04/27/16 3:45pm
“La Strega” Malbec

Anthony Nappa Wines 2014 “La Strega” Malbec. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Rustic. It’s a word I’ve seen used to describe several of winemaker Anthony Nappa’s eponymous lineup – particularly the red wines. He even uses it himself. I’ve used it to describe some of them, too.

But what does it mean? (more…)

04/06/16 2:19pm
Anthony Nappa Wines 2013 Reserve Merlot. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Anthony Nappa Wines 2013 Reserve Merlot. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Despite what much of my writing may indicate to the contrary, I don’t hate oak barrels. They are vitally important not only in the production of many red wines, but I think they are an integral part of many of Long Island’s best chardonnays. Read my piece in the current issue of the Long Island Wine Press for more on that. (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…)

03/24/16 6:00am

Wine bottles_2Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth, all things new and fresh. So, we asked local wine and restaurant professionals to tell us which wines they prefer at this time of the year.

What are the pros drinking? Read on to find out. (more…)

03/02/16 10:59am
A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Giallo at The Winemaker Studio in Peconic. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Giallo at The Winemaker Studio in Peconic. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

On Sunday, my family and some friends enjoyed a glorious late-winter day on the North Fork. The sun was out, the weather was warm — and our kids were all well-behaved. We also tasted some terrific and interesting wines at some of our favorite wineries.

A visit to The Winemaker Studio in Peconic was one of the brightest spots of the day. Co-owner Anthony Nappa, who is also winemaker at Raphael, is making a varied portfolio under his eponymous label these days — everything from a Finger Lakes riesling to a steel-fermented cabernet franc to a varietal petit verdot to one of the best local viogniers I’ve had in years. (more…)

02/17/16 6:07am
A bottle of Influence Wines’ 2014 Malbec served at PeraBell Food Bar East in Riverhead. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Influence Wines’ 2014 Malbec served at PeraBell Food Bar East in Riverhead. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Last week I read an interview on Food & Wine magazine’s website written by executive wine editor Ray Isle, with Doug Bell, who oversees all of the wine, beer and spirits buying for Whole Foods Market nationwide. Bell is responsible for selling 42 million bottles of adult beverages per year. Over the course of the interview, he makes some predictions for wine and beer in 2016.  (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…)