Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Jamesport Vineyards 2004 Riesling Late Harvest, Estate (North Fork of Long Island)

Jamesport Vineyards

2004 Riesling Late Harvest, Estate
(North Fork of Long Island)

Long Island, and the entire state of New York really, offers a surprising number of succulent, delicious dessert wines. In upstate New York, there is an endless array of ice and ice-style wines--some of which are frozen commercially while others freeze right on the vine in the more traditional way.

But, on Long Island, late harvest temperatures rarely dip down to the point where the grapes freeze naturally, locking in water so that only the richest, most flavorful liquid oozes from each berry when pressed. Instead, many of the top dessert wines are made using grapes picked at peak ripeness and then frozen in commercial freezers--often at facilities normally used to freeze just-from-the-bay seafood.

That doesn't tell the whole story, however. The very growing conditions that make grape growing on Long Island challenging can also at times give rise to Botrytis cinerea, the mold responsible for perhaps the world's best dessert wines--Sauternes. And, for those fearless vineyard managers and winemakers willing to ante up and gamble with the noble mold, the risk is certainly outweighed by the reward of wines like this one.

A rich, honeyed gold in the glass the complex, layered nose displays classic botrytis notes--hay and honey--while also offering burnt sugar, juicy peach and pear, and vanilla. Full-bodied and decidedly sweet, significant, palate-cleansing acidity brings excellent balance and keeps the wine lively. Honeyed fruit flavors are most prominent on the forepalate, with vanilla and buttered-toffee notes lingering on a lengthy, luxurious finish. It's drinking well already, but this wine should age for many, many years.

Reviewed February 21, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.


Other Awards & Accolades

90 Points - Wine Advocate

The Wine

Winery: Jamesport Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Riesling Late Harvest
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Riesling
Price: 375ml $44.95

Review Date: 2/21/2007

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.