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Searching for Long Island’s Oldest Wine Vintage

Coffee Pot Cellars' 2013 Merlot with a Monarch Butterfly it supported; a selection of Borghese Vineyard wines including the 2015 Afterglow, Photos: Laura Klahre, Barbara Lassen

Upon congratulating the East End’s young wine class of 2019, it seemed unfair to overlook the eldest wines in the area, especially when this beloved elixir truly gets better with age. The search begins for the oldest wine vintage available at each Hamptons and North Fork winery, specifically in their online stores where these libations can be ordered for pickup or shipped right to our spacious wine cellars.

2017

Lieb Cellars’ 2017 Estate Sparkling Rosé: Made with 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, this refreshing sparkler offers delicate bubbles, zesty acidity and notes of peach and raspberry. 3050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-1100, liebandco.com

Wölffer Estate grapes, Photo: Barbara Lassen

 

2016

Roanoke Vineyards’ The Hill 2016: This site-specific blend comprises two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and 1/3 Cabernet Franc from the Twelve Rows block. Field blending, a technique that requires total knowledge of the vineyard and growing season, allowed the different varietals to begin harmonizing flavors before fermentation even began, and the resulting wine proves that Roanoke Vineyards’ willingness to risk some of their best grapes is key to achieving greatness. 3543 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-727-4161, roanokevineyards.net

Saltbird Cellars’ 2016 Harbinger Red Wine: Dark, sweet fruity aromas draw boysenberry and chocolate mint to the palate in this blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of currants, chicory and berries keep every sip fresh. 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. saltbirdcellars.com

Sannino Vineyard’s 2016 Francesco: This unique five-grape blend was created in honor of Anthony Sannino’s father and is meant to be enjoyed with good friends and great food. 15975 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734-8282, sanninovineyard.com

Sherwood House Vineyards’ Oregon Road Cabernet Franc 2016: A light-bodied and unoaked red wine with notes of red apple, raspberry and peppercorn, this accessible blend reflects the maritime terroir and pairs perfectly with local produce, fish and various East End dishes. 1291 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-779-3722, sherwoodhousevineyards.com

Shinn Estate Vineyards’ 2016 Estate Merlot: With aromas of sweet spices, toasted herbs, black cherry and chocolate, Shinn Estate’s signature Merlot is best enjoyed with hard cheese, pork, beef, charcuterie or chocolate. Enjoy a glass now or wait a few more years for the blend to complete its evolution. 2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck. 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com

Wölffer Estate’s Noblesse Oblige 2016: This Wölffer White Horse Selection sparkling wine is made from the vineyard’s signature rosé in an Extra Brut style, creating a seamless, harmonious elegance that excites the palate with each sip. 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack. 631-537-5106, wolffer.com

2015

Borghese Vineyard’s 2015 Afterglow: Borghese’s star dessert wine is a fortified Cabernet Franc with a nose of dark, sweet cherry and cinnamon leading up to an intense palate of fig preserves and spice. This evocative wine is best enjoyed with rich chocolate dessert or cheese. 17150 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734-5111, castellodiborghese.com

Kontokosta Winery’s 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve: Sip and savor the flavors of dark cherry, white pepper and other notes in this unique blend. 825 North Road, Greenport. 631-477-6977, kontokostawinery.com

Suhru Wines’ 2015 Petit Verdot: Leafy aromatics give way to hints of cranberry and pomegranate that flow onto the palate with a hint of vanilla. 28735 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-603-8127, suhruwines.com

2014

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard’s Merlot 2014: Produced during a banner year for the vineyard, the Merlot exhibits flavors and aromas of blackberry, black cherry and plum, with hints of smoke and vanilla. The palate is structured and rich with mild tannins and a long, lingering finish. 2114 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow. 631-369-0100, baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com

Bedell Cellars’ Musée 2014: Bedell’s ultimate expression of North Fork terroir, the Musée boasts a powerful, show-stopping core of ripe fruit with a complex array of flavors and textures nuances. Wine Spectator agrees, this is one of New York’s best. 36225 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-7537, bedellcellars.com

Harbes Vineyard’s 2014 Barrel Fermented Merlot: This wine went through primary and secondary fermentation in oak barrels to become the New York Wine Classic gold medalist that it is today. Wine Enthusiast describes it as a “plusher, more voluptuous expression of sun-kissed berries and cherries, rich in body and texture.” 715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck. 631-298-9463, harbes-wines.square.site

Pindar Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Franc: This unfiltered red wine graces the senses with aromatic nuances of black plum, black cherry and chocolate, a balance of tannins and fruit and a delicate finish. 37645 Main Road, Peconic. 631-734-6200, pindar.net

