Wolffer Estate

10 June 2012, Southampton, NY

While Long Island isn’t well known for its wines, there are handful of vineyards that produce quality wines, worthy of cellaring, which are delicious at a young age. I’ve written about Lenz several times but for something a bit closer to our place, there is Wolffer Estate. In addition to having some great events during the summer (Sunset Fridays, live music, etc.) they do wine tastings and tours. Diane and I went there with Manoj and his friend Sara for a quick tour and tasting before we hit the beach:

Suellen, our tour guide, explaining the history of the vineyard

One of my big questions for Long Island wines, is how will they age? Wolffer was thinking the same and they have a storage area where they have some of the original bottles the estate produced:

Cellar at Wolffer with old vintages

We didn’t get to try any of the older vintages (another time perhaps) but we did sit outside and have a cheese plate with their sparkling rose:

2008 Noblesse Oblige Sparkling Rose

I didn’t take any tasting notes on this one but the notes and technical data from their site say it all:

65% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 1% “Lambardo” Merlot

Brilliant light rose in color, with fine beads of tiny bubbles.
The aroma is classic, filled with ripe, crisp fruit, hints of brioche, fresh peaches, wild strawberries and lemon zest. The CO2 tickles your whole sense of smell. There is great depth to this wine, with rich and focused yeast, toasty notes and a tremendously long, dry finish.

Technical Data
The 2008 growing season was perfect for a vintage sparkling wine. All the grapes were carefully selected and handpicked. The Pinot Noir was picked in 3 lots on September 16th, 24th and 30th from our 2000 and1993 Blocks. The Chardonnay was picked on October 30th from our oldest vineyard, the 1988 Block. Handling and pressing of the grapes was done with whole clusters and as gently as possible. The juice was cold-settled (40°Fahrenheit) for 48 hours followed by a slow fermentation that was achieved by keeping the juice at cool temperatures (~ 64° Fahrenheit) in stainless steel tanks. 17% of the wine fermented in new French oak barriques, and all the wine aged for 3 months sur lees adding to the classic character. Malolactic fermentation was strictly avoided to keep the lively acidity. The wine was blended prior to clarification and filtration.  It was bottled on June 12th. 2009 and went through its second fermentation (Methode Champenoise). The bottles were hand-riddled and after 31 months of aging in our dark cuvee room, were disgorged with a dosage of only 6.0 grams per Liter.  4170 bottles 750ml and 550 Magnum bottles were produced.

It’s a delicious summer wine. Diane wanted to get a picture with us and the rose and wasn’t so happy when I didn’t cooperate by smiling:

Diane – not so happy with my smiling effort

Second try:


** 2008 Noblesse Oblige Sparkling Rose, $37


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