Southold Farm + Cellar 2016 ‘Suitably Stunning’ is our Wine of the Week

“Sunshine!”

That’s what Regan Meador, winemaker and co-owner of Southold Farm + Cellar told me he likes to drink with this week’s Wine of the Week: Southold Farm + Cellar 2016 “Suitably Stunning,” a sparkling blend of syrah and goldmuskateller that was grown at the winery’s previous estate vineyard. 

As you may remember, the Meadors moved their winery from Southold to Texas, and while some of their current releases are Texas-born, many were made with North Fork fruit.

With the blend of 75 percent syrah and 25 percent goldmuskateller, you might think it would be similar to the 2015 “You Pretty Things,” which shared similar components — but it’s a completely different wine.

The 2015 was made as a petillant naturel wine — that is it was bottled before primary fermentation completed, which lightly carbonated it in bottle. The 2016 was made via Methode Champenoise, the classic method of Champagne, where primary fermentation is allowed to run its course and then a second fermentation is done in bottle through the addition of yeast and sugar.

“That was a very vintage-driven choice,” says Meador, adding that “compared to the last pet nat, this vintage was super lean. It was also a large enough lot to play with disgorgement dates and how the extended lees contact affects the wine.”

Disgorgement is the process of removing the dead yeast cells and sediment out of the bottle after secondary fermentation has carbonated the wine — so that when we buy the wine it isn’t cloudy. Meador is disgorging batches of the wine as he needs them.

“It’s almost like each disgorgement run will be a different wine — ever so slight in successive disgorgements,” he told me. “But if it takes us another year (to get through the production) there could be a pretty big difference from start to finish.”

The wine itself, which Regan says is “meant to be fun,” is certainly that. The syrah brings some bright red berry fruits, but the dominant quality comes from the goldmuskateller. It brings a fruity-floral quality — Meador calls it “peachy funky” — that is just plain delicious to drink.

My wife and I enjoyed it with some fried food appetizers at our favorite Italian BYOB restaurant recently. It was damn near perfect.

The Southold Farm + Cellar tasting room and winery may have moved to Texas, but you can still order these wines. Visit southoldfarmandcellar.com to purchase.