Raphael’s 2014 Riesling Port: This delightful dessert wine is produced by fortifying Riesling grapes during fermentation with homemade grappa. It offers bright fruit flavors, fresh acidity and a balance of alcohol and residual sugar. 39390 Main Road, Peconic. 631-765-1100, raphaelwine.com

Jamesport Vineyards wines, Photo: Nicole Brewer

 

2013

Anthony Nappa Wines’ 2013 Giallo: Literally named “yellow” in Italian, this unique late-harvest dessert wine was aged in un-topped French oak barrels and allowed to oxidize for two years. Wine Advocate describes it as tasting almost like a non-sugary, non-apple cider, while Wine Enthusiast praises its “luminous core of fresh fruit” featuring mango and orange peel flavors. 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 774-641-7488, anthonynappawines.com

Clovis Point’s 2013 Brut: “A vintage as good as 2013 is a rare and wonderful thing,” Clovis Point winemaker John Leo writes in his annual vintage notes. Made with grapes that grew through early season rain, a July hot spell and a mild August, the resulting sparkling wine is as remarkable as the vintage it hails from. 1935 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-722-4222, clovispointwines.com

Coffee Pot Cellars’ 2013 Merlot: This Wine Enthusiast Editors’ Choice Merlot offers graphite, spice and smoky aromas, with supple tannins and notes of vanilla, ending in a concentrated tart cherry finish. Through the Merlot for Monarchs Campaign, every bottle sold plants a milkweed at Blossom Meadow Farm to help restore the decimated monarch butterfly population. 31855 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631 765-8929, coffeepotcellars.com

Jamesport Vineyards’ 2013 Estate Glacé: Handpicked in late November after the grapes had frozen to the vine, this resilient white wine offers notes of baked apple, fresh brioche, honey and candied ginger. 1216 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-722-5256, jamesportwines.com

Jason’s Vineyard’s 2013 Malbec: Firm but balanced tannins lead to a clean finish in this estate-grown Malbec that boasts black cherries, cola and white pepper. Enjoy the fruit-forward blend now or wait a few years to meet the more elegant side of Malbec. 1785 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-238-5801, jasonsvineyard.com

Laurel Lake Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Reserve: Silver medalist at the 2019 New York Wine Classic, this opaque, substantial wine hits the palate with toasty, spicy oak and ripe berry flavors, an intense aroma and a velvety finish. It makes for an excellent sipping wine when dining on rich pasta or a hearty steak. 3165 Main Road, Laurel. 631-298-1420, llwines.com

The Old Field Vineyards’ 2013 Commodore Perry Merlot: An exceptional growing season produced a dark, rich wine with flavors of plum, dark cherry and tobacco. This versatile blend pairs well with a variety of meals. 59600 Main Road, Southold. 631-765-0004, theoldfield.com

One Woman Wines’ 2013 Reserve Merlot: Following in the footsteps of its 2012 vintage predecessor, which Wine Enthusiast described as “fruity but elegantly composed,” the 2013 wine gained rapid popularity for its bold flavor. 5195 Old North Road, Southold. 631-765-1200, onewomanwines.com

Paumanok Vineyards’ Apollo Drive Petit Verdot 2013: Made from 100% Petit Verdot from a single block on Apollo Drive, this is one of the finest red wines Paumanok has ever crafted. Spicy with concentrated black fruit flavors and ample tannins, this full-bodied wine is as black as ink though not as brooding as its dark color may imply. A Wine Advocate reviewer sums it up as “seductive, inviting and completely integrating…a big winner.” 1074 Main Road, Aquebogue. 631-722-8800, paumanok.com

2012

Osprey’s Dominion’s Reserve Merlot 2012: Balanced and dense, this expressive red wine offers ripe plum and black cherry flavors framed by smoke and mineral notes, supported by firm, well-integrated tannins. 44075 Main Road, Peconic. 631-765-6188, ospreysdominion.com

Sparkling Pointe’s 2011 Brut Seduction pairs well with sweet treats, Photo: Courtesy Sparkling Pointe

 

2011

Mattebella Vineyards’ 2011 Old World Blend: Made with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, this medium-body red wine features rose petals, blackberry, dark cherry with a hint of pomegranate flavors. The soft, feminine tannins and natural acidity lead to a long, clean finish with a tea-leaf nuance. 46845 Main Road, Southold. 631-655-9554, mattebella.com

Sparkling Pointe’s 2011 Brut Seduction: Discover a super organoleptic profile in this rare mature cuvée. The buttery, gold wine integrates aromas of brioche, almond and toffee with a hint of vanilla pastry, with notes of golden raspberry, honey and orange blossom. 39750 County Road 48, Southold. 631-765-0200, shop.sparklingpointe.com

