Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Martha Clara Vineyards 2001 Brut Rosé  (North Fork of Long Island)

Martha Clara Vineyards

2001 Brut Rosé
(North Fork of Long Island)

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been enjoying a torrid, illicit love affair with Long Island sparkling wine. Yeah, I know that I'm supposed to focus on the Bordeaux varieties. Merlot rules Long Island with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon doing well in the right hands. But why wouldn't sparklers do well here?

Long Island's relatively cool growing conditions seem to lend themselves to the craft of methode champenoise on a logical level – and now in the bottle as well.

Still, only a handful of wineries take the time to make bubbly, and Martha Clara Vineyards is a new fizzy favorite. They might be best known for their always-fun events and always-packed tasting room, but winemaker Gilles Martin has been raising the quality of the wines in recent years as well. And, with a set of new sparklers just released Martin has made New Year's Eve wine shopping easy. Just go to their tasting room and pick them all up.

Perhaps the lightest coppery-pink I've ever seen, the 2001 Brut Rose is made with both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – traditional all the way. Fruity and intense on the nose, it's a bit richer smelling than Martin's non-vintage Brut or 2001 Blanc de Blanc. It has a little toasty-bisquity character, but cherries and citrus dominate the nose. Dry, but just a little soft around the edge, the flavors of cherries and raspberries live within a slightly full-bodied frame. A delightful, fun sparkler that I plan to enjoy again – and soon. Pink sparkling wine is an underrated food foil, and this one certainly qualifies.

Reviewed February 16, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Martha Clara Vineyards
Vintage: 2001
Wine: Brut Rosé
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $15.99

Review Date: 2/16/2007

The Reviewer

Lenn Thompson

Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,
Long Island Press, Long Island Wine Gazette, Edible East End
and Two words describe his taste in wine — balance and nuance. Lenn prefers food-friendly, elegant wines to jammy, over-extracted fruit bombs and heavy-handed oak. When reviewing, Lenn tastes each wine three times — alone right after opening, with food, and again the next day — believing that 90-second reviews are unrealistic and not how the average person enjoys wine.