving quickly in a new direction. A chance encounter with winemaker Johannes Reinhardt in the Anthony Road tasting room on a slow day in May of 2006 led to a cellar visit.

Peter attributes the special tour to his feisty chocolatier wife Cary who boldly asked Johannes what they had to do to get a barrel tasting. The afternoon was spent with talk of German and Austrian wines and free samples of CaryMo Chocolate. As Johannes was walking to the car with the couple he happened to mention that he is always looking for help during harvest. Cary jumped at the opportunity and volunteered her husband! You have to know Cary. Is is one of the most charming characters you will ever meet. A lovely, lovely woman, who makes everyone feel comfortable and who is a power in her own right as a supreme chocolatier. Peter was perhaps too elated to even speak but numbers were exchanged and Peter started that fall and stayed on splitting time between the vineyard and cellar.
Over the years we kept in touch but life got in the way. Jobs, kids, I would see Peter occasionally at a trade show here or there. We'd chat for a minute, but both eager to complete the tasks we were both there to perform in a limited time. Or I would see Cary at the Finger Lakes wine festival.
It is important to know something about Anthony Road. It is a family affair, owned by Ann and John Martini. Ann grew up in Rochester, New York and the New York City suburbs of New Jersey; John grew up in the same New Jersey suburbs. After working in teaching (Ann) and Peace Corps and business (John), they moved to Yates County in 1973 to grow grapes and raise their family on 100 acres overlooking Seneca Lake.

Ann managed the vineyard and raised the children, while John worked for Cornell University at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. The grapes from their vineyards were first sold to the Taylor Wine Company and eventually to wineries across New York State. In 1990, Ann and John Martini opened Anthony Road Wine Company with wines made from the 1989 crop. They built it up from nothing. And now they are a fixture at the Union Square Greenmarket (where John himself goes almost every Saturday, still), and they are one of the premiere wineries in the Finger Lakes.

 Their children, Peter, Sarah, Maeve and Elizabeth, have been involved in the vineyard and winery throughout their growing years and beyond. Peter, is the vineyard manager at Martini Vineyards.
Peter Martini grew up on the family farm, working in the vineyards from a young age. He graduated from Clarkson University in 1990 with a BS degree in business management and moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the summer season. He returned nine years later. After working for a year in the vineyards Peter was given the responsibility for managing the vineyard operation for Anthony Road. Recent plantings of Cabernet Franc, Lemberger and Pinot Noir have been added to the existing Riesling and Vignoles acreage. Beginning in 2002, Peter started managing Anthony Road's joint project with the Young family of California and planting the first section of the new vineyard on Nutt Road.

So, it was a big deal when John and Ann released a statement elevating Peter to head winemaker a couple of months ago. "We are pleased to have Peter with us here at Anthony Road, and we are confident he will continue to produce the quality wines as he has working with Johannes for the past six years," Martini said in a statement. "His appreciation for style and quality is evident and reflected in the wines he has made here."

I could not be happier for Peter. he's a nice guy, well liked. He's chatty and extremely well informed. And he loves to talk wine. You can get really geeky with Peter and he never seems to lose his sense of excitement. There is nothing that seems to distract him from his thinking process. Even watching him taste his own wines. he is constantly evaluating, questioning, reassessing the final product. In any wine, there are a thousand small decisions. Thinking about what you can do differently, at each step, and how it might affect the wine, is very much what Peter it is all about. That's the sign of a winemaker who has good background and a good understanding of his job and a love for it.



 "Finding my voice as a winemaker in a region that is coming into its own has been a privilege. My mission is to respect the quality of our fruit and make finished wines that speak of the vintage and our unique site. I feel that winemaking presents a lifetime of learning in that each vintage is so variable for year to year that there is never time for complacency. The opportunity to become Head Winemaker and continue to make the world class wines that Anthony Road and Johannes have established is a dream, so please don't wake me!"
I had not been to Anthony Road in some time. And so, while it was fun to go see Peter in his newly ensconced position, it also gave me an opportunity to revisit Anthony Road, whose wines I had not been able to try in some time.

