01/30/17 6:01am
Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

“My goal for this wine is more savory and tannin driven, but still light on its feet. The influence is from my love of Italian wines, in this case particularly Barolo.”

That’s how Raphael winemaker, Anthony Nappa, describes his approach to Raphael 2013 La Fontana, a blend of estate-grown merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot that was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. You won’t hear many local winemakers talk about Italy as their inspiration, but Nappa often does. It’s refreshing in a region still dominated with Bordeaux references and descriptions of why the wines aren’t like those in California. (more…)

08/17/16 10:30am
Raphael 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Raphael 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

In a wine region dominated by merlot, cabernet franc and other varieties found traditionally in Bordeaux, those same grapes also dominate the rosé landscape.

Raphael winemaker Anthony Nappa focuses on a red variety that you don’t see nearly as much on Long Island: pinot noir. Perhaps the best-known wine in his eponymous private label is his Anthony Nappa Wines Anomaly, a white pinot noir that looks like a rosé, even if Nappa doesn’t call it that. (more…)

05/21/16 5:51am

Raphael

Earlier this month, we told you Anthony Nappa is one of four North Fork winemakers highlighted in a June 2016 Wine Enthusiast article about the future of the local industry.

Now, the magazine has awarded a coveted 93 points, or “excellent,” to Raphael Winery’s 2013 Primo Reserve Estate Bottled Red — a wine Nappa produced in his role as winemaker at the Peconic operation. It’s among the highest rankings the publication has ever given a Long Island wine.

(more…)

05/05/16 6:05am
From left: Kelli Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

From left: Kelly Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

Four of Long Island’s most respected young winemakers were highlighted in a recent Wine Enthusiast article about the future of the local industry.

Kelly Urbanik Koch of Macari Vineyards, Anthony Nappa of Raphael and Anthony Nappa Wines, Regan Meador of Southold Farm + Cellar and Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards are featured in the magazine’s June 2016 issue in an article called “Long Island & The Big Dreamer’s Out East.” (more…)

03/26/16 6:15am
A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo. (Credit:  Katharine Schroeder)

A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

When Anthony Nappa, winemaker at Raphael and owner of Anthony Nappa Wines, released his label’s 2010 Bordo — the traditional Italian name for cabernet franc — it wasn’t the first unoaked cabernet franc in the local market.

There were already one or two others available, but none before had captured the essence of Long Island cabernet franc the way Bordo did and has since. The wine’s transparent purity is a direct reflection of when it’s picked and how Nappa handles it in the cellar.

Made in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Nappa has crafted Bordo across varied growing seasons and with fruit from different vineyards.

“I try to get the fruit very ripe without being overripe, but with naturally balanced chemistry so I don’t need to make any adjustments in the winery,” he said. “If the acid starts to fall and the pH is out of sorts, I’ll usually pick it. But of course this often has a lot to do with the weather and crop levels.” (more…)

01/04/16 3:12pm
The label of Southold Farm and Cellar's 2014 Illegitimi Non Carborundum red. (Credit: Courtesy Southold Farm and Cellar)

The label of Southold Farm and Cellar’s 2014 Illegitimi Non Carborundum red. (Credit: Courtesy Southold Farm and Cellar)

Southold Farm and Cellar has joined the elite club of Long Island wine producers who have received a score of 93 and above from a major wine publication — a group that was only formed in the second half of 2015. (more…)

10/10/15 6:00am
Credit: Katharine Schroeder

Credit: Katharine Schroeder

I’ve been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving-friendly wines lately – not because I stress much about what wines to enjoy with my family on my favorite of holidays, but because I just organized a tasting with a handful of local winemakers and wine industry folks to see what wines do work best with a traditional turkey dinner. (more…)