Corey Creek September 15, 2013

http://www.bedellcellars.com/cc_tastingroom.php

The tasting room sits on a rise overlooking the vineyard.

The tasting room sits on a rise overlooking the vineyard.

corey tableBedell has, in effect, two tasting rooms, since all Corey Creek serves are Bedell wines, except for their own Gewürztraminer.  Corey Creek’s room is somewhat more rustic looking than Bedell’s, and there are nice picnic tables on the pretty grounds.  However, since we last tasted Bedell a year ago in August, it was time for a new tasting anyway.  (That’s what makes this such a challenging project—just when you think you’ve tasted every winery, you realize that another year has begun and they have new vintages.  As they say, it’s a tough job, but…)

We had the room to ourselves on a bright and sunny but slightly chilly September afternoon, except for some children whose parents were picnicking outside, and who came running in to use the rest room.  The two servers were friendly and chatty and quite well-informed, and we spent a pleasant time with them.

Corey Creek offers two tastings, plus wines by the glass or bottle.  The Estate tasting includes 5 wines for $12, and the Premium has 5 wines for $15.  Somewhat disappointingly for those looking to try a variety of wines, several of the wines are the same on each list.  However, our server had a good idea, and, since she had a bottle open anyway, gave us a taste of a different wine instead of one of the overlapping ones.  I’ve marked the wines which were only on the Premium tasting with an * so you can decide whether you want to invest the extra $3 to try them or not.  I would stick to the Estate tasting next time.

  1.  Corey Creek 2012 Gewürztraminer                                         $40

Both tastings include this wine, Corey Creek’s only offering of its own wine, as I noted above.  This has a bit of that cat pee smell Gewürztraminers sometimes have.  The taste is quite bracing, with lots of lime and tangelo, and is rather acid at the end.  Not a sweet Gewürztraminer!  It is good, though I like One Woman’s version better.

Note the snazzy bottle on the right.

Note the snazzy bottle on the right.

2.  2012 Bedell Chardonnay                                                               $30

This is, our server informs us, a blend of Chardonnay grapes from six separate plots, and is fermented half in oak and half in steel, so it avoids being either overly oaky or overly simple.  This has some nice tropical fruit flavors and the usual vanilla scent of oaked chards, but is not very complex.

3.  *2011 Taste White                                                                          $35

I really like the label of this one, as it has an interesting image which reminds me of Marilyn Monroe.  This is a blend of 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Viognier, 22% Chardonnay, 5% Gewürztraminer and 1% Riesling, and I enjoy sipping it.  It is nice and light, and would make a great summer aperitif, with some lemon-lime flavors that would complement seafood very nicely.

4.  2011 Taste Rosé                                                                                $20

Again, both tastings get this wine, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.  With that information, you would expect this to be a rather complex rosé, but in fact it is just okay, and once again does not measure up to the Croteaux rosés, our gold standard for the North Fork.  It is, however, a perfectly fine rosé, with the typical strawberry aroma and tastes of papaya and peach.

5.  Bedell Sparkling Rosé                                                                    $45

You won’t find this on the menu, but noting our seriousness of demeanor and my careful note-taking, our server offers us this addition to our tasting.  As she says, this would make a great aperitif, and, as my husband notes, you could easily quaff a lot of this “and then fall over.”  It would be lovely with a strawberry floated in it, as it is relatively dry.  This is a “tank fermented” sparkler, but they also make a Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine, using the facilities at Sparkling Point.

Corey red

6.  First Crush Red                                                                                 $20

Now we switch to reds.  I’m thinking of picnics and roast chicken and a slightly chilled Beaujolais Nouveau as we discuss this wine.  It is fairly mellow, soft, and not very assertive, and would be good with a simple dinner.  Quite buyable.

7.  2012 Cabernet Franc                                                                       $40

Both tastings include this, my favorite so far, with lots of layers of taste, including blackberry.  Again, it is dry, but not too dry, and very pleasant to drink.

8.       2010 Merlot

Rather than give both of us the Cab Franc, the server cleverly gives my husband this Merlot instead so we can try a different wine.  This is a fairly typical NoFo Merlot, with nice black cherry tastes and a short finish.

9. *2011 Malbec                                                                                    $50

Lighter than I expect for a Malbec, this has lovely tastes of boysenberry, with some hints of cocoa.  Very good, though a bit pricey for how I would rate it.