That said, it was time to focus on the wines. The first wine we tasted was the Anthony Road Pinot Noir 2012. This a lovely, light-to-medium bodied red, with big whiffs of cherry, vanilla, and mocha. A nice hint of spice. It was a delicate Pinot Noir. So elegant and pretty. Absolutely lovely!

The next wine was the Anthony Road Merlot 2012. There as something important here as well. This exhibited the newest labels from Anthony Road. On the way out are the more staid labels of the above Pinot noir. These new labels are a significant step in the maturation of Anthony Road. These labels aren't abut singling them out in the finger Lakes, but to be more visible in the wine shops throughout the country. These are labels meant to compete on shelves with wines from Germany, California, France, and Italy and Spain and so forth. These will stand out nicely in the local shops, yes, but they are meant to be a new identity as Anthony Road takes on a new challenge - the world market. 
The Merlot 2012 was an impressive wine. A nice mixture of cherry with hints of raspberry and cassis, this medium-bodied red was a very nice, complex wine with hints of vanilla and spice, as well as a lovely balance between the acidity and tannin. Very good structure. This wine made us all want to go out to dinner immediately! An incredible red, and one of my new favorite reds in the Finger Lakes. 

Let me say, firstly, as I told Peter before he poured, that I am not a huge Lemberger/Cab Franc fan. Never have been. And I hate the name Lemberger...ugh! That said, this wine, (55% Lemberger and 45% Cabernet Franc) from 2012 was a pleasant surprise. It had all the medium-and-dark cherry you could want, with hints of raspberry and nice spice. A lovely, medium bodied red wine with lots of beautiful complexity. Not usually my bag, as stated, but a very nice version of the varietal blend becoming so popular in the Finger Lakes.  

I will be blunt. I have never really thought of Anthony Road as a red producer. Years ago they put out Devonian Red, which I thought was among the better reds in the region at the time. And now they are so well known for their whites. But this small flight of reds was top notch and shows yet another of heir leaps forward in the maturation of this fine, fine wine house.

I cannot lie, the real exciting part of this tasting was just beginning. Peter insisted we go backwards, normally starting white to reds, he had said let's start with the reds and work our way that way. And it was absolutely the right call. The next wine was Rose of Cabernet Franc 2013. This was spectacular. Nice bursts of fresh strawberry and light, bright cherry, there were whiffs of mineral, lime, citrus, and tropical fruits. A zesty, bright, light, refreshing wine. Everything you want a bright Cab Franc rose' to be. Fantastic!!!

The Pinot Gris 2013 was another wine that blew me away. The nose exploded with Bosc pear, melon, tangerine, honey and pineapple as promised. Lovely tropical fruits, melon, orange zest, and a nice minerality also come through. Elegant in balance, lovely, zesty acidity with great balance.   The structure of this wine delicate yet vibrant with lingering sweet fruit notes and a mineral exit. A fantastic wine!! Beautiful!

Now, let me say, I love dry Riesling, so the best of the list here is based mainly on my own prejudices. Let me counter balance this by saying, this is where Johannes excels. The Riesling Dry 2013 is a spectacular achievement. This is a big, big bite of juicy Granny Smith apple, with hints of pear, melon, lychee, and other tropical fruits. A fabulous citrusy ending makes this wine an incredible achievement. The mouth is left puckering, and wanting for more. A wine worthy of the world stage. Impeccable.  

The winery notes for the Riesling Art 2011 say, "Aromas of lime zest, candied lemon and wet stone with lemon zest, tangerine and green apple on the palate." They could not be more on target. A lovely, balanced wine. Very impressive. Note that the wine label is by Ann Martini herself!

