June 9, 2012
This is a small winery where you are most likely to be served by Mr. and Mrs. McCall themselves, a lovely and very friendly couple, especially when it is not too busy—which unfortunately is not the case today, as there is a large party at one rustic picnic table and people at almost every other table. This winery is right across the street from Pellegrini’s, and is located in a converted barn/stable that still keeps many of the features of its original use. Our table, for example, is in a horse stall, with wood shavings underfoot, the aroma of which interferes a bit with the tasting! (The McCalls also run a cattle ranch which provides high end beef, which may often be bought at Love Lane Market.)
We are here with our daughter and son-in-law and a small distraction of just over one year old, so we decide to share two tastings, an $8 flight of 3 wines and a $16 flight of 4 higher-end wines. The pour here is generous. They concentrate on reds, though they do have a couple of whites (which we did not taste).
1) 2011 Pinot Noir Rose $16
This is a pleasant, light, sipping wine, with some of the Long Island earthy aroma and not much fruit.
2) 2009 Pinot Noir $24
The aroma combines dark fruit with some oak. This is a light burgundy, very pleasant, and would go well with a roast chicken. It has some of that NoFo earthy terroir, but not too much, with nice black cherry flavor and a tart finish.
3) 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve $60
Whew—expensive, and, we all agree, not worth it, though this does taste like a real burgundy, with lots of fruit flavor that lingers on the tongue. There is a somewhat veggie aroma and the color is a lovely dark, um, burgundy. We do agree that it has enough structure that it will probably cellar well.
4) 2007 Merlot $30
This is a case where the wine is definitely worth the price. Yummy, springs to mind. Lots of dark ripe blackberry flavor right from the first taste, with some mid-tongue dryness and none of the earthy terroir. Definitely buyable—which we do.
5) 2007 Ben’s Blend $48
The aroma has that earth/dirt terroir. Very dry, with nice fruit and some complexity. I like it, but think it would taste better with food—like lamb chops. However, everyone else prefers the 07 merlot.
Reasons to visit: personalized service; good reds, especially the 07 Merlot and 07 Ben’s Blend.