2010

Duck Walk Vineyards’ Sunset Dessert Wine 2010: This extraordinary white port is made from Chardonnay that’s been aged in old oak for eight years, creating a fortified wine that pairs well with fresh fruit, cheese and cake 44535 Main Road, Southold. 631-765-3500; 231 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. 631-726-7555, duckwalk.com

Macari Vineyards’ 2010 Bergen Road: Macari’s flagship red blend is only made with their top vintages, and this 10-year-old, complex, full-bodied wine certainly lives up to that high standard. With dark chocolate, vanilla and red fruit flavors and a touch of leather on the bouquet, it’s no wonder a Wine Advocate reviewer declared it “one of the finest moments Macari has had.” 150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck. 631-298-0100, macariwines.com

2008

Palmer Vineyards’ Pasión 2008: Channeling their passion for winemaking, Palmer Vineyards captured the essence of Long Island’s Cabernet Franc grape with this rare late-harvest dessert wine. Eight years of aging in French oak barrels gives this wine a finesse that elevates the raspberry, cocoa, black pepper scents and plum, chocolate, vanilla flavors. 5120 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-722-9463, palmervineyards.com

2007

McCall Wines’ 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve: Beginning with aromas of bright red fruit, tobacco and smoke, the first sip of this aged wine brings notes of toast, vanilla, strawberry and cherry, finishing with hints of leather and spice from McCall’s Burgundy-like terroir. 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-5764, mccallwines.com

2005

Lenz Winery’s 2005 Cuvée RD: With the first batch of this popular sparkling wine sold out, Lenz Winery held back several dozen cases to continue the aging process, a practice the French use to create Récemment Dégorgé (RD) Champagne. This extra step brings out a rich, sumptuous, nutty earthiness that overlays the wine’s original muted fruit base. 38355 Main Road, Peconic. 631-734-6010, lenzwine.com

Channing Daughters Winery's 2004 Pazzo, Image: Courtesy Channing Daughters
Channing Daughters’ 2004 Pazzo

Pellegrini Vineyards’ 2005 Reserve: Dubbed “the pride of Pellegrini Vineyards,” this elegant red blend offers multiple layers of dark fruit, backed with bold tannins and a rich aroma. 23005 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-4111, pellegrinivineyards.com

2004

Channing Daughters Winery’s 2004 Pazzo: Simply put, “Pazzo is delicious.” Literally put, “pazzo” is crazy in Italian. Now in its second bottling, this batch spent seven years in the barrel. Placed outside for several years, these barrels faced the heat of summer and cold of winter, creating a magical elixir of weathered aromas and flavors including figs, caramel, orange peel, Christmas spices, raspberry liqueur, nuts and dried fruit. 1927 Scuttlehole Road, Bridgehampton. 631-537-7224, channingdaughters.com

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Tasting The Flavor of Fall on The East End

L. to R.: The Halyard at Sound View's Sweet Potato Salad, Highway Restaurant & Bar's Apple Crumble, Pierre's Lobster Bisque, Photos: Tara Donne, Courtesy Highway Restaurant & Bar, Courtesy Pierre's

If were to ask someone walking along Fifth Avenue to describe the flavor of the East End, you can almost guarantee their mind will go straight to the world-famous lobster rolls and rosé of summer, but that’s not the full picture. The flavors of fall in the Hamptons and on the North Fork are uniquely exquisite and are not something your taste buds can afford to miss. Our East End culinary experts share how they define the flavor of fall and what dish on their menu truly encapsulates that flavor.

Salt & Loft’s Grilled Salmon, Photo: Courtesy Salt & Loft

“When thinking of fall flavors, what I think of is pumpkin and apple,” Salt & Loft owner Barry Bernstein shares, adding that homemade pumpkin and apple pie are ideal dessert picks to complement the fall specials. “We’re going to have a grilled salmon with a homemade sauce, wilted spinach, crisp fingerling potatoes and mango chutney. And then we’re going to have a grilled New York strip steak with a special steak sauce, paired with cream spinach and potatoes.” 145 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. saltandloft.com

Cappelletti’s Pumpkin Ravioli, Photo: Courtesy Cappelletti

Cappelletti owner Luigi Tagliasacchi agrees that pumpkins are a great addition to any fall menu, as are roasted acorn squashes with butter. His pumpkin offerings include pumpkin soup and the wildly popular pumpkin ravioli with sweet butter. “We do it traditionally Parmigiano style from Parma—with Parmigiano-Reggiano and local pumpkins in it,” he says of the ravioli. “That’s one of our mainstays for the fall!” 3284 Noyack Road, Sag Harbor. cappellettirestaurant.com