A view inside the tasting room.

A view inside the tasting room.

Reasons to visit:  Quiet rustic tasting room (buses, etc., by appointment); Bedell wines plus their own, so a good place to come if Bedell is crowded; the First Crush Red and the Taste White.Corey tree

We could have had our tasting on this pretty porch.

We could have had our tasting on this pretty porch.

Bedell Cellars 8/7/12

http://www.bedellcellars.com/

If someone ever gives an award to a winery for attention to design, Bedell should get it.  From the pretty flower-surrounded parking lot to the attractive type-face of their signs to the arty labels on their wines, it is clear that someone is paying attention to appearance, and doing it very well.  The tasting room is well-designed, and the outside veranda lovely.  Even the servers wear a “uniform”–checked shirts with the Bedell logo.  Happily, the wines are equally well-designed!  We are here on a warm late summer afternoon with our daughter, son-in-law, and a now 14-month-old distraction, so not all of my notes are as comprehensive as they could be.  However, many of the technical details of their wines are readily available on their web page.

There are two tasting options (as well as the usual ability to buy wines by the glass or the bottle):   The Estate tasting includes 5 wines from their lower priced line for $10, while the Premium tasting gives you 5 tastes of their higher priced wines for $15.  We opt for one flight per couple, with one pair trying the premium and the other the estate so we can taste all ten wines.  The pour is small, but since we are there at the end of the day (4:30), a couple of times we get the benefit of a little extra to empty a bottle!  The servers are very knowledgeable and pleasant, and we also enjoy chatting with another young couple with a baby in tow, and our granddaughter enjoys meeting the calm and very friendly golden lab who is allowed into the room just to say hello.

Estate Tasting:

1)  2010 First Crush White          $18

This is a mostly steel-fermented blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling that is light and tart and refreshing.  The aroma is of mineral and chalk, and the fruit is subtle but there, with a pleasant dryness.

2)  2011 Chardonnay          $25

The server explains that this wine spends some time in neutral oak barrels (in other words, in barrels that have already been used for previous fermentations, and so have lost much of their oaky taste) in order to give the wine a better texture, and indeed, it does have a pleasant mouth feel.  The tasting notes also point out that beach stones are used in the casks, which we learn help to keep the cask full.  How much, if anything, they do for the flavor is debatable.  The flavor is pleasantly citrusy.

3)  2011 Taste Rose          $18

This is a light, fairly nondescript blend of Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauv.   Can’t compete with Croteaux’s roses.

4)  2010 First Crush Red          $18

This is a Beaujolais Nouveau style of light red, and would be nice slightly chilled with a roast chicken.  The aroma has some of that North Fork earthiness, but it tastes better than it smells.

5)  2009 Merlot          $20

Nice berry aroma, and a typical Long Island Merlot, though without the earth flavor that is sometimes too prevalent.

Premium Tasting

1)  2011 Sparkling Rose          $35

This is NOT a champagne-style sparkling wine, but rather one made by injecting CO2 into the tanks.  It is a refreshing blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and Merlot, but tastes a bit too much like a pink soda to me.

2)  2011 Viognier          $35

Winner!  This is a delicious white with lots of citrus and pleasing amount of complexity, despite a somewhat funky aroma.  Since I have no earlier notes on this wine, my guess is it is a new one for Bedell.

3)  2010 Gallery         $40

The Viognier grape also appears in this blend, which adds Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to the mix.  The aroma reminds me of lemon candy, and the taste has a sweetness of ripe fruit to it, but it is a pleasant wine.

4)  2010 Taste Red          $35

Yum.  The server notes that this was aged for 12 months, and is a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, and Malbec.  The aroma is intensely berry berry, and the taste is lovely, with lots of fruit but dry.  Good tannins.

5)  Musee          $75  (!)

This rather pricey wine is also a Bordeaux blend, with an aroma of coffee and plum.  It spends 14 months in a combination of oak and old oak, and is a blend of Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Petit Verdot.  Though it is a good wine, with some complexity and good fruit flavor and a nice finish, we feel it is not worth the price.

Our son-in-law buys the First Crush Red, a good choice, we all agree.

Reasons to visit:  beautiful room and attractive labels; good though expensive wines; First Crush Red.