Alsace Wine Information

Jamesport Vineyards, Long Island

Dateline: 06/20/00

Our second stop on our recent Winery trip on Long Island was at Jamesport Vineyards. The original vines were planted here in 1981, and they now have 40 acres of vines. The winery and tasting room are located in a 150 year old barn.

We were able to talk with the owners, Ron Goerler Sr and Ron Jr, while we did our tasting. Both were quite pleasant and informative, explaining how particular wines were made. As we talked, a couple came in asking about holding a wedding in the tasting area. Apparently wineries and weddings go together in Long Island!

We began with a 1998 Sauvignon Blanc. This is a speciality of Jamesport, and is definitely hand crafted. This year had Semillon blended into the wine. It had a bright, marshmallow and lemon flavor, with a hint of vanilla. In comparison, the Island Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and is much more a picnic wine - ginger-aly and light.

The 1997 Cox Lane Chardonnay is fresh and fruity, easy drinking with a nice aroma. It tastes of peach, pear, and even green apples. The 1997 Natural Selection Chardonnay is aged for 10 months in French oak, and is smooth, rich, nutty and tropical. After this, the Island Rose was a bit too fruity and bright, but the taster said that there was an extremely high demand for this from the local people.

We next tried the Blanc de Blanc, a sparkling wine created with the French Charmat method. This 100% Chardonnay sparkler was easy to drink, and on the sweet side. The taster commented that women loved this wine. Some might, but I seem to prefer my sparklers a bit dryer.

The final white in our set was the 1999 Riesling, created in the Auslesein style. This was light and fruity, with peach, apricot, and honey flavors. The flavor was even, although the finish was relatively short. This would go well with a cheese platter.

Next we moved on to the reds. First we tried the 1998 Pinot Noir. This had interesting flavors of cola and cherry, and a tart cranberry. This was an easy drinking wine. The 1997 Merlot (awarded 87 points by the Wine Advocate) had flavors of chocolate and mocha, nice and rich. The 1997 Cabernet Franc was very bright - aged in French oak for 16 months, it was blackberry and cedar, with a strong full flavor.

On to the celebration wines. The 1995 Grand Cuvee Brut is made using traditional Methode Champenois and aged for 5 years. It's a blend of 75% Chardonnay with 25% Gamay Noir. It was light and toasty, and apparently is backordered!

The 1998 Semi-Glace Semillion dessert wine is a cryo-wine: they take Semillon grapes and put them into a freezer to raise the sugar content. It was a smooth flavor of pineapple and peach. Next, the 1998 "Anna" Pinot Blanc port is created by adding a brandy into the pinot blanc wine. Named after the owner's granddaughter, this wine is available at the winery only and is a strong drink of banana, figs and vanilla.

Finally, my favorite. They pulled out the 1998 Late Harvest Riesling, also only available at the winery, at a startling 55 Brix. Ron Goerler Sr said that at this point in the harvest cycle, "You're squeezing raisins - it's almost not profitable." This botrytsis-induced wine is super-thick, with butterscotch, vanilla, pear, and a multitude of other flavors in it. Definitely this is a dessert all by itself!

After that delicious treat, we went out and wandered in the vineyards for a bit. The two owners explained how the winemaker normally has 6 balls in the air trying to keep the vineyard going and manage the various harvests. Apparently they juggle extremely well, for the wines we sampled were all quite delicious. They graft their own vines, and even offer live music every Saturday from 1-5pm.

Time for a return trip, to grab a few bottles of the LH Riesling!

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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.