When contemplating the flavor of fall, Pierre’s owner Pierre Weber’s finely-tuned palate immediately calls to mind one of the French restaurant’s most famous lobster dishes. “It is the flavor of a lobster bisque with grated gruyère and a safran rouille, [paired with] a glass of Gigondas, of course,” he says. 2468 Main Street, Bridgehampton. pierresbridgehampton.com

“Fall on the stretch is special—it stays warmer longer and the sunsets are breathtaking,” says Leigh Goodstein, manager of Clam Bar at NapeagueWarm fall sun pairs great with a plate of ice-cold oysters and a Wölffer rosé cider. When the evenings get chilly, you can’t go wrong with a warm bowl of steamers and a hearty Montauk Pumpkin Ale.” 2025 Montauk Highway, Napeague. clambarhamptons.com

Elaia Estiatorio’s Kolokythi Tis Epochis, Photo: Courtesy Elaia Estiatorio

 

“We love cooking with seasonal vegetables at Elaia Estiatorio. Fall cooking brings us earthy flavors, vibrant colors and ingredients with loads of nutritional sources,” says chef Radu Grigore. “The Kolokythi Tis Epochis at Elaia is a delicious, nutritious, autumnal salad featuring local roasted organic acorn squash, organic pink lady apples, feta cheese, mint, pistachios and an apple cider honey dressing.” 95 School Street, Bridgehampton. elaiaestiatorio.com

Like Grigore, The Halyard at Sound View chef Stephan Bogardus’s favorite fall dish on the menu is a fresh, locally sourced salad—specifically the Thai Style Sweet Potato Salad made with wild rice, peanut, coconut and fish sauce caramel. “The smell of entering a room with the oven on and the sweet aromas of roots slowly roasting is pleasing on so many levels,” he says. “We live with one hand on the land and one in the sea. Sweet potatoes from the earth in fish sauce from the sea. This dish brings out a combination of smell, taste, aroma and our identity.” 58775 Route 48, Greenport. thehalyardgreenport.com

Choosing favorites isn’t as easy for John Papas, owner of the eponymous John Papas Café. “I have so many items, so it’s a very difficult question for me,” he says, noting that when it comes to popular specials, however, the answer is clear. “Stuffed turkey is a very popular dish now, and everybody who’s technically on a diet loves that dish, with our stuffing and everything. I used to serve it every Thursday!” 18 Park Plaza, East Hampton. 631-324-5400.

Calissa’s Saganaki Burger, Photo: Courtesy Calissa

As with most Greek restaurants, lamb is a key ingredient on the Calissa menu, but chef Bob Abrams explains that the dishes it’s incorporated into do shift with the seasons. “Whereas in the summertime we prepare whole spring lamb slow cooked over coals, we turn to more comforting and casual preparations in the fall,” he says. “Lamb plays well with most fall flavors with its rich spice and light gaminess and is also a great pair with lighter red wines. One of our favorite dishes is the Saganaki Burger—the crispy graviera cheese is a perfect pairing with the minted tzatziki sauce and umami-rich burger. Fall in the Hamptons is more than just a change in temperature and flavor; it’s also a time to take a breath and relax after the insanity of summer out East and prepare for the rest of the year—Calissa is open year round. Our Saganaki Burger plus a glass of Greek red wine encapsulates fall at Calissa.” 1020 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. calissahamptons.com

“When I think of fall, the flavor of roasted squash, pumpkin and hearty herbs like sage and thyme come to mind. It is the beginning of stew and soup season! And it is also the beginning of apple season, which means spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg come in to play,” says chef Justin Finney of Highway Restaurant & Bar in East Hampton. In his expert opinion, no dish on the menu better encapsulates the flavor fall than the apple crumble. “Using a variety of local apples from the Milk Pail farm and all the fall spices, it is the perfect way to end your meal at Highway!” 290 Montauk Highway, East Hampton. highwayrestaurant.com

Main Street Tavern’s Biscuit, Sausage and Pickles, Photo: Courtesy Main Street Tavern

 

With the changing of the season, Main Street Tavern chef Yusuf Lovett shares that his team has all things warm and comforting on the mind. “This is why our Biscuit, Sausage and Pickles is a great fall addition to our menu,” he says. “Everything you see on the plate is made in-house, including the pork and garlic sausage, which was produced from a whole pig we bought and butchered in an effort to responsibly serve quality meat.” 177 Main Street, Amagansett. mainstreettavern.com

This fall, Kissaki chef and partner Mark Garcia recommends the “Samma” fish, or Pacific saury. “In Japanese characters, it is written 秋刀魚—this literally means autumn-swordfish, because it represents fish of autumn, and its brilliant and slender body reminds us of a Japanese sword.” 670 Montauk Highway Suite E, Water Mill. explorekissaki.com

This story first appeared on danspapers.com

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