Next in the tasting was an incredible treat, the Semi-Dry Riesling 2008! The one thing I have always experienced is that the semi-dry Rieslings seem to age the best -  in my opinion. I am not sure why I find that is so. This one was no exception, but rather, re-enforced that opinion and experience. This was a beautiful wine with a complexity and elegance that one really only expects from Alsatian version of such wines. Gorgeous apples and pears were rich and thick. Hints of apricot and honey were also right up front. But this was not super-sweet. It was incredibly well balanced. An absolute stunner. I love tasting older wines, because it tells you something about the quality of what you are about to taste. What you are about to buy. And Anthony Road makes wines that will age.
 Vignoles. Where does one begin? According to Wikipedia: "Vignoles is a complex hybrid wine grape variety that was developed by J.F. Ravat originally named Ravat 51. According to Ravat, "Ravat 51" was the result of a cross made in 1930 using the complex hybrid wine grape Seibel 6905 (also known as Le Subereux) and a clone of Pinot Noir known as Pinot de corton. Originally named "Vignoles" by the Finger Lakes Wine Growers Association in 1970, genetic testing has recently proved that Vignoles does not share any major genetic markers in common with Seibel 6905 or Pinot Noir. Thus, Vignoles is unrelated to the "Ravat 51" grapevine that was imported into the USA in 1949 and the parentage of Vignoles is currently unknown. Vignoles is often prized for its ability to produce balanced and fruity late-harvest style sweet white wines, including ice wine, although Vignoles is also used to produce fruity dry and off-dry white wines as well."
All that said, Vignoles exhibits none of the foxiness that one associates with hybrids. Instead, as Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report likes to chide, calling it an "honorary vinifera." In my opinion, it deserves such a place, especially of you are tasting Anthony Road's version of the varietal wines form this grape. We tasted the 2012 and the 2013. Both were absolutely mouth watering.
The Vignoles 2012 was a beautiful, complex wine with apples and pears mixed with hints of honey and apricot. Good balance, and well constructed. On the other hand, the Vignoles 2013 had a hint more acidity that I thought made it just slightly more desirable in my opinion. This differentiation was slight, as I bough a bottle of each.
Here's another image to show the difference between the two labels.

Previous editions of this wine had scored as high as 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast! This is a late harvest wine, with incredible flavor and complexity. Apples, pears, apricots, honey and hints of honeysuckle comes across in this gorgeous, unctuous wine that is like liquid gold. While it is very sweet (duh, a dessert wine) it never tips the scale of cloying. Instead, the wine had a wonderful sense of balance and finds it's center pinned down by it's incredible acidity. It keeps the wine sweet (8.2% residual sugar) but honest. An absolutely incredible, ethereal experience.
Next on the tasting was the Martini Reinhardt Selection 2012. This wine was made from select vineyard block

This Martini Reinhardt Selection Vignoles Trockenbeeren 2008 was spectacular!! At 25% or more Residua Sugar, this wine was as sweet and unctuous as any other I have ever tried. And as absolutely beautiful. I found it utterly disappointing to have this at the end of our tasting, because what I really wanted was a loaf of bread, some cheese, and maybe some figs or dried fruits to sit there and just drink this bottle with that, and call it a day! Meyer Lemon and pear, as the tasting notes promise, come screaming through! But there are also honey, apricots, honeysuckle, and other wonderful flavors. Amazing! Impressive. There are not enough superlatives to throw at this wine! Again, another link in the chain of amazing wines Anthony Road has produced in the last six years, and another huge mile marker in Anthony Road's ascension to top quality wine producer.

And in the meantime, I am thrilled for my friend Peter Becraft, who is in the right place, at the right time, with the right background, to succeed in this great next new adventure. He is an artist following an artist. It has all the promise one could want. And congrats to both Johannes on these wines and on his future vintages, and to John and Ann. A fantastic line up of wines!!!

Read the piece I wrote about the wine camp four years later...I still wasn't in the wine business yet...LOL: