McCall’s 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve Corchaug Estate received a record-breaking score in a recent review from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Known as one of the industry’s most influential wine publications, Wine Advocate awarded the Pinot Noir with 93 points — the highest score a McCall wine has ever received and a rare mark among Long Island wines.
Wines with ratings above 80 are considered to be good quality, while wines that score between 90 to 100 on Robert Parker’s list are classified as “outstanding wines of superior character and style.”
“It’s really a big tribute, not just for me, but for Long Island,” said owner Russ McCall. “It shows that we can grow something out here that people respect and pay attention to.”
Mark Squires, who performed the review, described the dry red as “rather brillant” with a mouthful that’s “beautifully balanced” and “graceful.” The French Oak-aged wine is expected to “pull in more wood” as it ages and will likely last for about another decade. “It is still on the upswing and might improve more,” he added.
McCall Wines is one of the largest pinot noir vineyards on the North Fork. “We made a commitment to the heartbreak grape,” McCall said. Notoriously difficult to grow, the Pinot Noir grape earns its nickname from its thin skin, which makes it susceptible to disease and mutation. “You have to tend it very carefully,” he added. It takes near perfect growing conditions for a wine to be worthy of a score of 93.
McCall saves wine to age from the best growing years. “Not every year is age-worthy,” he explained. “It’s only the years with perfect sunshine, a little bit less humidity, and less rainfall.” During those years, McCall puts cases of the wine aside to age in large, French oak barrels and stores them at about 55 degrees.
“I want to show people that it’s possible to do some really good, world class wines on Long Island,” explained McCall, who’s been in the wine business for over 50 years. “You can’t just say you can do it — you have to prove it.”
McCall’s 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir wine is available for purchase at McCall Wines for $69 a bottle.