Thursday, July 30, 2020


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.

Greenvale Vineyards is a multi-generational farm, settled more than a century ago on the Sakonnet River a stone's throw from Newport, Rhode Island. Greenvale is among the prettiest of New England wineries.  It is owned by Bill and Nancy Wilson, and the winemaker is Billy Wilson.

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?

The first thing you want to taste in their estate Albarino Pet Nat!!! Amazing.

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!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


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GREAT AMERICAN WINERY STROOPWAFFLE: EPISODE 3 BEDELL CELLARS Host Carlo DeVito and Lenn Thompson of The Cork Report taste with Bedell Cellars winemakers Richard Olsen-Harbich and Marin Brennan  Also featured Barrow Food House and Main Road Biscuit Co. Lots of fun! 

Marin Brennan is assitant winemaker at Bedell and the winemaker at Bedell's other label, Corey Creek. We tasted her three wines first. The Pinot Grigio was absolutely lovely. The Cabernet Franc White was also pretty and innovative. Looked like a white wine but tasted like a light rose. And the Malbec Rose was lusious with strawberry and cherries. Soft, but with a zippy ending. Loved it! Marin is defintely a winemaker to watch.

Next were the Bedell Cellars wines. Richard Olsen-Harbich is one of the most accomplished winemakers on the east coast. Studied at Cornell. Worked for Hermann Wiemer. Wrote the North Fork AVA.Helped bring sustainable winemaking to the region. And has made some of the highest rated wines from the region.

I enjoyed the Bedell Rose, Lots of fruit up front with a cirtus ending. Very drinkable. I loved the Albarino! A big citrus bomb of a wine. Great flavor. Super intense. Great! The Pinot Gris was also very enjoyable. And the Viognier was very aromatic (as one should be) but with great flavor and a zippy ending to keep it from being cloying. Four wonder wines to start with!

The Bedell reds were a treat! The Cabernet Franc was very, very drinkable. Very pretty flavors, but fresh too! A great bottle of wine. However the Malbec and the Petite Verdot were both among my absolute favorites! I love North Fork Malbeck This wine was jammy and medium bodied with great color, flavor, and complexity! And the Peitite Verdot was deep with blackberry, cassis and plum. A big dark wonderful wine. Loved these last two reds!

The portfolio of Bedell cellars is breathtaking in its width, and super impressive in it's depth. Truly, a superior tasting and wine experience.


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Host Carlo DeVito reviews wines from Lenz Winery on the North Fork of Long Island, with winemaker Tom Spotteck and Lenn Thompson, Founder and Editor of the Cork Report.

This is Thomas "Tom" Spotteck the winemaker at Lenz Winery. "After serving in the USMC, Thomas Spotteck transformed a hobby of brewing and fermenting into a career as a winemaker.  He immersed himself in all aspects of the Long Island wine industry, working in the vineyard with our vineyard manager, in the cellar, and even spending time behind the counter in the tasting room.  In addition to Long Island, Thomas has premium wine experience in Columbia Valley, WA and Stellenbosch, South Africa.  He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Viticulture & Oenology from Washington State University. Thomas’ passion for creating great wines is inherited.  He is the son of viticulturalist, Gordon Spotteck of Parlow, VA.  In 2016, he returned home to Shelter Island and joined The Lenz Winery as our Winemaker & Oenologist."

Tom is a good guy, a regular guy. He's incredibly passionate about wine. And he's just as passionate about fishing and other local shellfish. There are many days after putting in a hard day's work (or week's work) that he makes for a boat and a fishing pole. Lenn and I had a great time spending a morning with him. The interesting this about Tom is that Tom is bringing some more current winemaking trends to a winery that is steeped in tradition. He's releasing some new wines, and some wines at younger ages. And still some traditions at the winery

are remaining. It's an excellent blend of old and new!.

The Lenz Firefly was a lovely, quaffable wine. A great summer sipper, dry, but with lots of fresh fruit. Big thumbs up!

The Lenz Cuvee 2014 has Consulting Winemarker (and former head wine maker) Eric Frey's fingerprints all over it. Bread, ripe red apple, fresh pear, and honeysuckle notes about with lovely toast and vanilla  Exquisite. 

The Lenz Malbec 2015 was my favorite wine of the tasting. I LOVE Long Island Malbec, and this was lovely. Jammy, with notes of blubbery and plumb, this was a soft, beautiful wine that was heavenly.

This was a shocker to me, let alone Lenn Thompson. Neither of us could remember a Cab Franc from Lenz in recent memory. Another influence of Tom. The Lenz Cabernet Franc 2017 was fantastic, with notes of dark cherry and dark raspberry. Good tannins. Well balanced and complex. A very excellent version of a Cabernet Franc. An absolute winner!

The last wine we had was the Lenz Late Harvest Chardonnay 2010. It was the color of gold with lovely notes of honey and dried apricot. Big and unctuous, it had enough acidity to keep it well balanced and not cloying. 

Fantastic wines. A great visit! Watch the video!

A Tasting At Macari With Gibson Campbell and Lenn Thompson (NY)

I went to Macari Vineyards with Lenn Thompson the Founder and Editor of The Cork Report. We went an visited with Gibson Campbell there. Kelly Koch makes the wines. Joe Macari is the vineyard manager.

Gibson Campbell

Lenn Thompson

The Macari family and Gibson gave a full tasting of the range. Here's a few quick notes on the wines that really stood out.

Without question the hit of the tasting was the Macari Sauvignon Blanc Katherine's Field. Bright, with big green apple, tropical notes, and a lovely bright citrus ending, this was a spectacular wine. Awesome!

The Macari Lifeforce was also exceptional. The flavors were slightly more reserved. Made in a cement egg shaped fermenter, this wine had a leaness that was lovely, with slightly more backbone and an elegant finish. It was a very complex and balanced white.

The next big favorite was the Macari Horses Sparkling Cabernet Franc Bright strawberry and cherry is this sparkler. Refreshing and fun. A terrific burst of summer! 

Then there were two Cabernet Francs. The Macari Cabernet Franc Lifeforce was lean and streamlined. A bright, fresh, delicious Cab Franc with bright and ripe cherry, hints of red raspberries.

The Macari Cabernet Franc Reserve was a big complex red with ripe and dark cherry, dark raspberry, and lovely tannins. A beautiful, complex red with a lot going on. One discovered new flavors with every sip and fruit that lingered on the tongue for a long time.

If you want, you can see the video here of our tasting on THE GREAT AMERICAN WINERY STROOPWAFFLE: EPISODE 1 MACARI VINEYARDS.

And here's a bonus!

So back in April we were looking through the cellar for wines to try and I found this bottle of Macari Dos Aguas 2007.  The bottle had been released in 2009. The wine gets its name for the two bodies of water near the bound the North Fork: Long Island Sound and Great Peconic Bay. I reviewed the wine back in 2010.

The 2007 edition of this wine was a blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 4% malbec all grown by co-winery owner Joe Macari. Amazingly, this wine only got better! I have always thought this was one of the most imminently drinkable reds on the North Fork. Always suprised each time I tasted it. 

The dark, stewed fruits like plums, dark cherries, and other jammy flavors were still there. Fresh and impressive. The notes of tobacco and spice which I thought would have overpowered the wine by now, did not. They were in balance. As were the tannins. As with many quality older reds, the flavors were now more integrated, blended, and the over all effect made the wine more drinkable.I loved this wine the first time I tried it. And a decade later I was just as happy. That's saying a lot! Congrats to the staff at Macari!

All in all, a great array of wines from Joe, Alexandra, and Gabriella Macari and Kelly Koch!