Osprey’s Dominion April 6, 2013

http://www.ospreysdominion.com/

http://ospreysdominion.olhblogspace.com

Having a bachelorette party?  Then this may just be the perfect spot for you.  We saw at least five during our tasting at Osprey’s Dominion, and our server noted, “I need a drink.  I just served three bachelorette parties in a row.”  The first part of the long curving bar in the large, airy tasting room is reserved for limo parties, and they get a “special” menu with four tastes, with choices winnowed to two in each category.   One group we noted had a rather extensive cheese and cracker platter, but we weren’t sure if they were served it or brought it. A guitar player in one corner varied his somewhat folksy play list to accommodate one group of women who danced in front of him.

On the other hand, we liked many of the wines, and our server had his spiel on each wine well memorized, with useful notes on each, and was happy to make suggestions as to choices and the order in which to drink them.  However, another server who took over for him when yet another group of gigglers demanded his attention just poured, with hardly any commentary.  We felt somewhat abandoned at that point.

A quick look at the gift items revealed a small assortment of not very creative choices, except for one neat idea:  they will let you order a personalized label for some of their wines, though you have to order at least a case.

The menu for those not from a limo offers two options (aside, of course, from buying a whole glass):  $8.00 for any five from the menu, or $5 for three choices.  A blackboard outside also offered a special of $20 for two tastings and a serving of sausage, cheese and crackers.  The “serving” consisted of a small sleeve of Ritz-type crackers, and a pre-packaged box with slices of mild pepperoni and fairly flavorless processed cheese.  Not worth it, but we were hungry after a shopping trip to Greenport and a quick stop at our marina to look at our slip for the coming summer (where we spotted two ospreys on their nest, which may have subconsciously influenced our choice of winery).  As we frequently do, we ordered different wines so we could taste ten of their offerings, and so tried many of their wines (their website says they have 23, but not all are on the tasting menu).  We did not try their sparkling wine, their port, or their spiced wine (served warm).

osprey white

  1. 2011 Sauvignon Blanc                                     $15

Our server notes that this is a good place to start, as it is a fairly neutral wine.  The aroma is somewhat flowery, and we note tastes of green apple and lemon.  Good, and would be nice with oysters or lobster.

2.  2010 Unwooded Chardonnay                     $15

“This one is more like a pinot gris than a typical chardonnay,” says our server, and we can see his point.  Like other steel-fermented chards it has a mineral aroma and tastes of citrus, especially lime.  The first taste on your tongue is a bit sweet, but it quickly turns tart.

3.  2010 Gewürztraminer                                    $20

“This one just jumps out of the glass at you,” said our server, who will soon be moving to North Carolina to take a teaching job.  This is certainly a Gewürztraminer that does its own thing, and does not taste like a standard wine from this grape.  The aroma combines fermented pear juice and some cat pee (or like the smell of water that flowers have stood in for too long), but is not unpleasant.  The flavor is both sweet and somewhat nutty, with a tart finish.

4.  2010 “Flight” Edelzwicker                              $24

It was interesting to taste this German-style wine next to the Gewürztraminer, since it has some of that grape, as well as Pinot Gris and Riesling in it.  We really liked it, and it is an unusual wine for Long Island, which is always fun.  The aroma is somewhat mineral, with a slight trace of cat pee, and it tastes like ripe green plums with some sweetness and complexity.  It is certainly buyable, though we don’t opt to do so.

Osprey red

5.  2007 Merlot                                                        $20

Now we switch to reds, and our server rinses our glasses once again.  A lovely aroma of berry and ripe plum, with none of the dirt that one often finds in Long Island merlots meets our noses, followed by good fruit flavors of ripe cherry with hints of chocolate. This is a prize winner, and we agree, and are especially interested to see that it is on sale, for $39 for three bottles, so we plan to buy it.  (The last time we were here, a couple of years ago, there was no charge for the tasting when we bought several bottles of wine.  Not so this time.)

6.  Richmond Creek Merlot                                                $14

It’s so fascinating to find that two wines from the same grape and the same vineyard can be so different.  As much as we like the 07 Merlot, that’s how much we dislike this thin, sour, very dry wine.  It has no finish, which is fortunate, and I’d hate to have that taste linger on my palate.

7.  2006 Cabernet Sauvignon                             $20

This one’s just okay, with mineral aroma and a whiff of earth, not much fruit and few tannins.

8.  2008 Cabernet Franc                                       $20

2008 was a very rainy year, and the cab franc suffers accordingly.  Though we smell leather and plums, the wine itself is thin, with only a little fruit and not much finish.

9.  2007 Meritage                                                   $24

Somewhat of a Bordeaux blend, the Meritage has 67% Merlot, 17% Carmenere, 10% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.  We like its aromas of dark cocoa and fruit, and it tastes good, too, with all the ripe fruit flavors lacking in the previous two wines. Our substitute server has to consult a notebook to give us the varietal breakdown.

10.  2007 Reserve Merlot                                      $35

Really good!  Lots of ripe berry aroma and plenty of fruit with no dirt make this a better than average Merlot—and they’ve priced it accordingly.

Reasons to visit:  Good for a large group, and very accommodating to bachelorette parties; they encourage picnickers in the summer to buy a bottle of wine and use the outside terrace while listening to music; the Flight Edelzwicker (called flight because the owner is also a pilot) and the 07 Merlot; good prices for most of their wines.  But this is not the place if you like individual attention and a quiet atmosphere!

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