Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wolffer Estate 2004 Pinot Noir

Wolffer Estate Vineyard

2004 Pinot Noir
(Hamptons Long Island)

Wolffer Estate, in the Hamptons, focuses on two main grapes – Chardonnay and Merlot. Most of their vineyards are planted with those two varieties and they make a total of seven varietal bottlings from them. But, with a cool (even by Long Island standards) climate and cool ocean breezes, Wolffer Estate usually does a nice job with the "heartbreak grape" – Pinot Noir – as well.

The 2004 Pinot Noir ($50) is made entirely from Pinot Noir picked from their two small vineyard blocks – one planted in 1993 the other in 2000. Fruit was harvested on September 27th for the 2000 block and October 13th for the 1993 block with an average yield of 2.1 tons/acre.

Fermentation was done in one-ton bins with 15% whole clusters. Total maceration time lasted 11 to 14 days and after softly pressing the grapes and settling for five days, the wine was put into French oak barrels (15% new) to complete malolactic fermentation and to mature for 15 months.

Winemaker Roman Roth only made 273 cases of this wine — so it probably won't last long into the fall. Bottled unfiltered an unfined, it is an opaque ruby-brick red in the glass. The nose is a bit austere right out of the bottle, with subtle cherry, smoke and spice aromas. The medium-light bodied palate is similarly subtle — with nuanced, elegant cherry and plum fruit flavors accented by smoky oak, spice and hints of earth.

This is a nice, local option for any New Yorker's Thanksgiving table, if it lasts that long. This wine is still very young and should improve and evolve with more bottle time — up to five years.

Reviewed August 29, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Wolffer Estate Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Hamptons Long Island
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $45.00

Review Date: 8/29/2006

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.